Abstract: The ability to predict what shot a batsman will attempt given the type of
ball and match situation is both one of the most challenging and strategically
important tasks in cricket.
The goal of the batsman is to score as many runs without being dismissed,
whilst for bowlers their goal is to stem the flow of runs and ideally to
dismiss their opponent. Getting the best batsman vs bowler match-up is of
paramount importance. For example, for the fielding team, the choice of bowler
against the opposition star batsman could be the key difference between winning
or losing. Therefore, the ability to have a predefined playbook (as in the NFL)
which would allow a team to predict how best to set their fielders given the
context of the game, the batsman they are bowling to and bowlers at their
disposal would give them a significant strategic advantage.
To this end, we present a personalized deep neural network approach which can
predict the probabilities of where a specific batsman will hit a specific
bowler and bowl type, in a specific game-scenario. We demonstrate how our
personalized predictions provide vital information to inform the
decision-making of coaches and captains, both in terms of pre-match and in-game
tactical choices, using the 2019 World Cup final between England and New
Zealand as a case study example.