Pitch degradation - aesthetic or effectual? (And other feature ideas)

I’ve bought the Big Ant cricket games since Don Bradman. Initially I sat on the fence with Cricket 24 and delayed purchasing after the initial (disappointing) reviews, but I’ve watched with interest the recent improvements and have finally parted with my cash. I imagine this will have with a lot of onlookers…

Anyway… I had a question about the pitch degradation as I’ve yet to download and try the new patch, and had a few other feature ideas (hoping that Big Ant reads these forums!?)

  • Is the pitch degradation just aesthetic, or does it have an effect on gameplay?
    So, would a ball from a seamer jag off a crack / stay low or bounce from a length? And does the ball spin more out of the rough patch?

  • If pitches are ‘real’ and have effect on gameplay, will they get lower and slower as the game goes on? With more turn in parts of the world where this is relevant.

  • Other ideas (probably been discussed a million times!) -

  • Reduced power depending where on the bat the ball hits. Added to the timing metrics, if you toe end your shot, it should have reduced power. Obviously bats are getting bigger and more powerful, but I think there’s still room for ‘penalising’ a shot if if hits the toe/too high on the blade/outer edge of the blade.

  • Shot input - I’ve thought for a long time that the control inputs are the wrong way round for ‘normal’ vs ‘precision’ shots. To me, the ‘precision’ shot, which probably has less risk attached to it, should be the ‘go to’ shot on the control sticks, without button input (just the 2 sticks for foot and placement). So this would allow a push for 1 or 2 and rotating the strike. Then, standard shots, which often go for 4, would need a button input (RB), followed by 2 button input for aggressive grounded shots.

In fact, I would even do away with one of the standard or aggressive grounded shot types - they both often result in the ball going for 4. I would have 1) leave, 2) block, 3) precision, 4) aggressive grounded, 5) aggressive aerial, 6) special modifier in that order of difficulty to execute

  • Remembering team lineup in a tournament
    I know most cricket teams pick a team for the conditions, however, if in a tournament I pick a certain team for match 1, it would be handy if that lineup was loaded up for the next game. Say if I ‘like’ playing with 2 spinners and 2 seamers, yet the default is 3 seamers and 1 spinner, I don’t want to have to change this 10 times in a tournament.

  • Presentation
    To me it would make more sense to show the team sheets again after the toss has taken place. Normally the captains would go out, toss up, choose what they’re doing, then do an interview to reveal the team. Might be a nice touch.

  • Fielding
    Great strides have been made here. Kudos. I think a few nice builds would be to slow down how quickly a fielder is able to gather the ball and throw it. 2s are almost impossible out to deep point even if he has to run for the ball, for example. Or running just wide of mid on, my batter gets half way down the track because the collection and throw of the ball happens in milliseconds. In reality, this would be a calculated gamble run.

  • Misfields
    Which brings me on to misfields. There should be some kind of random misfield occurrence, probably based on fielding skill level of the fielders. Again, the point above re: taking a risky run/second run, would be made more exciting/ risk vs reward if we knew the fielders ‘might’ misfield the ball. And let’s not mention the superman short cover saves even when you smash the ball at him - zero misfields. It would be great if some of those went through the man, some of those he gets a big hand to, and others he takes cleanly.

To that point, I’m not sure I’ve seen a dropped catch in 2 weeks of playing!? And we all know the wicketkeepers are still taking ridiculous edges… Thick edges need to miss the keeper, thin edges the keeper has a chance at. Feels like either the degree of edge needs dialling down if its intended as a ‘dismissal edge’ or the keeper’s ability to catch impossible catches needs dialling down. Thick inside and outside edges going for four is fine and adds to realism.