The Australian team's assistant coach and cricket analyst Tim Nielsen today said computer analysis of games had become a vital part of his squad's preparation for Tests and One-Day Internationals.
Nielsen, who has played first-class cricket and represented South Australia in domestic Australian cricket in over 100 games, told reporters in Mumbai today that younger players gravitate more towards computer analysis.
"I am here to help coach John [Buchanan] in the training track and also in helping players prepare physically," he said. "I am also the computer analyst. At team meetings I am responsible for putting the vision [of games played]. We use it a lot, it's very critical [in preparations].
Nielsen, who assisted former Test captain Greg Chappell during his coaching stint with South Australia, said opener Justin Langer and all-rounder Michael Clarke use the data and vision "quite a bit". "The computer stuff is a lot more common to the younger players," he said.
"Some older players like Shane Warne and Darren Lehmann have grown up in a different system and [prefer to] talk to each other, see [video clippings] on television, and talk to their coach," the former wicketkeeper-batsman explained. "It's just another tool. Some guys are happy to see a few balls. We are conscious of not trying to overuse it. Players like to see themselves playing rather than hearing about it."
But the computer had simplified things, he said. "This is better than video analysis because you can see an entire innings of 150 played by a batsman in a matter of just 5 to 6 minutes. It has shortened the time [of viewing]."
Nielsen said the Australians have extensive computer data with them, from 1999 onwards, of all Tests and ODIs they have played. "We feel it captures whatever we want," he said.
"The next stage is digital information whereby we probably will get different angles of the same action," he continued. "For example, in the Australian rugby league, we can see a lineout from three different angles. This may help batters and bowlers."
The Australians are also pushing hard for a central database. All their domestic teams are using computer analysis as a tool to improve, Nielsen said.