Momentum and collective collapse in sport

With the 4th One Day International (ODI) taking place between England and Sri Lanka today I thought I would take the opportunity to reflect on the previous two games. Both games have been incredibly one-sided, but not to the same team. In the previous game England bowled Sri Lanka out for 67, and won by 10 wickets (for any non-cricket fans that is a low score and big winning margin). But in the ODI before that Sri-Lanka bowled England out for 99 after scoring 256-8, which was

Winning, losing, and momentum in sport

Watching the American Football over the weekend I was particularly interested in the references to winning and losing streaks. This concept is different to but not vastly dissimilar to the ‘form guides’ that are often reported on sport in the UK. Look at many versions of football league tables for example and you will also see a six game form guide (won, lost, drawn). So is form important in determining future performance? Can a team get on a roll and become more likely to wi

Play to your strengths to bounce back from defeat

The first cricket test match between India and England ended a couple of days ago with a victory for the home team by what ultimately was a comprehensive margin (9 wickets). England have a history of performing poorly when playing in the Indian sub continent, so on the face of it England are on course for another comprehensive series loss. But maybe this time things are going to be a little different. True, in the first half of the match England were not really at the races.