A virtual Murali! ~ Cricket Blog - THE COMMENTARY BOX

Sunday, August 5, 2007

A virtual Murali!

The Australians are seem to be bent on taking the use of technology in cricket to a whole new level. They are coming up with a virtual reality studio where batsmen can pad up and face virtual bowlers bowling at them from a huge life-size screen. From Brisbane Times:

Australia's cricketers may soon be able to go into a virtual reality studio during a Test match and "shadow bat" against the bowlers they are about to face in the middle.

Cameras will be set up to capture as nearly as possible a batsman's-eye view of the opposition bowlers, and relay the feed to a studio near the Australian dressing room.

Players padded up and waiting to bat will be able to rehearse their innings using images gathered from the middle, and projected life-size back into the pavilion.

If the system works as hoped, it will mean that a player like Mike Hussey can go out to face Muttiah Muralitharan having already got his eye in against him in real time, with the ability to replay deliveries he found difficult.

He could, for instance, use the cameras to polish his technique against Murali's deadly "doosra", the apparent off-spinner that turns the other way.

This is either crazy or just genius. The concept does not seem all that bad at all. Every time a batsmen comes in a lot of deliveries go wasted in the period when the batsman is 'getting into the groove'. If this virtual reality batting can work as well as it sounds the oft quoted adage 'the best way of keeping the run rate down is to take wickets' might soon become history.

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