We manipulated contextual information in order to examine the perceptual–cognitive processes that support anticipation using a simulated cricket-batting task. Skilled (N= 10) and less skilled (N= 10) cricket batters responded to video simulations of opponents bowling a cricket ball under high and low contextual information conditions. Skilled batters were more accurate, demonstrated more effective search behaviours, and provided more detailed verbal reports of thinking. Moreover, when they viewed their opponent multiple times (high context), they reduced their mean fixation time. All batters improved performance and altered thought processes when in the high context, compared to when they responded to their opponent without previously seeing them bowl (low context). Findings illustrate how context influences performance and the search for relevant information when engaging in a dynamic, time-constrained task.