Ask the readers: What are your indoor cricket tips?

Being an outdoor sport on a big field, cricket doesn’t lend itself well to being indoors. But there is a thriving indoor game, especially in the UK and Australia during the winter months.

It’s fast, furious and the ‘five-a-side football’ version of cricket.

I must admit I’ve never played a proper game, only ever netting indoors. The idea has never appealed much.

But I know a lot of PitchVision Academy readers are big fans (at least if the twitter conversation we had about it is to be believed).

So, I tried to write an article but I just don’t have the experience.

And instead of winging it I thought I would turn the floor over to you in the comments section to come up with your tips for success in the indoor game.

Just to get you started here are 4 from Ben on twitter:
  1. Accumulation, no big shots
  2. Field well
  3. Don’t panic, you are always in the game
  4. Know the points system

An insightful start. But what are your tips?

Which skills are vital and which are best left to the outdoor game? Do you have to practice in different ways in the winter or is it just a bit of fun to pass the long nights?

Leave a comment and let me know.
 

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Comments

Since my opening game is against first-class outfit Durham University I'd better keep my best guarded secrets to myself a little longer Sticking out tongue

The most obvious tips:

-Practice with the indoor ball in the nets, they tend to move in the air a lot more and require better control from the bowlers. Batsmen I've worked with say it feels different on the bat too.

-Introduce fielding drills whereby the ball bounces off the sidewalls, this simulates an indoor scenario.

- Decide on a consistent length to bowl at, you can set your field accordingly and restrict the batsman's angles.

-Have a good keeper, who can stand up to even the fast bowlers.

-it's all about working the ball into gaps and being able to take a quick single.

-The game can change in a single over, so keep applying the pressure even if you are failing.

-Work as a team and back the ball up all the time, over throws and extras can cost you the game

A good start their Danny. From playing the odd indoor match in the past I have found it a very different game to the outside environment. I open the bowling in the outdoor game but indoors it is a very different scenario as I find the lighter ball too hard to control. Playing in the same team as Danny I do find that fielding is the most important element as the runs off the walls are what tends to change the match as well as the bowlers ability to control the ball.

I'm managing a team playing in an U13 league in Hertfordshire.

Things we've observed:

1 Low ceiling with a net covering all walls and ceilings. The low ceiling takes out the straight drive for 4 or 6 so we aim for accumulation: a push into the wall is eaten by the net, thus we can tick along at 18 an over (1 into the wall and 2 for every completed run).

2 Fielding - I'm trying to encourage the boys to come in off the walls to get them to look to field the ball early.

3 We have difficulty taking wickets - we play with an incrediball which not only moves but really bounces. We're going to work on changes of pace and the leg stump yorker from now on.

It is nothing like outdoor cricket but from the boys' point of view, it is excellent for bowling accuracy - anything slightly legside is penalised with a wide (3 runs) - speed of thought in the field and when running between the wickets. I can see it improving the speed at which the boys get off the mark next summer. It is going to test us on how to get people out when the normal ways of getting players out are removed from us.

Any advice gratefully received.

I agree, one thing that can save runs is being able to field the ball off the walls well.

Running singles should be attempted nearly every ball you will be surprised at how often you can block the ball and get home safely!

I play rep Indoor Cricket here in New Zealand and in all honesty it's a very, very different game.

Being an effective indoor batsman has nothing to do with technique and everything to do with having a good eye and being able to play very, very late. The ideal shot for an indoor batsman is to hit it nearly directly into the ground and up into the corner of the side net for 2 runs without giving the fielders a chance to throw. If you are an EXCEPTIONAL batsman, you can look to play the straight drive in the air for 7 to fuller balls but in most situations the safe shot for 1 or 2 is always the way to go as a team total of 100 (25 per partnership) is very defendable. Unless the ball goes straight to a fielder, you will be running nearly every delivery and should always be looking to run a second on any mis-fields. To this end, quick running between the wickets, good backing up (and being alert at the non strikers end as the mankad is reasonably common in high level indoor cricket) and quick turning are all very important (and largely for this reason, many indoor cricketers are very efficient runners in outdoor).

A fundamental difference between the games is that your primary objective as a bowler is NOT to get the batsman out via conventional means (caught or bowled), but rather to force the batsman into playing a ball to a position where a fielder can make the run-out. To this end, the ideal ball for a right arm pace bowler to a right handed batsman is coming around the wicket, angling right at the legs at roughly hip height - this is a very difficult ball to play a "down up" stroke to, and while it would normally be either flicked off the legs or pulled in outdoor cricket, doing either of these things in indoor is almost certainly minus 5 runs. Spinners and outright fast bowlers are not particularly common in indoor cricket as both of these types of bowlers are easier to score freely off than accurate medium pace, however a truly good spinner or fast bowler can prosper immensely - it is very difficult to find a gap from a fast inswinging yorker, or down-up a big turning full spinning delivery.

Fielding is by far the most important aspect for playing indoor cricket, you need to be able to stop the ball hitting the nets both through quick lateral movement and dives but also through vertical jumps. If the ball can't be stopped before it hits the net, the ability to throw back-handed or turn and throw quickly in one motion accurately is vital as your primary means of slowing run scoring is through either run-outs or preventing a run entirely by fielding the ball quickly. Having a good set of catching hands is fairly important, although in most situations where the ball has been hit in the air you can just catch it off the net rather than taking a difficult direct catch.

In the field, your two most important positions are close in on the leg side (in front of the line, essentially a very, very short midwicket) who will be making the majority of run outs on well directed balls, your back net fielder who is there to stop any big drives and also to back up the non-strikers stumps (where due to the backing up of the non-striker most run outs will be made) and your wicket keeper.

Keeping in indoor cricket is a very different prospect to outdoor as you won't be taking many catches, and batsmen very rarely outright miss deliveries - rather you are there for the same reason as the back sticks fielder - to assist in runouts. Because of this, most top level keepers wear modified lighter indoor keeping gloves with less padding (as the ball is slightly less hard than a proper outdoor cricket ball) on only their non-throwing hand to allow them to immediately fire the ball down to the non strikers end if the striker misses (again, as the non-striker will be backing up substantially). It's also worth noting that you will be standing up to ALL bowlers regardless of pace looking for stumpings (and to keep the batsmen in their crease), and this can be quite frightening even to most outdoor keepers, however due to the importance of bowling length your keeping technique is not as important as you will very rarely get full length delivieres to take.

Despite the differences, playing good level indoor cricket is a FANTASTIC way to continue your improvement in the off-season as you are forced into being more of an all-rounder - your bowling accuracy will certainly improve, and you will be surprised how much better you are at finding gaps in the field and looking for the quick single when it comes time to play proper cricket again.

Hi,
Planning to run indoor cricket activity in pune as bussiness . require contacts of those people who are already into this.

If you play indoor cricket, no team selectors can ignore you if you bowl good overs and concede virtually no runs while getting wickets. So for the fast bowlers:
1) Accuracy is everything, the perfect length isn't a full pitched out / in swinging delivery like outdoor cricket, its a bit shorter, since batsman will try to get to the pitch of the ball often.
2) Master the back of the hand slower ball, but with a twist... It has to be as quick as your stock ball. It sounds impossible, but if you have flexible wrists you can make it work, bowl it as fast as you can, bowl it a bit higher and watch as it dips down as if gravity strengthens.
3) Most balls you'll be playing with won't swing, so you have to create angles for yourself that make up for the loss of swing.
4) Batsmen don't like it when they get hit in the head. That should give you a few ideas.

To the spinners:

1) Accuracy is even more important to you, and you should also not pitch it too close to the batsman.
2) The ball is lighter, so you have to spin it as hard as you can to drift the ball miles. Turn is also good, but no batsman can play a ball that drifts two feet through the air.
3) Use the top spinner regularly, it will dip like a pebble thrown in water, and bounce up very high.
4) Master a few back spinning deliveries, there are thousands to choose from. You need these when batsmen get accustomed to your high lobbed over spinning deliveries.

I love indoor cricket.

In the winter I play squash and indoor cricket, and funnily enough I find the squash helps with the batting indoors. If you think about it it makes sense, squash is all about quick footwork to get you in the right place to smack the ball flat and hard against that back wall, and so is batting in indoor cricket! Look for the forehand drive, if it isn't there than play the dab and run.

Fielding on that back wall is just mental though. Sometimes I get home and both my hands have swollen up from stopping the exocet missiles.

If you have quick bowlers you can just bowl back of a length and crowd the corners, but bowling spin is tricky, you can really make the ball drift, but its a challenge not to give away at least one boundary. You have to be bang on with your line and length and bowling anything slow is a real risk because batsmen will just lift it back over your head.

Drift is extremely useful in most indoor cricket scenarios! The balls that are used are very light, and the lighter the ball, the more pronounced the magnus effect. (Some ping-pong players get up to 10 000 RPM, wish we could do that in cricket)

Some things I've noticed about drift that are quite exciting...

1) The more top spin on the ball, the later it will drift (the more revolutions on the ball the later the drift.)
2) The more back spin on the ball, the earlier it will drift (the more revolutions the earlier the drift.)
3) An undercutter starts to drift the earliest of all the types of spin, it also drifts the most.
4) Clean side spin causes the second most drift, NOT a mixture of side spin and top spin as some people claim.
5) Backspin and side spin can be aligned at 45 degrees so that the ball will drift but also swing if the ball is conducive to swing=lots of lateral movement through the air.
6) The further you bowl the ball the more it will drift.
7) Lots of flight= more drift.
Cool If you don't want the ball to drift, but still want to turn it miles, try to angle your run up slightly in the opposite direction of the drift. Lower your arm if you have a very high arm action, and don't bowl the ball in the direction of the drift.

I once bowled a top spinner, it was about 85% top spin, it had a very small amount of side spin on it. I put so much revs on it that it started to drift when it was about a meter away from the batsman. That's alarmingly late drift! I never managed a delivery quite that devastating again, but I'm sure it can be done easily if you put lots of revs on the ball and get the perfect angle of spin.

Bowling Tip:
- Target the off-stump and try to ball full. Try to ball fast.

Balling Tip:
- Focus on hitting the ball to the sidenets. Dont try to go for glory (unless the ball is very poor and in your strong zone).

Fielding Tip:
- Always be on the ball. Practice taking catches off the wall.

Good blogs, it's more helpful to young stars!!!

Hi Bharat,

I have been planning for a similar business and looking for partners.
Let me know if you are interested.

If yes, we can meet & discuss further.

Regards,
Ankit

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