How to Become an Adaptable Batsman

Sam Lavery talks about the power, and problems with "automatic response" batting.

As the players I coach progress through the age groups on the road towards the professional game, I often find myself trying to help them train their "automated responses".

Stop Making Excuses About "Style" to Start Making Runs

Whatever your style as a batsman, you can't use it as an excuse.

If you are a big hitter and you get out in a tight run chase trying to clear deep midwicket, you can't shrug and say "it's the way I play".

If you are a naturally cautious batsman there is no excuse for making the middle order have to take risks because you have wasted balls at the top of the order.

Some might say it's selfish batting.

Drills to Improve Playing Fast Bowling

England's disarray against fast bowling at Lord's was not a surprise to those who have watched them closely over the years.

Despite Lords being a very good batting track, England seemed clueless against the fast bowling onslaught in the 4th innings.

Australia shifted their length of attack to push the batters back and then pitched the ball fuller to bring the stumps in or get the edge. The classic combination of short, short, full. The same combination that undid them in Australia 18 months ago.

So what can be done in this situation?

Here are some drills.

Use the "Just in Time" Trick to be a Focused, Confident and Disciplined Cricketer

Have you ever wondered why you can turn a slump in form into feeling on top of the world in one ball?

You know the feeling. You are batting terribly and feel like you will never middle another one. They you get a soft half volley and you nail it right out of the screws. It screams to the boundary and you are transformed. As the commentators often say, sometimes it just takes one good shot to feel good again.

Yet, nothing has changed. You are exactly the same person you were one ball before, with exactly the same skills.

How to Hit an Annoyingly Accurate Bowler off a Length

We have all been there; the nagging bowler who doesn't give you anything to hit, and just keeps plonking the ball on a length.

Time after time, while the runs dry up.

You fear being called too defensive, so you try hitting it and end up caught. Your game ruined.

What can you do?

It's simpler than you think, it just takes a little practice.

Better Batting Goes Beyond Technique

Coach and Minor Counties Cricketer, Chris Watling, shares his experiences with another article on using your mind to get you out of bad form and back to run scoring.

When you're in a bit of bad form it's easy to be negative.

I'm sure you know the feeling of being stunted by in your mindset as you approach your next innings: You start to analyse how you’re getting out. You think about your technique. You want to correct those errors.

Stop the mistakes. Stop getting out.

This approach is hurting your game.

How to Practice Using Your Feet to Spin

Iain Brunnschweiler, top coach, has a great tip for those wanted to get better against playing spin.

If you want to be effective against spinners, it's really important that you are confident enough to use your feet and get down the wicket. Most spin bowlers know if they are bowling at a player who is confident in their footwork and decision-making, their margin for error becomes very small indeed.

Video: Talent, Work and Cricket Lessons from Graham Gooch

Graham Gooch got a pair on Test debut but went on to be one of England's best batsmen. What lessons can you learn from his experiences?

In this video, Goochie tells us about his path to the top and what he did to harness his natural gifts into thousands of runs. If you are at all interested in batting, this is the video for you.

If you can't see the video above, click here.

Video: Graham Gooch on Big Scores and Effective Batting

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In this video Graham Gooch talks about the lessons we can all learn from some of his big scores when he played: His record 333 against India in 1990, and his favourite innings - 154 against the West Indies on a difficult wicket.

Watch the video to get tips and advice on producing innings of the same value to your team:

Graham Gooch on Batting with Confidence

Confidence is slippery. You want it but how do you stop all those negative thoughts? In this video Graham Gooch shares his methods for breaking through doubt and walking to the crease with confidence:

If you can't see the video above, click here.

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