How to Be a Better Opening Batsman

How to Be a Better Opening Batsman at CricketAsk most people about opening the batting and they will tell you about batsmen who can block. Occasionally you get a big hitter.

Yet opening is about more than "seeing off the new ball" in your cricket match. It's a matter of good organisation, and a position that is specialised. The bowlers usually have the upper hand with a new ball and fresh legs. That means you, more than any other position, need to have your cricket wits about you.

So, what really makes a good opening batsman?

What Can "Crossy Road" Teach You About your Batting?

Round here, Christmas is a time for families and presents rather than fours and wickets. The festive period gave me more time to do some things I wouldn't normally try.

And I got slightly obsessed with a game called Crossy Road. The game is simple: You try and get your character across an endless road and get a point for every move forward. Being the badger that I am, I realised it's teaching something about cricket.

Crossy Road is a lot like batting. You the longer you play the more you score but if you make just one mistake your game is over and you go back to zero next time. So, how you respond to the frustrations of this game will tell you a lot about your mental make up with the bat.

5 Cricket Lessons Taught by Dhoni Before he Retired

Dhoni has quit Test cricket, and has left behind a rich history of entertainment for millions. He has also taught us a lesson or two along the way.

As tribute, here are some of PitchVision Academy's favourite articles about the wicketkeeper who lead by example with bat, gloves and sometimes even ball:

Playing the Forward Defence to Improve Batting Strike Rate

We are all well drilled in playing the forward defence, playing it to prevent the bowler from taking a wicket. In fact, it's a lot more useful than that.

Playing defensively spans everything from "none shall pass" drop to the feet, through to a defensive push that is designed to score runs. It's a shot with nuance that requires skill and practice to get right. ANd if you do it will increase your strike rate!

So, it's time to give the forward defence the time and respect it deserves and learn to play with both soft and hard hards to make more of those balls you can't smash.

Make Cricket Practice Constructive with this Boxing Drill

This is a guest article from Matt Thompson, Cricket Performance Director at Cardiff Metropolitan University. For more of Matt's work, find him on twitter and read his blog.

Picture the scene. It's time for training. You, as a batsman, have your regular opportunity for a constructive practice session with your coach or fellow team mates. Before you put your pads on, consider what does constructive actually mean? What does it look like for you?

Too many times at club, academy and university level, "constructive" takes the form of the batsman playing a glorious array of inappropriate shots without a game context in mind, inevitably squandering their wicket on a host of occasions.

I would be lying if I said I’ve never had one of these before myself as a player!

That is not constructive. So what is? Following on from David's article on having clear goals at open nets, here is one example of what "constructive" looks like.

Is it Time to Stop Inexperienced Bowling Machine Feeders Delivering Short Balls?

Filed in:

Coach Gary Palmer wants to know your opinion on how to train playing the short ball.

Are we pushing the boundaries of safety?

It's time to stop inexperienced and underage people feeding short pitched deliveries on bowling machines.

The Surprising Lessons Learned From This Crazy Batting Experiment

When you strive for the edge you hear a lot of new ideas. "Sensory development" is one of these ideas. On the PitchVision Academy Cricket Show we often ask questions like, "Does eye training really work, or is it a myth?" and "Can we improve our communication methods by removing our auditory systems?"

All very good questions, but when I tested them, in a series of training sessions recently, I wasn't interested in answering any of these questions.

What was I doing?

How Much Does an Effective Batsman Understand Technique?

Good batsmen have good technique (whatever that means). But how much do you need to understand technique to be a good batsman?

It's certainly not the same thing. There are plenty of players who do well without worrying about playing right forward, without a straight back lift, without even hitting straight. They play, they score runs, they get on with the rest of their day.

3 Batting Technique Myths You Can Stop Worrying About

Everyone's a cricket coach.

Or so it seems these days. Advice comes from every angle; coaches, family members, the internet and even passers-by calling out. That would be great if it all matched up, but most of the time it is in direct conflict with another piece of advice.

Then there are the myths and clichés on top. The advice that sounds good, and makes the advisor sound wise and clever. In fact, it's based in no more evidence than it was overheard on TV. So it must be true for everyone, right?

It's enough to make you go back to bed instead of picking up the bat and dealing with the swirl of advice in your head.

So, here is some clarity for you: Five simple bits of advice we have all heard (or perhaps even given) that don't make as much sense as they seem. Once you know that these things are not always true, you can get on with getting back to the simplicity of hitting the ball with a clear mind and a confident outlook.

The Benefits of a High Intensity Batting Academy

This is a guest article from Gary Palmer about the benefits of an intense Academy, and how you can join CCM Academy to get your fix of intense training.

Intensity will make you a better batsman.

When I say "intensity", I don't mean how angry you get. The Hulk is intense, but he can't bat. For me it's all about focus. At CCM Academy we pay meticulous attention to detail when it comes to constructing technique and developing skill levels. You can only do that in an intense academy environment.

Repetition over long periods of time makes a huge difference in developing and achieving high levels of skill, especially batting. Subjecting players to batting for prolonged period of time is paramount in developing focus, concentration and mental strength.

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