How Kumar Sangakkara Used Hideous Batting Form to Win the World Twenty20

Kumar Sangakkara signed off his Twenty20 career with a Man of the Match performance steering Sri Lanka to World glory.

Yet entering final Sunday, Kumar was experiencing something every batsman feels: hideous batting form.

Sri Lanka had progressed to the final of the tournament despite Sangakkara scoring 19 runs at an average of 4.75. He was horribly out of form and couldn't buy a run.

We all know that feeling!

For most players, the downward spiral tends to continue, our scores remain low, our confidence is eroded on a daily basis and our emotions shift between dejection and desperation.

But this cycle did not happen to Kumar Sangakkara.

Get a Grip: Forearm Training Leads to More Runs

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Stronger forearms give more power in your shots and the ability to go on and on.

But a few wrist curls at the end of the workout like a bodybuilder doesn't cut it. For batsmen who want to score runs, isometric grip training – rather than growing your forearms - holds more importance. This is because flexing and extending your wrist with added resistance will do precious little for increasing cricket-specific grip strength.

So, why do you need a stronger grip to bat?

It starts a virtuous circle.

Batting Drill: Death Hitting

Here's a fun drill that can teach players about hitting at the death of an innings. Perfect timing for the World T20, where batsmen will be in the death from almost the first ball.

How to Play the Short Ball

This is a guest article from Gary Palmer, batting coach.

Without a good ability to bat against the short ball, you will never make the step up to a higher grade of cricket. It's the stumbling block that finds out many talented players. It's the difference between making it and not making it.

But, it's also counter productive just to go and practice against fast, short balls. You have to build a foundation of technique first. It's not about being brave or "having bottle", it's about eliminating technical errors to build confidence.

How an International Cricketer Used a Simple Trick to Instantly Boost His Batting Average

I'm working this week with an incredible tutor group on the ECB Level IV Batting module at the National Cricket Performance Centre. Matthew Maynard, Tony Middleton (the Hampshire CCC Batting coach) and myself are heading up the course.

3 Things Graeme Smith Teaches You About Batting. None of Them are About Hitting Straight Balls Through Midwicket

Graeme Smith has retired. He was such a unique player, are there any lessons we can possibly take from the South African?

It would be foolish to simply try and copy him in technique or character. He was a bristling personality, often favouring the task over man management. He looked like he was about to get out LBW all the time. You can't copy that unless you are of similar temperament, judgement and body type to Smith.

Yet we can't deny it worked for him. Even under huge pressures he piled on the runs; over 16,000 in international cricket at well over forties. That's a lot of flicks to leg. It also means it's not down to luck, or natural talent. Something else is going on there.

So, lets unpick the skills that you can transfer to your game without having to have a barrel chest, an aggressive leadership style and a lantern jaw.

Are You Damaging Batsmen with "6 Balls Left"? You'll Enjoy This Solution

Have you ever said to a batter "you have 6 balls left!", then they change their mode and just slog?

The damage that this does is immeasurable.

Any progress from the session is diluted or reduced. The batting shapes and thought processes evaporate.

Arguments ensue about whether it was 4, 6 or caught at deep mid on

The batter starts the next opportunity to bat with this poor experience running through their veins.

It's one of my biggest bug bears, and for years I have been trying to figure out a way around this.

Are You Ready to Bat: How to Deal with Anxiety at the Crease

How many times have we walked back to the pavilion asking "what on earth happened there?"

I know I have on numerous occasions.

As you read last week, England and Somerset batsman Nick Compton popped in to run a Batting Masterclass at Millfield School.

Improve "Weight Transfer" with This Simple Drill

What are the commentators on TV really talking about when they discuss a batsman "transferring his weight into the ball"?

It's not coaching double-speak, it allows you to hit the ball harder in front foot shots. That's the miracle of Newtonian physics: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

But to get the reaction you need to have your weight forward. We used to say that you have to get your head over the ball. Nowadays that implies things we don't want to coach so we talk about getting weight into the ball.

7 Stages of Improving Batting Technique

Gary Palmer is a batting coach and former-first class cricketer. You can find out more about Gary's coaching guides here. In this article he talks about the process of developing batting technique. Essential reading for all coaches.

Technique is the key.

Correcting batting technique is still the best way to improve your batting. An excellent technique gives you the tools you need to score huge numbers of runs in the summer. The best coaches teach the basics to the highest levels as they are the foundations of long term development.

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