Variation of drill is one of the big challenges for a coach working with keepers. As we discussed last week, we should always remember that we need to keep the practice relevant to the match as possible.
It’s a mantra as old as overarm bowling: Put the ball on a good length for long enough and you will get your rewards. But in a world of slower balls, bouncers and inswinging yorkers, it’s an ideal we have forgotten.
Take Stuart Broad as an example. The England bowler spent a long time trying to work out what kind of role he had. Was he the enforcer; there to bowl bouncers and scare batsmen? Was he a line and length man; using swing and seam movement? How did this role change between formats, if at all?
We duly set up a drill with a bowling machine to work on leg side takes.
The machine was previously set up for right arm over, pitching on off stump, so rather than adjust the machine we:
The great thing about standing up sessions is that they should never be dull: you can create lots of distraction, different spins and bounce types with the overall aim to be to overload the keeper so that the practice is tougher than the actual match.
We still need to keep the drills relative and functional to match play, yet feel free to let that imagination run wild.
Imagine opening the batting for Kings XI Punjab in Mohali. The opposition is Deccan Chargers and standing at the end of his run is no less that Dale Steyn; one of the world’s most destructive pacemen.
It’s fair to say your heart would be racing. That’s a situation experienced by 20 year old Punjab opener Mandeep Singh. Yet despite the pressure, the pace and fear he is flourishing. Many critics have him on the fast-track to becoming India’s next big thing.
The more you practice, the better you get. That idea is well established: but many bowlers with ambitions of bowling fast fail even when they do practice hard.
The problem is you are doing the wrong kind of practice. You turn up to nets and bowl. The coach offers useful advice while the batsmen go about their business at the other end. You finish with a vague sensation of having done well or badly, but you don’t know exactly why.
Scoring a hundred in Twenty20 is a rare skill. So how did Ajinkya Rahane - the latest ton-up hero of the IPL - practice to make sure he could nail three figures in 60 balls in Bangalore?
The truth is that there is no magic to practice for any format.
Yorkers will single-handedly win games of cricket in this year’s edition of the IPL. And they will do the same if you coach it well because the yorker is an exciting ball that can be practiced and developed through coaching routines and practices.
Malinga has made himself into one of the most valuable T20 players in the world in the IPL over the last 2 editions. It’s no shock to learn that he attempts over twice as many yorkers than any other bowler in the IPL.
Malinga is a diligent trainer and is often seen aiming his yorkers at targets before matches with unerring accuracy. Here’s how your bowling unit can copy his success.
There are more balls hit into the air now that at any other time in cricket history. Matches and tournaments can be won and lost on the ability of a team or individual player to cling onto a Skyer. So it is vital for us to develop the skills of our players to cope with this aerial onslaught.
This is a guest article from Head Coach of Twenty20 Cricket Company; Darren Talbot
1. Make sure that there is a suitably qualified coach with each group
Without a fully qualified coach it is unfair to expect a lesser or even unqualified coach to deliver a meaningful session, it just won’t happen.
Even experienced cricketers are unable to deliver a proper session for your juniors as there is a massive difference between coaching and being a qualified coach.