How to Prepare for a Cricket Trial

Trials are unique: The feeling of nervousness on arrival, the pressure of your first delivery and - hopefully -the feeling of excitement as they crunch a pull shot from the “big lad”.

Here are a few tips. They may not revolutionise your stats at the end of the season, but will install a game plan, or a little structure to your trial. Possibly taking you from a player who just missed out, to the one that snuck in the back door.

Do You Make This "Time Machine" Mistake in Your Cricket?

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I'm often accused of living in the past - maybe it's my 80's haircut - and I notice players doing the same thing at cricket matches. Even though it's not as far back as the 80's.

How does this mistake appear?

Everyone Stop Messing About and Bowl Some Yorkers

Steffan Jones bowled a yorker or two in his time and he wants to stem the flood away from bowling them. Here is how to take out those toes.

Why is the yorker going out of the game?

Maybe you have been told that by trying to bowl the yorker you are likely to either bowl a full toss or a half volley.These days those balls will disappear into the stands either over long-on or ramped over the keeper. The batters have got stronger and the bats have got bigger so the margin of error has decreased. Bowling a yorker is a risky business.

But you know what?

A true yorker still remains a ball you can't hit for six.

Learn as Fast as Moeen Ali with These Spin Tips

Alistair Cook called England all-rounder Moeen Ali the fastest learner that he has ever played with. England's spinning sensation has gone from barely-used in his debut to take 19 wickets in the series against India.

So what exactly is it that Moeen has learnt?

How to Bat Against a Ring Field

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Picture the scene: You walk in to bat. A medium pace bowler stands at his mark while you take guard. You look around and see the classic ring field.

It's a wall on both sides.

How are you supposed to rotate the strike?

How can you hit boundaries when there are fielders bearing down on all sides?

The Tabletop Cricket Approach to Field Settings

Was this brilliance or madness?

As the first Test against Sri Lanka meandered to a draw, England needed wickets. So, Alastair Cook took a leaf from the old tabletop cricket game, and set a ring of fielders in front of the batsman.

The field looked like this:

Score Big Without Boundaries

Ticking over the scoreboard is a coaching mantra for a reason.

The thing that kills limited over innings in the school and club club cricket game are unnecessary dot ball strings. Batters often get carried away with the notion of smashing the ball over the ropes, forgetting the importance of scoring between those big shots.

So, ability to mix boundaries with singles and doubles is crucial, let's look at some skills.

Fight Back Against Spin Bowling with a Disruption Plan

This is an article from PitchVision Coach, and minor counties cricketer Chris Watling.

When the spinner comes on, are you filled with dread?

Many batsmen have this secret fear, you are certainly not alone. You can no longer use the pace of the ball to work it around and hit your boundaries. You are forced to defend and wait. Against a good spinner you get tied down.

And we all know what happens when you lose patience: head up, ball in the air, back to the pavilion.

There is a better way.

Streetwise Bowling: Around the Legs

This article is part of the "Streetwise Bowling" series from PitchVision Academy. To view the full list of tactics click here. This tactic has been provided by Spin Coach, Menno Gazendam.

Bowling leg breaks to a batsman with a weak spot on his legs?

Don't just go the obvious route and pitch every ball outside of leg stump.

The batsman will know what is going on and just pad you safely away. Instead, work him over by getting him to come forward, then surprising him with a big turner outside leg.

Streetwise Bowling: Show a Bit of Leg

This article is part of the “Streetwise Bowling” series from PitchVision Academy. To view the full list of tactics click here.

Bowling at leg stump has a bad rap. It's seen as defensive and, by many, as almost against the spirit of cricket. So much so that in many formats, the leg side wide has all but killed the tactic.

But in the right situation, this plan is an excellent variation to the usual line for a left arm bowler. The batsman is not used to the lines. More importantly, there are few gaps in the field meaning the batsman is going to have to do something unusual to get you away.

As such, it can be used in both attacking and defensive roles.

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