Tactics | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Work on Batting Plans Before Batting Technique

When you bat with a plan, you never have to worry about technique again.

You might think that's a bold claim, but bear with me. I can prove it. You see, I have been having off season planning meetings with the players at my club recently, and one thing I have found myself saying a lot is "If you know your game, you will be successful".

How "Team Targets" Improve Your Cricket (and Your Team Mates Too)

Filed in:

We all know how important setting targets is to cricket success, but most of us focus on individual aims and forget that teams can set targets too.

Setting 'team targets' is just as powerful in motivating players to do well because - like individual goal setting - a realistic and achievable target focuses the mind.

How to Captain: Placing the Fielders

This is part three of a series on how to captain in the field. To go to part one click here. To go back to the introduction click here.

Along with bowling changes, field placing is the other obvious part of captaincy in the field.

The simple way to look at it is to put the fielders where you think the ball is most likely to go (not always just where it has gone).

How do you do that without resorting to the stock fields that everyone uses?

Before we get into that, a word about orthodox fields: They are orthodox because they have been proven to work over the test of time. Slips remain in place because batsmen through the ages continue to edge the ball wide of the wicketkeeper. Mid on and mid off exist because even the most extreme Twenty20 specialists play shots with a straight bat sometimes.

That said it's important not to mindlessly follow what you consider the norm. Just because every captain in your club starts the game with a couple of slips, a gulley and a saving one field it does not mean you should.

For the basic theory of field placing take a look at my article here.

Once you have that in your mind, let's go back to the basic aim of field placing: Putting your players where you think the ball will go.

Six Shortcuts for Becoming an Excellent Batsman in Record Time

You’re impatient. You want success and you want it fast.

But batting is frustrating: You lack opportunities to practice and play in ways that help you improve. Even when you do get your chance you get a great ball first up and have to wait a week for another bat.

So here are six ways you can make to most of the chances you have and get ahead of the crowd to become a top-quality batsman in as short a time as possible.

1. Keep it Simple

Batting styles differ wildly, but one thing remains simple and true: Classy bastmen are world-class in the basics.

  • They have a setup that keeps their head still, eyes level and move to the ball in good alignment.
  • They are ready and focused on the ball as it is released.
  • They have confidence in their game-plan.

So the first thing you need to look at is your setup, backswing and initial movement. Most people think they have it licked.

Most people are wrong.

Spend time in the nets and be totally sure about it. Get someone to watch it or video yourself.

Where is you backlift going?

Are your eyes level?

Is your trigger move keeping you aligned?

To help, here is a worksheet to download and take to nets. Use deliberate practice and that sheet to start making a super quick difference.

Tactics You Should Be Using: Bowl at the Stumps

Does it seem a bit old fashioned to say "pitch it up, hit the stumps"?

In these days of slower ball bouncers, enforcers and bowling dry outside off stump you might think so. Actually, it's still an effective way to bowl in most situations.

Swing bowler on a slow English pitch in May? Yes.

Spinner on a Bunsen burner? Absolutely.

Fast bowler on a flat deck? Without doubt.

How to Bat During a Horrifying Innings Collapse

I know you don't like to think about it - nobody does - but there will be times where your innings has collapsed and you are at the crease. If you have the right approach, you can see this as your moment to shine.

Picture the scene in your mind: The let's say the score is 140-7 in 40 overs.

There are 10 to go and you are batting first. You know a winning score on this ground is close to 230. Numbers nine, 10 and 11 are all tail-enders who can hang about but are not going to score a match winning innings.

You have two options.

How to Use Hypnosis to Become Swashbuckling Madmen in Limited Overs Cricket

I saw a tweet this morning relating to the 4th ODI between England and NZ in the unbelievable ODI series.

Change Your Format: Change Your Learning and Experiences

In a recent game, Millfield School scored 258-4 against Eton School's 107-7. Sounds like a one-sided game of limited overs cricket doesn't it? But this was far from the truth. This was declaration cricket. This was drama right up to the last ball.

Both coaches met before the game to discuss the format for the day. The pitch was a used one from a game earlier in the week. It was a good pitch, very dry and with patches of rough developing at both ends. We decided that there was potential for a declaration format to be played where bowlers, particularly the spinners, could have extended spells with no restrictions on field placement.

I was hoping that we won the toss as our spinners may have the opportunity to bowl with men around the bat; something that the limited overs a game rarely provides.

The game was on.

Let's examine why it was so good.

Avoid the "Moeen Ali Pickle" and Learn How to Play Spin

The ball spinning into the stumps at pace has always picked up wickets at a faster rate than the ball spinning away from the bat at pace. Wickets fall quickly unless batting methods are developed and honed.

In the England-West Indies Barbados Test, the bowlers foot holes developed quickly and the contest between spin and bat ultimately proved to be the defining factor in the contest.

Moeen Ali was batting against Permaul, the West Indies Left arm spinner, in England's 2nd innings. And as I watched I remembered something my first coach at school had told me.

Improve Your Running Between the Wickets with Graham Gooch

When you bat, running between the wickets is one of the hardest cricket skills to develop. In this exclusive video for PitchVision Academy, Graham Gooch talks about the importance of working on awareness of when to run, and how to practice it in net situations.