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.
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?
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.
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.
I saw a tweet this morning relating to the 4th ODI between England and NZ in the unbelievable ODI series.
Still not sure how a team goes from toilet to swashbuckling madmen in a few weeks. Hypnosis? Bionic implants? Quinoa? All of the above?
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.
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.
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.
How to Become a Cricketer, the total guide to achieving your cricket dreams from respected coach Monty Desai, is out now, exclusively on PitchVision Academy.
As you know, recently we announced the Rajasthan Royals Talent Scout and Academy Coach was revealing his methods in his first ever online coaching courses. Tody you can get your hands on three courses that teach you how to become a cricketer
Get them now. Click here to buy the online coaching courses.
"Of course, you know why you lost..."
If you have ever played cricket, you will have heard some variation of that statement after a defeat. Everyone has an opinion.
It's the situation England found themselves in the 2015 World Cup, where their first two games were one-sided defeats. I'm sure your team has been in the same position, and has asked the same questions about how to turn things around.
So, here are some common misconceptions about the reasons behind a loss. They apply at every level, it's just the shouting from the sidelines gets louder the further up in standard you raise. Avoid the trap of believing them within your own team and you will be able to get out of your slump rather than chasing your tail.
Ask 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?