Playing the Forward Defence to Improve Batting Strike Rate

We are all well drilled in playing the forward defence, playing it to prevent the bowler from taking a wicket. In fact, it's a lot more useful than that.

Playing defensively spans everything from "none shall pass" drop to the feet, through to a defensive push that is designed to score runs. It's a shot with nuance that requires skill and practice to get right. ANd if you do it will increase your strike rate!

So, it's time to give the forward defence the time and respect it deserves and learn to play with both soft and hard hards to make more of those balls you can't smash.

Should You Reverse Sweep?

The reverse sweep; it's fun to play and is a well-established shot. Yet many still think it a high-risk funky shot that should be banished from the game. So should you play the reverse sweep?

Simple Target Setting for Cricket Teams

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We know the importance of targets in winning games of cricket these days. Breaking things down to make them feel easier is a proven step to success. So, what are some good targets to set for teams?

I'd like to get your feedback on what you feel has worked for you in the past, so please leave a comment below. Here are some of may favourite targets and some of the pitfalls of relying too much on them.

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.

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