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.

The Norway Guide to Playing in Different Conditions

Away games are a perennial problem.

You can be a high level International side like India, or a plucky Under 10 beginner side. The issue of a change in conditions leading to a drop in performance is common across the board.

Take the example of the Norway national cricket team. This summer the side are traveling to the UK to play in an ICC Europe tournament. But the team are newcomers to the international game and are used to playing on the very batting friendly artificial pitches of home.

How are they going to adapt to the grass wickets and swinging or turning ball they will discover in Essex?

Streetwise Bowling: The Moon Shot

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

Off spinners have to be clever. Moving the ball in to the right hander reduces your ability to take wickets over an equally skilled slow left arm bowler.

That means you need to be even more canny than the average spinner, and it's why you see such a variety in styles of off spin.

The big ripping offie bowls an "attacking" line outside off stump and through the gate. This is a great tactic, but what do you do to mix it up, or defeat a batsman who has your number?

So, picture the scene: an attacking off spinner who is having no luck against a batting pair. The batsmen are using their feet well to get to the pitch and drive safely.

What happens next?

What's the Perfect Number of Spinners for Twenty20?

Can you use more spinners in your Twenty20 games?

The statistics are on your side. Recently Nasser Hussain observed, that 9 of the top 10 bowlers in international T20 are spinners. He then asked that if spinners are the best bowlers in this format of the game, then why don't we always pick at least two of them as a matter of course, or maybe even three?

Before I decide that for my teams, there are a couple of questions I want to ask.

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