Tactics | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

How to take wickets by staying in the game

There are basically two ways to bowl a cricket ball.

The first is trying for the 'magic' ball. Perhaps it's the yorker that swings in fast and late, or the off spinner that drifts away before turning and bouncing. They are unplayable and make the batsman look helpless against your superior skills.

Bowl with personality as well as the ball

Can personality get you wickets?

The former Middlesex bowler Simon Hughes certainly thinks so. He uniquely explains the rise of Graeme Swann from bad boy to first choice England spinner. Swann doesn't get his wickets through vicious turn and bounce. He doesn't get them through a mysterious doosra or carom ball.

How win low scoring cricket matches

Low scoring games are an intense mental challenge for players. It's the side who can hold their nerve that come out victors.

How do you contribute to that?

It's about a combination of attitude, tactics and effort.

How to communicate cricket tactics without a time out

I can't see the IPL time out catching on in club cricket. Yet strategy is a key part of the game at any level.

Putting on the squeeze: How to take wickets in limited overs games

Is it pointless taking wickets in limited over games?

Victory simply requires you to score more runs than the opposition in the allotted time (usually 50 or 20 overs). Whether you are in the field first or second you job is to keep the score as low as possible. That means defensive tactics.

Should you be resigned to not taking any wickets as captain or bowler then?

6 Ways spinners can get more wickets

Shane Warne once said that part of his job was to prove that spinners were attacking bowlers in all forms of the game. Even though he has retired, his legacy has been to give captain's more confidence in their spinners.

For Shane was right. Spinners exist to get wickets. What makes it interesting is that there are many different styles of spinner. Whether you captain spin or give the ball a tweak yourself, understanding your own style is crucial to success.

2 Ways to beat a better team

Have you ever been on the losing side, thrashed by a wide margin?

You don't have to have played cricket for long to experience that moment: The slow realisation that your opponents are clearly better than you and there is nothing you can do to prevent inevitable defeat.

The art of working the umpire

Do you remember the Marcus Trescothick sweet controversy?

The former England player revealed he helped the ball swing by eating sweets. The sugar on his saliva as he shined the ball seemed to make a difference. Sales of Murray Mints around English cricket grounds shot up overnight.

How to set a target batting first

Positive move as it is, batting first leads to some tricky problems for batsmen and captains alike.

Whether you play declaration cricket or limited overs (or even a hybrid of the two like the league I play in) there are two main problems:

Why bother with a short leg?

In my experience, the leg side short positions are underused in club cricket.

Even at Test level a short leg is often left out, or when they are in place they are the first close catcher to be removed. Lower down the system, my team tends to play on soft, green and with a low bounce. You can see why many captains decide it's not worth putting a player 'under the lid'.