Tactics | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Why the first ball of the over is more important than the rest

Teams that score the most runs from the first ball of the over are more successful than teams that don't.

That's a statistic that English, Indian and South African fans may have missed, but not by the international coaches in the new world of every statistical nuance being uncovered by laptop analysts.

6 Ways to become a better number three batsman

The number three position is the most difficult at any level. That's why the position is filled with the best player in the side: Richards, Bradman, Dravid.

What can we learn from these great names that can be taken into our own game?

Building the wall: The 1 sure-fire way to prevent a batting collapse

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Geoff Boycott has a simple formula: If you think your innings is doing well, just add two wickets and see how it looks. 80-1 sounds good. 80-3 is shaky. It's a nice idea but that safety-first approach can only lead to a batting collapse.

Plans vs. hunches: What works best?

As the old saying goes, "Fail to plan and you plan to fail". What happens when plans don't pan out the way you want, and where does that leave the instinctive captain who works on hunches?

Take South Africa as an example. The one day side were criticised during the 2009 Champions Trophy for being too rigid in their plans. Critics pointed out that when Plan A failed, Plan B was... to keep trying plan A.

Classic bowling dismissals: Fast bowling

This article is part of the 'Classic bowling dismissals' series. To go to the start, click here.

You don't have to be above 90mph (145kph) to be fast. You just need to be quick enough to hurry the batsman.

Chasing a big score: Learning from the Ashes

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In the wake of the 2009 Ashes series, I thought I would have a look at the way the Australians played during the big run chase in their second innings of the final Test when the series was on the line.

To Throw or Not to Throw? That Is the Question

Making a quick decision to throw can be the difference between a run out and a stolen single.

But it's never quite that simple is it?

Even if you are a dead-eye when throwing at the stumps, it's possible to give away overthrows and face the wrath of your "double teapot" captain and bowler.

Classic bowling dismissals: In swing

This article is part of the 'Classic bowling dismissals' series. To go to the start, click here.

Often thought of as the easier type of swing bowling, the inswinger can be a devastating weapon when used effectively.

When bowling to a right-handed batsmen, here are the classic ways to get a wicket:

Do you trust your hunches?

You have never seen him before, but there is something not quite right about the batsman as he takes his guard.

You can't put your finger on quite what it is, but it's clear something doesn't add up.

He plays a couple of balls out and still something nags at you about him. You glance at the 'keeper and he nods his head towards the new man at the crease. Whatever it is, he has seen it too.

How to bowl to tail-enders

Lower order batsmen can be more than an annoyance. They can cost you matches if you can't bowl them out.

It should be easy. These are the guys with the worst batting skill and the lowest average. Yet strangely some very good bowlers to top end players just don't have the knack of firing out the tail. They repeatedly beat the bat and look like doing it any moment, but somehow the wickets don't materialise as quickly as they should.