"Bowling sides should have a set of pre-determined plans about how to initiate and maintain an incipient batting collapse: Which bowlers will be used in what order, what will be their role, what field settings are most helpful, optimum rate of overs, and the psychology of inducing 'mental disintegration' among the incoming batters.
First class players are coached early on to be aware of the field and place their shots into gaps to increase their run scoring chances. At lower levels, this is emphasized less, but you can use the tactic to score more runs.
Assess the field and use the gaps
Checking the field can reveal both a bowlers weakness and your own favourite shots. However, with some thinking you can manipulate this. For example, my own tendency is to drive fairly square of the wicket through backward point or square cover. As a result I often see a gap at extra cover or straight mid off as the captain adjusts his field to my batting. I know then that I can try to drive straighter through those gaps when the chance comes.
Poor old Matt Prior. The first English wicketkeeper who dares to use a bit of lip to put off the batsman gets told by an Aussie to shut up.
Ignoring that irony, one thing that is for sure is that the noise of keepers at all levels has dramatically risen under the the banner of chirping. The theory is twofold. First you put off the batsman by making him lose his concentration or feel under pressure. Second you keep the fielding side on their toes through constant encouragement.
This guest post is by Darren Talbot.
I had a very interesting conversation this week with Chris Hanson who runs a thriving junior section for East Molesey Cricket Club down by the River Thames in Surrey next door to Hampton Court Palace. A former club of mine, we got chatting about the success of their colts set up.
There is a critical balance of authority between captains and their bowlers. Good skippers know how to manage this and get the best from their wicket takers.
Generally the captain has authority over the bowler when it comes to tactical decisions on the field. Often this can get a lot more complex. Senior bowlers like to set their own fields or take the new ball, especially with junior captains. Captains are trying to look at the bigger picture and may often disagree with tactics the bowler wants.
I am inviting readers to submit their experience, tips and advice on how to improve your cricket. Today it's the turn of Guy, who had an â€œahaâ€ moment recently. Comments are open for your feedback.
I stumbled upon something the other day that really helped my batting.
For a lot of my playing time I have always started to play a shot as soon as the bowler has released the ball. It was only recently that i realised how little I actually watched the ball. I used to use the bowlers release of the ball as a trigger to start playing my shot and this lead to me placing my foot in the same place, every ball, and only being able to play limited shots.
Research into top batsmen has show they can predict a delivery from tiny clues in a bowler's run up and action. They can read his mind.
I'm pretty sure this ability has been around forever, but in these days of limited overs and Twenty20 cricket, the ability to do so quickly is even more relevant, even for club players.
Any club cricket team that talks well with each other has an instant advantage over the opposition. Does your team know how to do it?
The advantage comes from the transient way that club teams work. Players go in and out of sides and line ups change regularly from week to week. This makes it hard to gel everyone together naturally.