One of the biggest signs of a team in trouble is when the batsmen are not talking to each other between overs. If I see a pair do that I know they are out of ideas.
Talking to each other while batting and waiting to bat is vital. It allows you to discuss tactics and motivate each other. There is always something to say, even if it's just to take your mind off the pressure for a few moments.
I like to confer on the following elements:
- Fielders. All sides have good and bad fielders. Talk with each other about the guys you can target and put under pressure with quick singles: People who wander too deep or are slow to react for example. Also note the left handers.
- Opposition tactics. Ask each other why the captain has moved the field or brought on a certain bowler. Is it bluff or genius? Come up with ways to counteract his plans.
- Targets. Work out how fast you need to score in the next 5 or 10 overs and think how you will score those runs. For example, if your partner is scoring freely and you are struggling you can work a single and let them get on with it.
- Bowlers. Discuss the weaknesses of each bowler and identify how you can make the most of it. Also work out ways of scoring against bowlers who are doing a good job.
- Scoring areas. Discuss the areas you can work the ball into to rotate the strike. For example, I find that many captains are very defensive and set a ring field quite early so you may need to go over the top or aim to hit the gaps for 2 or 3 runs.
You can easily do this while you are waiting to bat too. It all concentrates your mind on the game and gives you the focus you need.© Copyright miSport Holdings Ltd 2008