How to Use Momentum to Win Cricket Matches | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

How to Use Momentum to Win Cricket Matches

They say that winning is a habit. Unfortunately so is losing. But you can use momentum to carry your team into winning ways; one innings at a time.

So, momentum is a very real thing that we focus on during our games.

Imagine it, you win the toss and choose to bat.

After 30 overs you are restricted to 60-3 and your side are deflated by the prospect of setting just 130 to win.

With a few wickets in hand the batsmen stage a comeback and score a quick 150 off the next 20 overs.

Suddenly you have set a formidable 210 after a slow start which looked ominous.

The momentum is swinging your way.

Your slow start has turned into your team being upbeat and eagerly awaiting the start of your innings knowing the momentum is with you.

You can see it’s not just a cliché. Momentum is a very real part of the psychological part of the game.

When batting first, scoring quickly at the later stages of the innings mentally piles more runs in the minds of the fielding side.

A paced par score of 200 is more imposing  if for the final 10 overs the fielders were under pressure, chasing the ball to all parts of the ground and the return of the strike bowlers were useless.

Batting momentum is won by recovering from a poor previous stage. Whether it’s a bad start or a good start gone badly, finishing the innings on a high is crucial in gaining momentum.

Now it’s your turn to bowl.

With your team lifted after winning the final stage you find your bowlers running in quicker, your fielders seem bigger and more agile and your opponents are up against it.

If the batting side don’t win back that momentum within the first stages of their innings, their task of winning the game becomes even harder in their minds.

Bowling momentum is the same as batting; recovering from a poor session.

But unlike batting - where runs are the main factor in momentum - bowling momentum is gained by taking quick wickets or by starving the batsman of runs.

Making the rate climb creates that magic term of scoreboard pressure, even if you got a below par score when you were batting.

The more of these small moments of momentum you win with bat or ball, the more likely your success. 

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It's true that you're in a better position psychologically having gone from 30-3 to 200 all out than from 150-3 to 200 all out, but does that mean that you would rather be 30-3 than 150-3? Of course not. No-one plans to collapse, and teams that plan on relying on a poor start being turned around will soon become unstuck.

So I think this is all true, but it doesn't really offer much practical tactical advice other than "stick with it, because if you do manage to fight back into the game then momentum will be on your side".