Scoring runs is at the very heart of winning cricket matches. How do the professionals do it?
PitchVision Academy and 3 times World Cup coach Ian Pont shares with you the secrets of how to score more runs aggressively while keeping the percentages in your favour.
You can put these tips into action right away:
1. Pick your bat up high with your hands
By doing this you create a large arm pull, which maximises the power in the ball. It also helps turn your front shoulder into the ball for your offside shots.
2. Make sure you move your shoulder and feet as one unit
Just “planting” your front foot when playing forward will not help you. Nor will “getting your foot to the pitch of the ball" which causes you to over stride. Leaning in with your front shoulder and then your foot can offer support, is the best way of doing it. It's only by having a balanced stride (shoulder and foot lined up) that you have a stable base to hit from on the front foot.
3. Work out a trigger movement to suit you
There is no single way to bat, only your way. If you go back and across, don't forget to move into the ball when it's pitched up (90% of balls will be). Moving back makes the bowler seem slower so if you are struggling with timing you might prefer to front foot press to get into the front foot sooner. As long as you have your head still at the point of delivery, triggers are merely to get the feeling you are not standing still. You may choose not to move at all and just step and hit the ball as you see it.
4. Your front shoulder is your steering wheel
The front shoulder dictates where you are trying to hit the ball. Into the leg side you will open it, and into the off side you will close it. You don't want the back shoulder to take over when trying to control the front foot shots.
5. Move your feet to give you best chance of hitting the ball
If you wave at the ball flat footed you will get found out. Your feet take you into the line of the ball so your eyes (cameras) can also be lined up to the target (ball).
6. Treat every ball as an event
You can only play the ball about to be bowled not the one that follows it, or the ball before. Makes sure you play it on merit and try to score as many runs off it as you can. Don't let circumstances around you affect the judgement of the ball.
7. If you are in trouble, stand by the umpire
The best place to play a difficult bowler from is at the non-striker's end. If you get into trouble batting try to get up by the umpire by rotating the strike. That gives you a breather and a chance to share the batting pressure with your partner.
8. Understand where your strengths are
Look to play in areas where you are strongest, not weakest. It sounds obvious yet players often try to hit into the part of the ground where they have less likelihood of success. Hit away from fielders. Target open areas. Perfect shots that allow you to have higher strike rates.
9. When you have nets, practice something
Most batsmen go into general nets and never work at something specific. You have to be trying to achieve something when you bat - even simple outcomes, if not technical. Make a plan, stick to it, and discover you can gain confidence when you have a successful session.
10. Bowling machine or throw downs
Most people can look a million dollars on a bowling machine set for half-volleys at 65 mph. Make a bowling machine more challenging by having an awkward session where the length is far harder to hit. Bowling machines are great for grooving but don't get hung up on them. High quality throw downs at pace are far closer to real bowling. Progressing from a machine to throw downs will make you a better batsman.
11. Attend an attacking batting workshop
Currently you can get personal coaching tips live at the Mavericks Cricket Attacking Batting Workshop. Hosted at three UK venues - Epsom, Swindon and Chelmsford - the workshops are 3 hours and feature the very latest techniques, tips, hints and advice to improve the standard of those attending.
Discover power play hitting, manipulating bowlers, T20 style hitting and how to power the ball to the fence.
Learn what the world's best players do including reverse sweeping, switch hits, moving around in the crease, hitting in-to-out, and out to in, and hitting aerially.
Click here to book your place