5 ways to outwit the batsman | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

5 ways to outwit the batsman

Matthew Hoggard is famous for saying bowling is about running in and wanging it down.

That's nothing but bluff from the Hogster as he knows good bowling at any level requires a constant battle of wits with the batsman.

In close situations it is often the player who reads the game best and thinks the most quickly who wins out.

Here is how you can do the same when wanging that ball.

  1. Understand the game situation. Do you know who is winning at any given moment? The answer will tell you if you are containing or wicket taking at any given moment. Be clear with the captain what your job is in the situation so you can set fields that best suit what you are trying to do.
  2. Talk to your teams batsmen. If you don't bat much yourself talk to the players on your team that do. They will know what a player is thinking because they will have been there themselves. You may just find out something that will give you the edge.
  3. Do more than graze at fine leg. Watch how each batsman is playing at the other end. They will give clues as the their approach, strong and weak shots. You can then adjust your own tactics to each batsman.
  4. Control your length. Get to know what kind of line and length is attacking and defensive. For example, early in a game you might find that short of a length bowling with some movement off the seam is best whereas at the death yorkers will get you the best results.
  5. Keep thinking. Never be satisfied with what is happening unless you and the captain feel you are in complete control. Try changing ends and adjusting your pace or position on the crease. Each small change gives the batsman a whole new thing to think about may break his concentration.

Want even more detailed tips and videos on how to improve your bowling? Get advice from the best with Andrew Caddick's online coaching course: Consistency and Rhythm: Fast Bowling Technique, instant access is available now!


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[...] Ferris tricks his parents into thinking he is ill so he can take a day off school. Then he records a message on his house intercom to make people think he can’t get to the door. That kind of bluffing skill is going to get his team wickets as he sets odd fields and sledges with just the right level of deception. [...]