A Simple Tip for Improving Leg Side Takes for Wicketkeepers

After the recent article from Mark Garaway on standing up drills, I felt inspired to do some work with my wicketkeepers on standing up to seamers.

We duly set up a drill with a bowling machine to work on leg side takes.

The machine was previously set up for right arm over, pitching on off stump, so rather than adjust the machine we:

  • Set the swing to 3 to send the ball down the leg side
  • Set the speed on 55mph
  • Moved the stumps forward in the net to allow space for the keeper

In a group of three; one person fed the ball into the machine as normal, one keeper acted as batsman and the third keeper was performing the drill standing up behind the stumps.

This should have been a great practice.

The problem was that even the best keeper was missing most balls down the leg side.

The basic drill was just too difficult and so it was hard to make improvements. The ball was swining even after it had pitched (a common trait of a bowling machine delivery) and was swinging away from the gloves.

The solution

This was de-motivating the players, but I wanted a reliable way to practice leg side takes using the machine so I spoke to Garas when I next saw him.

The solution was simple; drop the length back to shorter than you would normally get in a game. This makes it much easier to see the ball pitch and gives the keeper a better chance.

As he gets better, the length can be pushed up again to a more normal length for the bowler.

The success rate should be around 80-85% before increasing the difficulty. It’s also possible to drop the speed back for the same reason (although on artificial surface nets you may have to watch the excessive bounce, we find 50mph is about as low as you can go before the “tennis ball” effect kicks in).

The new drill seems to be much more effective with good reports coming from the games played this week about the leg side work of the keepers who did the drills.

Give it a try and let me know what you think. 

Want More Cricket Coaching Tips? Get the FREE newsletter!

If you liked this article and you want more advice, then you can get even more tips delivered to your email inbox every week from PitchVision Academy! The email newsletter is packed with advice from world-class names like Nathan Bracken, Kevin Pietersen, Mark Garaway and many, many more. Plus it's totally free, forever!

Click Here to Get the Free Cricket Coaching Newsletter


hardly a simple tip, as most club cricketers do not have access to bowling machines.

Throwdowns with a sidearm are also effective. It's the deliberate practice part which is important, not the machine.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Insert Flickr images: [flickr-photo:id=230452326,size=s] or [flickr-photoset:id=72157594262419167,size=m].
  • Textual smileys will be replaced with graphical ones.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

© miSport Holdings Ltd 2009     Tel: +44 (0)203 239 7543     enquiries@pitchvision.com