This week's Ask the Coaches is a question from Madhavan:
Of late I have been getting out in the twenties and thirties after playing fluently. I having been giving away my wicket and failing to convert those good starts in to big scores. What do I need to do to convert those good starts in to big scores and get that three figure mark?
Thanks for the question. If you have one of your own you can ask away.
My first thought is have you scored a hundred before?
If you have got to three figures, it makes getting back there easier. It's far harder to scale a new height than it is to get back to where you have been before. Think back to that time when you made a good score.
This is a technique called visualisation. Remember how you felt moving through the score you feel you are getting stuck on now. Play that way when you are out in the middle. Old hands sometimes call this 'backing your technique'. Remembering you have been there before keeps you focused on getting there again.
If you have not scored a hundred it is harder, but you can still do it.
Bob Woolmer used to put problems like this down to 'Danger Points': Parts of the innings where you are more likely to get out through lapses in concentration.
For example, if you have scored a breezy thirty you may feel you have your eye in well enough to cut the ball you have been leaving until now. The leave has kept you safe, the cut could be a weak shot and suddenly you have edged to the keeper.
You may also decide to get going in your normal way then go into your shell until you are through to a better score. This is negative thinking which can often lead to a physical change. Your shoulders tighten up, you grip the bat more firmly and you grimace in defiance. This also changes your technique and errors creep in as your timing goes.
Either way, it's a change in your thinking that brought about the wicket.
As you may have heard many times, the answer is to play each ball the same: on its merits.
Whether you are on 5 or 105, play the game depending on the match situation and your own skills, not on how much form you are in.
Simply get to twenty and start again as if on nought. Do that five times and you will have your hundred!