Ask the Readers: Give your Batting Advice | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Ask the Readers: Give your Batting Advice

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The most successful article I ever wrote on PitchVision Academy is nothing to do with me: it was advice that you dear reader gave on bowling.

(It’s so good, the discussion is continuing even now, check it out).

I love how the site generates so much discussion so now I’m opening up the floor to those with a passion for batting.

Here is the question to stir your batting mind:


“I am hoping someone may be able to give me some help with a batting problem I have. I am a left hand batsman and am constantly struggling to keep the ball on the ground when cover driving or playing an attacking front foot shot. Would anyone have advice on how I could rectify this problem?”


It’s a genuine question we got emailed in to us a while back from another reader. He's in pain and Doctor PVA can heal him.

So what do you think PitchVision Academy batters?

Leave a comment and let’s make the batting discussion as vibrant as the one for the pace bowlers. 

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Hmmm. It's hard to tell without actually watching the chap bat. There are a number of possible mechanical reasons the ball might be leaving the bat with a higher than intended trajectory. Poor footwork, a lack of weight transfer onto the front foot, or proper front arm extension could all lead to the bat being beyond the vertical at point of impact. Allowing the bat to twist in the hand might allow the ball to slide off into the air, or a habit of simply misjudging the pace of the bowler/pitch and playing the shot a fraction too early could also be to blame. Misjudging the length also leads to balls being unintentionally hit in the air - perhaps the ball wasn't actually there to drive after all?

Anything I've missed?

Lack of front foot movement meaning that the head is not over the ball and weight transferring is the most likely reason to my mind.

I would want to know how well he feels when playing a forward defensive to the same ball - if he's doing that okay, then simply transfer the technique into the drive by following through the motion with the top hand leading, and stepping through the shot in the follow through as though he is going to take a pace or two after the ball he's just hit.

If he's having problems with the forward defensive as well, then it could easily be a basic (lack of) footwork problem. We have a batsman who loves to playthe cover drive, but he does it without moving his feet at all, so invariably the ball goes in the air even when he times it well.

Im 13 years old, and from a Dubai Based academy, and I used to have this problem.

It's mainly to do with the person thinking too much about footwork and the front foot/back foot.

So what the person starts to do is plant that front foot forward without actually transferring his weight on to it.

This causes the person's back foot knee to slightly bend with the unbalanced weight on it, causing him to lean backwards, on one foot, and loft the ball into the air.

The cure is not to think about foot work, but to actually think about leading into the shot with your head and shoulders, making sure you don't bend your back knee, and making sure you are bent well before playing the shot.

Without having seen the batsman in action, i would suggest that the left side of his body may be "collapsing" prior to and during impact, thus leading to balls being hit in the air when attempting to drive. Matthew Hayden seemed to do this in his final Test series against South Africa. This would also likely result in the batsman playing shots with an impact point well forward of being underneath his eyes.

Speaking from a coaching point of view: How would you describe "transfer your weight" to a player?

On the complete flip-side to people saying its a lack of footwork or head position, we have 2 lefties in our 1st XI and both love to drive.

Instead of leaning into the shot with a big stride, they instead stand taller and hit the ball with a more solid base due to a 3/4 stride into the ball.
Watching them this allows them slightly more time especialy if delivered right arm over, and look to hit the ball squarer.

Not ideal technique, and they would both admit to that. But still, very effective for them.

Not having seen our friend bat, I may be way off target, but since I've had similar problems myself, I'd say that he may not be getting his head right over his front foot when going for the expansive drives on the off side. Its what David posted in June, I think, about the myth of footwork - that we sometimes tend to lead with the foot while the head and shoulders stay back. Thus ballooning the drives.

That's my suggestion. Maybe it works for our friend.



Make sure that you are using top hand to drive the ball. when you are using bottom hand the bat will swing up and ball automatically goes up in the air.

my solution: Ask someone to drop the ball from certain height very near to you and hit the ball using only top hand when ball just reaches the pitch.

Second Thing: don't go for the ball, wait for the ball until it comes to you.


As many have said without seeing the guy bat it's very hard to pinpoint the exact issue. However, many are spot on as the most common cause is likely to be not getting head over the ball. Either hanging back so the upper body is upright or falling over to the off side. The player in question may also want to consider when exactly he is hitting the ball - probably a tad too early.

I have had to deal with a similar problem with one of my current players and we fond that in making the effort to get his front foot across to the ball, he was taking too big a stride and was therefore not allowing his weight to get on top of the ball. by reducing his length of stride it allowed his head and hands to get beyond this front knee and over and through the ball at the point of impact.

any video's to look at on this David?

We probably need more info to correct this one. Is against a certain type of bowler? is it on a certain type of pitch? etc.

MY SON IS 12 YRS OLD He is taking batting sessions during the weekend for the last 2 yrs and has started to play very well on the front foot and ok with back foot ,

the problem he is facing is since his batting is based on timing he is able to play the under 16 guys well both on front and back, but when the under 14 or guys with lesser speed comes he is not able to play any short at all he touches the and ball doesnt go any where and comes on the front foot and his hand doesnt move at all as the ball is of lesser speed.

when i ask him about this he says the ball is too slow i get bored of waiting for the ball

what should be done to improve this ?
is there any specific drill that can be used for this?

balancing of the foot on front and back while playing the shot

transferring your weight can be very easy to explain to your player.
the key is to lead with your head and shoulder.
ask him to stand normally.
then push him from the shoulder sideways but tell him not to move his feet until he feels he is going to fall over.
he will move his feet when he feels that he will fall.
and when you check, his head will always be over his front foot, that is, over the ball, which is what you want & which is the essence of weight transfer.


the first strong point in you is you only got a single problem , that is, driving uppishly towards covers !! it means that you can play well in the other areas except covers!!! thats really great Smiling however your problem can be fixed very easily . on assumption that u generally have a problem while cover driving against fast and spin.
body hindances
how is your fitness level?
how light are ur feet?
how quick your eyes are?


do lots of agility workouts aiming on foot speed and eye-body related concentration workouts

practice hindrances
are you practicing in concrete or bouncy surfaces with synthetic balls ?
if practicing on turf then are u practicing frequently on a damp wicket?


if pracitcing on concrete or or other bouncy surfaces then ask someone to underarm the ball after ur practice on the area where u will lean forward and drive

if practicing on a damp wicket then dont allow your bat to go out of your body on anything on or outside off stump till the wicket gets dried up

technique hindrances
do u check ur grip?
is your head and leading shoulder comes to the line and pitch of the ball?
do you assume " diamond shape " with ur elbows on moving to the stroke, execution and completion ?

check ur grip as to ur bat face is open at the time of downswing.. top hand needs to be cocked at the point of batlift & it needs to be uncocked on the downswing on the contact with ball

head and leading shoulder(ur case its right shoulder) to come down towards the line and pithc of the ball

assume " CRADLE OR DIAMOND " position with your arms while on the downswing, contact and follow through

long hours of drop ball and lob ball drills during practice emphasising on top hand

mental hindrances

are u talking to ur mind?


talk to ur mind so that ur mind controls all the action and not the body without the permission of the mind Smiling

lifestyle hindrances

are u sleeping late?
high protien food before the game?
less water?


sleep well before the game for a minimum of 8 hours
start taking high carbo food in the morning and during the game.. after the game u can take protein rich food
drink a minimum of 4 liters of water the day before and 5 liters during the game

all the best


hi David
which is better to teach a full blade check drive or driving with follow through?

It depends, if you want to teach a tight technique the check drive is the one that allows you to keep the best shape when learning the shot.

While you're learning, I would definitely recommend a check drive as it promotes correct technique - if something is going wrong it is easier to spot with the way the bat finishes. Then once you have your muscle memory nailed down, you can be more expansive in your follow through.

thank you both David and Ab for clearing my doubt

I agree with AB, although you may never need the more expansive drive. Big bats allow you to check drive for 6 with decent timing.

Dear David / Ab

my son is now close to 13yrs , he is getting run out a lot, in last 12 matches he has played he has been run out 10 times and 1 stumped.
what could be the reason behind it, kindly give some advice to work on, as he is very good on net practice

Is it always in similar circumstances? More information would help.
Is he a slow runner or a quiet caller? Is he simply too aggressive or too hesitant with his running? Does he remember to back up correctly? Does he run his bat in?

Something that has cut out being run out a lot for me is diving into the crease.

thanks for the response AB

he is a slow runner and quiet caller too, if he sees the other player running he starts to run he doesnt think whether there is run possible or not. where as the other guys simply start and then stops mean time anand is not swift enough to back to his crease.
i will say although slow he is too aggressive
he does ground the bat

@anand - I would say that he needs to work on his calling more than anything, along with his judgement of a run and assertiveness (to send his partner back if there's no run there).

Net practices are only useful for running if you actually make it realistic - I would advocate full field practices instead (for the whole team) to improve judgement and calling.

thanks for the response DAVID
by net practice i meant his batting skills, there is no such emphasis is given for running between wickets
what is full field practice?

Full field or middle practice is simply practising on a pitch without nets (so using fielders). More on ideas on middle practice here: How to use middle practice to improve your cricket

What are your thoughts about coaches leaving a player's technique alone and only interfering if their technique is bad, similar to how bowlers are coached

If its getting him out or preventing him scoring runs, then intervene. If its not, then don't.