There are many practice drills to improve your running between the wickets. The best drills are hard work, great practice and good fun.
Here are some to try. I welcome your feedback for any other cricket drills that you have found to work.
This drill combines competition, running skills, fielding skills and fitness.
Split into teams (6 maximum per team): One group bats and one group fields.
The game is played on a normal length wicket with stumps at the strikers end. A ball is placed at mid on level with the non-strikers end. The first batter takes a normal stance at the strikers end while the fielders wait in line at short cover. One of the fielders is wicketkeeper.
On the coaches call of yes the batter runs 2 runs while the fielder runs to the ball and returns it to the keeper. If the batsman is run out the fielding team get a point. If the batsman makes his ground the batting team get a point.
Once all the batters have had a go, swap teams.
Repeat for all batters and the team with most points wins.
For senior players this drill is mainly fitness practice but for players learning the game it teaches the fundamentals of running between the wickets.
Have a relay race over a normal wickets length. Each player must have a cricket bat (and other equipment if possible). All players must run a three. If a player does not slide his bat into his ground he must go to the back to run again.
The first team to complete their runs win.
This drill is designed to improve run judgement. Setup a practice game with pairs of batters. Everyone else fields as normal.
- Each batting pair gets 2 overs, then swap pairs.
- A batter must run from every ball they hit.
- A batter is out if he does not call clearly.
- If a batter is out they lose 4 runs and change ends.
- Whichever pair has the most runs wins.
To simplify this drill you can forget about batsmen playing shots and instead have the coach roll the ball into the outfield from the strikers end and the batsmen call as they would in the game.
Alternatively, you could make it a quick single only game - not allowing shots that pass the inner ring of fielders (the ball goes dead).
As another alternative, set up the game to practice a single shot (pull, forward defensive, etc) and the batters still have to run every time the ball is hit.
Diagram from ECB Inter Cricket
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