Cricket Show 80: How to stand out (or not) | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Cricket Show 80: How to stand out (or not)

PitchVision Academy - PitchVision Academy Show 080.mp3
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PitchVision Academy Cricket Show

Nic Northcote is the guest on this week's show as we talk batting, wicketkeeping and becoming a professional if you start late. If you want more coaching tips from Nic, pick up "Wicket-Keeping: The Ultimate Guide to Mastering the Art" from PitchVision Academy.

Also, Gary Palmer talks about what traits you need as a young player to take the step up to higher levels. And we answer your questions on:

  • How to stand out as a wicketkeeper.
  • How to adapt your batting to different types of pitches.
  • What "getting your eye in" really means.
  • Is it too late to become a professional at age 18?


You can submit your own questions for us to answer here or on facebook.

Congratulations to the competition winner who wins a free coaching course on PitchVision Academy. To find out how to enter this week's competition, download the show.

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I am hoping that you have some tips, trick and drills to help me get back judging length. This is more noticeable down leg side but it is becoming issue all around. It feels like I am waiting to see where the ball lands before I even think of what shot I want to play forward or back, this does not hurt me as much so far with the spin but it killing me with the fast bowl.

Thanks, praying you can help.



Sounds silly but your probably watching the bowlers arm and not the ball, I have been having a horendous time of it, recently and have been really struggling to pick up length. My coach had a look at me and there was nothing wrong with me against the bowling machine (so technique was fine) however against bowling i was not picking the length and he stood behind the net and asked if i was watching the ball? it sounds stupid i play prem cricket and dismissed the comment but a couple of balls later it registered that iwasnt concentrating on the ball as much as i thought, i saw the ball early and quickly decided what shot!! i wasnt watching it right onto the bat.

best exercise is to warm the keeper up before you have throw downs in the nets before a game, stand 10 yards away and punch them back at him watching it right on the blade, you should hit everything out the kitchen sink, and if your edging them then your not watching it all the way!! then have some through downs and ensure again your eyes never leave the ball.

I smashed 102 hitting everything out the middle two weeks ago and i was just talking to myself the whole innings saying watch it onto the bat, if your eyes lead you your head is over the ball and you pick the length, your feet just follow pal.

also make sure your not holding the bat too far down, if you are you block your elbow and can get yourself in a tangle, then you can slightly mis judge length and hit aerial. next time you bat say to yourself that your not going to give a chance and concentrate on this! bat 20 overs and it will all come back to you! time at the crease is key, you wont get form back sat in the fence trying to run before you can walk!!

let me know how you get on.


Thanks, AJ

I think you might be right as I also been edging it, I'll try it out tonight. Thanks again.

make sure you check your back swing as the bowler is approaching the crease ensure your picking it up straight and dont grip to hard with your bottom hand! it may be you tense due to lack of form and as a consequence gripping too tight at the same time as not watching it closely enough so your playing slightly across the line. your head must be over the ball otherwise slips are always in play!! if you commit to drive go for it!!

I am having a little trouble this season.

I have joined a new club and have been put in the second team on both days, i am struggling to stand out despite being a good cricketer in a reletively average side. I find myself playing against average opposition on both saturday and sunday, the pitches in the saturday league are not great and ive been given the chance to bat in the top 5 but find myself getting 20 odd not out most weeks chasing modest totals (been bowling first a lot this year) on sundays ive been batting 7 or 8 and the tracks have been road-like but ive only actually got in once and i got 15 not out finishing off our innings in the last over.

so im struggling for oppotunities in second team cricket which is very disheatening for someone who belives in their own ability at first team level as i do, i cant really kick off and make a scene about this because its a new club and i dont want to lose freinds straight away!

how can i make my case for a first team place without oppotunities? there are players in the first team who are there for the ride who i would say i am better than.. i just need to prove it but batting 8 on good tracks and getting the odd chance on the saturday minefields isnt filling me with confidence

thanks in advance for any help

Great question James, I'll see if I can come up with an article to help you.

RT: James

Just joined a new Saturday side this year so I have an idea how you feel but I've also been in my Sundays club for a number of years.

There's two things to do - first, be up front about it; you wont be treading on anyone's toes if you let them know that you have aspirations for the 1st XI and even that you feel that you could make a greater contribution to the club at that level. Just try not to alienate the 2nds whilst you do it. Perhaps mentioning that the standard of cricket they play is below you might not be the way to go...

Second, convert some scores. I've played on uncovered (and often dodgy) pitches all my life and there are some biases that you can work into your game to account for the demons in the pitch. Taking a riser on on the hip hurts for a while but it's better than stepping back a grubber and ending up in the hutch for another 20 something.

There may be circumstances that stand in your way - the incumbant 1st XI keeper for example but, in the end, mentally, this whole scenario should be approached as yet another challenge to overcome.

Interesting question James. I would say that you need to be ready when the opportunity presents itself and you probably will get an opportunity to show your colours at some time during the season. So when it comes, you need to take the bull by the horns.

As Matty wrote above, it probably won't do you any harm to have a word with the selectors/captain or the senior people in the club. Post match drinks are a good opportunity to chill out and have talk about serious and less serious cricket issues.

Where is podcast 81???


You where correct. I made sure I watch the ball "Watch the Ball Dummy" and I been doing much better. Thanks again you where right on the mark.

Cricket Basic Number 1: Be the Ball.

1. Always watch the ball. Watch it intently. Always. Watch the ball. Be the ball. Watch the ball. Look for details on the ball. Be absorbed by the ball. Watch the ball. Watching the ball is the most fundamentally important basic of cricket. Be fully ‘oxygenated’ at the time the ball is delivered – the more oxygen in you the better you can see.