Get on with it: 3 ways to stop scoring too slowly | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Get on with it: 3 ways to stop scoring too slowly

Being a slow scorer is like being the person who takes the last cake at tea without asking; it smacks of selfishness.

And no one wants to be accused of being selfish.

Avoiding this accusation can do weird things to even talented batsmen. I've seen otherwise sane club 1st XI openers slash across the line to good length balls just to stop themselves playing out 2 maidens in a row.

Don't fall for that trap and give the bowler an easy wicket, make sure you keep these 5 things in mind instead:

1. Look for quick singles

It's surprising how many singles you can pick up when you are looking for it and trust your partner. You don't even really need to practice, you just need to be aware.

Yet most club players are trained on the 'if I block it I don't run' mentality and stay lodged in the crease while an alert non-striker could be home before cover even has the ball in his hands.

As well as defending, there are easy singles to be had by looking out for fielders standing a little too deep, or by setting off when you see the ball is going to the fielder's weaker hand. Let's be honest, how many times do you see a direct hit at your level even from the stronger hand? You are safe as houses.

2. Bat with a more aggressive player

This is really about knowing your role.

If you are a more defence minded player, the captain may want to use you as the anchor of the innings; scoring more slowly while attacking players smash with freedom around your solid play.

That's a nice situation to be in, because you can nudge the single and admire the fireworks for the rest of the over.

It also rubs off a bit on you, so when you do get the half volley you try and hit it instead of becoming becalmed and blocking everything.

3. Learn a safe shot

Some slow scoring batsman are afraid to play their shots because they don't trust their technique and they freeze in the headlights, not wanting to be found wanting.

But at club and school level nobody has all the shots. All you really need is 1 or 2 shots you know you can play well enough to get you out of trouble then wait for the ball in the slot.

It doesn't really matter which shot it is, although if you are picking one to learn the front foot on drive is probably the best value because it also teaches you to stay well balanced and aligned in other shots.

This will mean you getting into the nets and developing the shot in the proper way rather than just 'having a go' at it against the random net bowling, but the hard work is worth it when you have the confidence of decent technique in a few shots to fall back on.

image credit: greencolander

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I am 17 years of age and i play 1st team for my school.
I am known as a slow batsman, the guy that stays in for 3 hours and scores a solid 30 odd. but i dont want that anymore. i am good at running quick singles etc but my partner never trusts me. i plan to use your 3 steps to improve my batting, they sure were of great assistance.

thank you

its not always bad being a slow scorer, it frustrates bowlers and is an aid for the batting team as it is a security in knowing that no matter what, half the batsmen out in the middle are well set. plus its good practice for concentration and mental toughness.

but the idea of having a shot which allows you to punish a particular ball easily is a very good one.

i recommend the pull shot, most feilds are set up for fully pitched bowling at my level, so ther are few men square of the wicket on the boundary.

the moment the bowler drops it too short, you can get undr it and pummel it over square leg.

thats the welsh way of doing it at least

It depends on the type of game you are playing of course. In one-day club matches the is the constant fear from batsmen that they are 'holding up an end' instead of 'getting on with it' which can be exploited by bowling lots of dots. But there is a place for patience, especially when a bowler is on top. If you can get through a tight opening spell you can go on to score more quickly against weaker bowling, for example.

Guys could I have some help as Im a really slow run scorer. I take ages to score runs. I have tried roating the strike but when the ball is on off stump and I try to play it to mid wicket I always get LBW or bowled. Then my team always get frustrated with me and then I end up going out really cheaply. I was wondering if I could have some help with roating the strike and becoming a more aggresive batter.

Have you tried the tips in the article?

Yeah I have I bat with the most aggresive player in my team and I try to take singles to the leg side but I always get out Bowled or LBW because the balls on Off stump I try to get them to mid wicket.

try playing some cover drives, i know saying tht is really easy but actually playing the shot on the field is actually way harder, but i think so just watch some cover drive videos n i m sure u will find tones of them on youtube , and then observe their hand, foot wrist, and the ball closely and maybe bu=y watching o=the best video 8- 10 times and then actualy try to play the shot on the field or rather on some practice session. frankly speaking i learned the cover drive by doing the same, so hope this works for u toooo!!! Smiling

It's vital to practice hitting the ball straight, however you may have technical flaws that prevent this. Perhaps your backlift is coming down from too wide for example. But a simple drill is to get someone to drop a tennis ball in front you you and you work on swinging the bat through straight from backlift until the toe is pointing towards mid off (checked drive).

Yeah I can play straight but I dont get any runs for it so I start trying to play across the line to get runs. Because i dont score any runs playing straight so I start hitting across the line to get singles so i can roate the strike

I see your logic. However, the solution is not to hit across the line, but to learn to score from straight bat shots. Why can you not score when playing straight?

At the start of my innings I try to play straight but I always seem to find the men down the ground. I always either hit it to mid on and mid off then I get frustrated after about 3 overs because Im not scoring any runs and then I start playing across the line. Is there any tips or dills to help me score some runs with straight bat shots down the ground so I dont find the fielders and so I could hit in to the gaps.

Your tactics will depend on the location of the mid on and mid off fielders.

If they are quite deep on the edge of the ring then you should be able to take a single to them provided you call yes and take off as soon as you see the ball has gone past the bowler. Warn your partner in advance that you are going to do this so he is not caught by surprise.

If they are in quite close, then a firm punch should easily get between them (or even over them if you're feeling adventurous) and go for a boundary. If you can't punch the ball hard enough to do this then you need to work on your straight driving technique. Ask a coach exactly what you're doing wrong, as it could be one of several things.

I recommend Gary Palmer's drills in the premium coaching section (click on the "courses" link at the top of the page).

Good advice AB.