Ask any club captain and one of the first things he will bemoan about his team is the lack of ability to rotate the strike.
Sure, decent batsmen put the bad ball away. It’s not so easy when the pitch is tricky, the bowling is tight and the field is set to squeeze. The run rate drops and you find it difficult to set a total.
You could spend ages working on technique and tactics to turn this aspect around but what if you don’t have the time and resources to this?
Enter the simple yet elegant solution of 100 Singles.
100 singles is, at its heart, a goal setting exercise. We all know how powerful goals are in motivating success. In this case all you do is tell the team at the start of the innings you are looking to score 100 runs in singles.
It doesn’t matter how many boundaries you get. Only singles matter. It’s the cricket version of “look after the pennies and the pounds look after themselves”.
It works by focusing the mind. Players know they have to get a couple of singles every over to keep up with the rate and start to look for gaps, slow fielders and tip-and-run tactics. Before you know it you are setting big targets and knocking off chases.
Of course it’s not always as easy as that. If your team play 30 over games and are terrible at strike rotation you have to set the bar lower. Check your scorebook and see how many singles your team manages regularly, then add a bit on to make it a challenging target. If you made 40 singles last week, put it up to 55 this week.
It won’t stop the painful collapses, or solve the severe technical issues but 100 singles is a simple trick that works (I was taught it by an international coach) well.
Why wouldn’t you try it in your next game?