Here’s an Alternative Technique to Combat Swing Bowling | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Here’s an Alternative Technique to Combat Swing Bowling

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It’s a muggy overcast day and the opening bowler is moving the new ball all over the place; you’re playing the ball as late as you can but are still struggling.

There’s only one thing left to do, and that is charge him!

It's not as crazy as it sounds, read on.

Swing bowling is the downfall of many prolific batsman; and late swing is the most destructive weapon in a bowlers armoury.

Playing in an orthodox way you have no way to counteract the evils of the ball moving late and nicking off. Until you consider moving down the track.

I stumbled upon this technique when watching one of our senior players open the batting in conditions favourable to swing. The theory was that the pace was not an issue, but the lateness of the swing was what was causing him the most problems.

We have already noted that the hardest swing to play is when the delivery begins straight and then moves late; lulling the batsman into playing a false shot. So surely the best way to play late swing is to attempt to eradicate it completely?

He would advance 2 or 3 paces down the wicket and play the ball before the swing had chance to take effect.

This would allow him to play the ball with more confidence whilst allowing him the protection of distance from his stumps with regards to LBW.

Secondly, it also gave the impression to the fielding side that he was being very positive in his mind set and looking to take the attack to the bowler; all from simply trying to eradicate the late swing.

What do you think?

Is this madness or common sense? Leave a comment and let us know.

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It works great for a few balls until the keeper comes up to the stumps!

You have to have a lot of confidence in yourself to do it then. Speaking as a keeper I have seen batsmen do it when they are well set.

Or better still just bat a little way of your crease. Same effect but without the risks that 'charging' the bowler brings.

Sure, I understand where you're coming from but I'm not sure everyone who reads this will.

i can imagine this working at lower levels, where the pie chucker is king, but at higher levels with higher pace and lateral movement, i can see this being a less popular option in facing swing bowling.

I agree with Ruth: simpliest and easiest technique to counter swing - and has negligible le effect on reaction time lost. It also has the added benefit of putting the bowler off his length.

Obviously a little tricky if the keeper comes up- it moght force you back into your rease but that is still a defeat for the bowler as he looses a big chunk of caught behind opportunities which is one of the main dismissal types - an if he has any pace- more chance of byes, and can't really use short balls while he's there- so the batter know almost everything is going to be full.

In both cases the batsman gets to try and dictate terms a little which is always good.

Matthew Hayden used to walk down the pitch and attack the bowling. It might work as an act of aggression when done in a controlled manner and if the keeper does not come up to the stumps it could continue to work. The point of it all though is to make the bowler think and get him out of his rhythm. It's individual battles like this that make cricket what it is. Some alternatives:

1. Bat outside the crease, as mentioned.
2. Bat a bit deeper, giving a bit more time and the effect of making a good length ball into a short ball.
3. Move across the crease to off stump and play the line of the stumps only. As soon as the ball starts to move off line, leave it in that ever so frustrating Neil McKenzie fashion.
4. Watch the Des Haynes video and check out how to play late and play with soft hands. That way, nicks have less chance of carrying.
5. Keep rotating the strike so that the bowler has to bowl at a different style of batsman each time.
6. Get a single and watch from the other end as the other batter struggles.
7. Think again about your career as an opener and become a number 4.
8. Get in the nets on the bowling machine and ramp up the swing option to get practising the skill of playing swing bowling.

Pietersen is a prime example of a thinker when presented with a new challenge. Last season he started moving outside off stump as Kumar was bowling to counteract his swing, as well as coming right forward. Ok, there's only one KP and we might have balance issues if we try it but it's about what batsmen need to do in response to good bowling and the situation.

I forgot one option.

I once heard some of the experts on tv talking about a technique Greg Chappell had learnt from some fella called Bradman. Apparently, when this Bradman bloke first went to the crease, he tried to play the ball with the inside half of the bat. If the ball didn't swing, no issues. If it did, it hits the middle or outside half, not the edge.

I have heard that Bradman could play a bit.

thats a really good idea, but the problem as i see it is, many lower level batsmen are thankfull if the ball hits the bat!
many batsmen don't have enough control to determine which part of the bat the ball will hit.
bradman was a legend, unforunately, we are not.

bradman cant play a bit he can play a huge bit he is best sportsman in the world he average 99.94 highest in any game nd even sachin is no match for him