How Smart Captains and Fast Bowlers Can Stop the "Batsman's Game" | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

How Smart Captains and Fast Bowlers Can Stop the "Batsman's Game"

Most changes to ODI Rules are made to increase scoring opportunities for batters and teams to make the game more of a spectacle. The great thing about the latest rule changes is that captains and bowlers have the chance to hit back!

Here are a couple of options around one type of delivery, the short ball.


Make the most of 2 bouncers

The ability to bowl more bouncers gives the fast men the opportunity to test out a batter's technique and mental processes when "chin music" is being played.

It also means that 3rd man, fine leg and deep square become highly viable wicket taking positions. The types of fielders that are chosen for those roles will shift from the norm.

Here is an example of a field that could be deployed outside of Powerplay to compliment a bowler using the 2 bouncers on offer:

Precision preparation = precision performance

Fast men often neglect the quality and variation of their bouncer and its now the time for more specific practice of delivering this length of ball with precision.

Accuracy is important and being able to adjust your aim for batters of different heights is vital.

Setting up cones attached to the back of the net just as you would on the pitch itself for accuracy will become normal coaching practice over the coming months.

Master your changes in bouncer pace

The ability to be able to deliver balls into chin height with variation in pace will also become crucial.

We often mention that forcing the batter to make contact at different points against fuller balls is essential to disrupt their rhythm and this now extends to bouncers as well.

Stuart Broad in particular will be practicing thisover the coming months, looking to disrupt a batter and get him out spooning a ball into his 3 key deep men.

The 3 bouncers to master are:

  1. Fastest Bouncer
  2. 85-90% Bouncer
  3. Slower Ball Bouncer (away from the swing of the bat)


What if you can't bowl a bouncer?


Now, I know not all your seam bowlers can get the ball that high.

On pitches of lower bounce or of bowlers with less height and pace, you can adjust your field, bring it straighter and provide yourself with more wicket taking catchers.

But any bowler who gets the ball chest height with this field is in the game!

It will still work, with subtle adjustment.

Your deep square and deep fine leg move straighter and your square leg goes squarer.

They are now in the game to cover the ground and pick up those mistimed pulls and hooks, even though you’re not Brett Lee!

Now, no-one is going to bowl 60 short balls in a 10 over spell.

Yet having the option to attack/defend with the short ball for up to a third of deliveries in any game provides decent levels of deception.

Add to this, the skill to be able to deliver a variety of bouncers into targeted areas increases the distraction/deception further.

Who says ODI cricket is a batsman's game?

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