Gary Palmer returns with a technical analysis of England's man of the moment Ravi Bopari. Gary calls it his technical ABC to success at the highest level. Gary has coached many players into county cricket over the years, If you would like coaching from Gary, check out CCM Academy.
Ravi Bopara demonstrates the three key attributes of a good batsman. Ravi's technique is one that I would advise young players to copy. From the research I have done in coaching technique over the years, these are as simple as ABC:
- Completion of shot
These are the technical areas that great players, especially attacking stroke players do very well. They all contribute to maximising a players hitting zone. The higher class of bowler you face, the better and more efficient the technique needs to be to combat that bowler. Once you have your ABC in order your technique is correct.
For this reason I think Ravi will be successful at international level and has the potential to become a great player.
Ravi displays a wide range of shots, all with a high level of technical excellence.
Setup and backswing
His setup is simple with a backswing over off stump and a stance that aligns his body to the line of the ball similar to this
He creates a 'diamond' during his backswing that allows his bat to stay on the line of the ball for longer. Click here to see the diamond shape illustrated.
Ravi is solid in defence, following his setup with a straight bat and correctly aligned body position.
In attack he plays straight where possible, looking to hit down the ground rather than square. He plays through the entire V, not just the off side. He maintains a high leading elbow after his shots and presents a full face of the bat at the ball. He does this by good positioning and alignment of feet. His back foot points up the wicket when driving straight and through mid on giving him good access to the ball. You can see these key points demonstrated here:
Ravi is a good player of spin because he looks to make contact with the ball under his eyes and after it has turned. His balance and alignment allows for the spin. Alistair Cook would do well to pay attention to his team mate.
His backfoot points up the wicket when playing the spinners straight and through mid on thus giving him good balance alignment and access to the ball.
Ravi's proficient technique allows him to play attacking shots with minimum risk of failure. This will give him confidence and belief to achieve challenging run chase situations with minimal nerves because he knows the percentages are in his favour.
This is why he is composed, highly focused and has very positive body language. He looks at ease with all of the different types of bowlers he faces and tends to look confident and relaxed at the crease. He keeps it simple and plays the percentages with a very good technique, getting into great positions and make batting look easy.
Suggested technical changes
There is very little Ravi needs to chance within his technique
He has a little trigger, especially in Twenty20, which is to back away with the back foot before he plays forward. The only positive for this movement is that it opens up a wider scoring area on the offside but if the ball pitches on off stump because he lines up to hit it square his bat is does not stay on the line of the ball for as long as it could. Therefore there is a slight risk.
If the ball swings or nips back into him then he is closed off and will have to play across the line which is a higher risk option minimising his scoring areas on the leg side.
However, overall Ravi's well polished technique offers very few flaws for a world class bowler to exploit. This will give him the upper when confronted with a duel against the best bowlers in the world.
Image credit: RobW
If you want to learn everything there is to know about technique, check out Gary Palmer's interactive coaching courses. Gary is a coach with over 20 years experience teaching players to become first class cricketers. For the first time he has put his drills online, only at PitchVision Academy.