Here’s a common problem; you are batting in a run chase and the rate is climbing. Your big hitter is back in the pavilion and you have always been more of a touch player.
How are you going to make it over the line?
Easy, think of the chase as less about a sprint and more about a marathon.
Chasing runs rates is just as much about pacing trying to finish it as quickly as possible.
Too many batsmen play an alien game to their natural style. Stroke players throw away their wicket in an attempt to replicate big hitting. They are sprinting when all they really need to do is keep a steady jog going.
Working the ball around and hitting two’s - then throw in the odd boundary - will easily lead you to reach decent run rates when the chase is on.
And with no need to panic and get out to a big heave.
Control your shots, control the field
A pull shot has to be executed extremely well to beat a deep mid-wicket. If it doesn’t go for four, it’s a single.
But what if the same ball was worked behind leg; glancing rather than striking?
It will beat fine leg and deep-square at the same time by using the pace of the delivery, resulting in at least two and in some cases four.
The knock on result is the fielding captain now has something to think about; does he move the field to create bigger gaps in front of square or risk the shot happening again?
The same can be said for the late cut dispatched to a similar angle.
I know my biggest shots come from extra cover around to wide mid-on, so if I can move more fielders squarer to the wicket, the bigger these gaps will come.
This has the double effect of allowing me to pick up extra runs when I can’t hit it for a boundary, and making gaps for when the bad ball arrives.
The better you are at working the ball around the field, the better chance you have of higher scoring shots; all without the need to beat the fielder.
How to practice field manipulation
This can be practised in nets with some throw downs. Get the feeder to throw similar lengths to that if he was bowling at you in this situation.
Use PitchVision to assign each panel of the net as a different area. The software will keep score.
Every 6 balls try to reach a determined tally.
Your job is to read the delivery early, and work it into one of these panels.
Make it a game with the feeder by discussing what areas should be worth what depending on where they would set their field.