Pitchvision Academy
Animated Fielding Drills Get Fit For Cricket


Tradition is an important part of cricket, but not when it holds you back. So this week we look at how to break with traditions when you need to.

We look at the traditional idea of batting first and how research has shown that it's not all it's cracked up to be. Plus we look at how it's OK to break from the consistency of tradition if it's going against common sense.

Finally, I'm very proud to announce that Ian Pont has revealed his latest coaching method – the drop step and front foot block – that can improve 99% of bowlers. Quite the claim, but you can watch his video discussing it and enrol on his online coaching course to find out the drills he uses to boost speeds of bowlers at every level.

Have a great weekend, 

David Hinchliffe

Are you sure skipper? Proof batting first isn't what it's cracked up to be

Batting first gives you control. It's the attacking way and its how cricket 'should be played'.

At least that's what the senior pros at my club and TV commentators say.

Except that you are also much more likely to lose.

At least, that's according to Economics Professor V. Bhaskar who studied the results of every daytime One Day International match and concluded that teams who win the toss and bat only win 44% of matches.

But teams who bowl win around 50% (which is what you would expect).

What gives?

And more importantly, can you apply this knowledge to your one day limited over matches?

Why do teams lose batting first?

There are several big reasons.

The main one, as most commentators will tell you, is that it's easier to get a score than to set one.

When you bat second in one day cricket you have a run rate, and that means you know what you need to do to keep up with it.

While that can add its own pressure if the rate is high, if you know you need 4 an over to win then you are less likely to take risks aiming to score at 5 or 6 an over when there is no need.

But there is another, often over looked reason that batting second is easier: You have 'overweighted'

Overweighting is when your analysis of your own or your opposition's strengths are not realistic and you choose to bat first in the mistaken thought that you will be more likely to win.

For example, the very strong West Indies team of the 1970s often chose to bowl first knowing they could bowl teams out for low scores. They were so strong bowling they had weighted correctly.

However, teams playing against the West Indies often won the toss and chose to bat because they felt their attack was weaker. Then got bowled out for a low score. They had underweighted.

Finally, like at my club, the draw of tradition is huge.

Losing if you bat first has far less of a stigma. Batting first is traditionally seen as an attacking move allowing you to control the game. If you lose, you have died trying. Captain's who want to play safe bat first and then lose.

So what do I do if I win the toss?

Based on the evidence of ODI games, it seems obvious that batting first gives you a large disadvantage.

There is no reason to think that this information is less relevant to club and school cricket either. In fact, it may be an even greater discrepancy as club teams don't know each other as well as international sides and are more likely to overweight.

Clearly you can't just rock up and field every time though.

You need to take into account other factors: pitch and weather conditions will make a difference, as will the relative strength of the opposition. But when in doubt it seems there is only one way to go.

And that's to commit heresy and field first.

image credit: TGGE

Discuss this article with other subscribers

How to stay injury free

You can be the best cricketer in the world but it makes no difference if you are injured and off the park.

More and more of life becoming dedicated to sitting down: working at a desk, driving, watch TV or spending time on the computer. As we use our bodies less they become slow and inflexible. Our postures change and we are more likely to get hurt.

Plus, we have less and less time to dedicate to cricket with increasing demands.

 Despite the fact we instinctively know the answer is to become more active, we don't know where to start to make it happen, or how to do it in a limited time.

You could join a gym and rely on the poorly trained fitness advisor to give you a program based on outdated ideas and general 'fat loss and tone up' principles given to housewives. But that's not very helpful to cricketers.

You could get advice from the bodybuilder who is only interested in looking as bulky as possible with his shirt off. But even if you had his dedication to the body beautiful, would you want to be so hefty?

You could train at home with push ups and sit ups. But how do you know it's making any difference?

The truth is you just want to stay fit and strong so you can score runs and take wickets.

Fit cricketers are better cricketers. Imagine having the stamina and strength to bowl that extra over at the end of the day when one wicket is required for victory. Think how important it is to make that quick single because you have the speed.

It's been shown that if you are fit you have better reactions and concentration too. So just think what effect your new abilities will have on your cricket skills. What player wouldn't like extra reserves?

That fitness edge can get you over the line in more tight games, which means you win more, which gets you noticed.

And that's why you need to know the right way to get fit for cricket.

So who better to ask than a man who does it for a living with a full professional side?

Rob Ahmun has trained many cricketers and he knows how to keep them injury free, even when they are in the middle of a season with little time for dedicated fitness work.

He has put his knowledge on an interactive online coaching course on PitchVision Academy so you too can benefit from knowing how to train, when to train and what to train to become a fitter player.

There is no other content as detailed and specific to cricket as this course which includes:

  • Personalised training plans based around age, experience and time available.
  • The most effective methods used with professional players at Glamorgan CCC.
  • Understanding the critical but overlooked link between fitness and skill.
  • Work out if a training plan given to you is going to make you a better player.
  • Plans to boost your strength, power, endurance, speed and mobility.
  • How to change your training to keep it working all year round.

All you need to do to get instant access to this online material is to enrol on the course. You get lifetime access, including free updates.

Click here to buy Strength and Conditioning for Cricket at all Levels.


How fast is it possible to bowl?

In this free cricket coaching video Ian Pont discusses how fast he thinks bowling can get with his brand new, top secret fast bowling method: the drop step and front foot block.

Ian has noticed that 99% of bowlers don't use this method, but most of the really fast ones do. It makes perfect sense to emulate them.

If you want to know more about how to bowl using this method and dramatically increase your speed, enrol on How to Bowl Faster, the online fast bowling course for cricketers and coaches at every level. Ian has just added a section on how to use the drop step and front foot block to bowl faster.


Discuss this article with other subscribers

Hypocrites make better cricketers

If you want to get someone's hackles up, call them a hypocrite.

It's an insult against something we all hold dear: consistency between words and actions. Hypocrites talk the talk, but don't walk the walk.

Except if you want to be a better cricketer or coach, hypocrisy is a handy skill to have.

You just need to be able to get over the urge to be consistent.

Hobgoblin of the mind: Why consistency is a bad thing

One fast, simple way to improve your cricket stamina

Everyone who has played cricket has felt that 'heavy leg' feeling.

You want to keep going, but the body just doesn't give you the same after a long innings, bowling spell or session in the field.

While no one can stave off the feeling forever, there is a really simple way to get more stamina.


About PitchVision Academy

Welcome to this week's guide to playing and coaching better cricket.

I'm David Hinchliffe and I'm Director of the PitchVision Academy team. With this newsletter you are benefitting directly from over 25 Academy coaches. Our skills include international runs and wickets, first-class coaching, cutting-edge research and real-life playing experience.


Take a tour
Want Coaching?

Send to a Friend

Do you have a friend or team mate who would be interested in this newsletter? Just hit "forward" in your email program and send it on.

If you received this email from a friend and would like to get subsequent issues, you can subscribe here.


PitchVision Academy

irresistable force vs. immovable object

Thank you for subscribing to PitchVision Academy.
Read more at www.pitchvision.com


To unsubscribe eMail us with the subject "UNSUBSCRIBE (your email)"
Issue: 107
Date: 2010-07-16