Pitchvision Academy


There is something magic about leg spin. I think because it’s so hard to learn but reaps such massive rewards when done right. It would be a dream-come-true to see a wrist spinner in every team. And so as part of that dream, this week’s newsletter gives you the chance to watch a video on how to improve even if you don’t have a coach to help you.

Plus we look at setting targets while batting, getting off to a good start and the mysterious art of the yorker. It might not be as tricky as bowling a flipper, but it’s massively effective.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

200 Ain’t Magic: Why it’s Crucial to Pace an Innings

Setting a total in a one day match relies on the ability of a team to judge what a good score is on that day. It depends on conditions and relative team abilities, all of which need to be assessed from match to match.

Yet in club cricket, a total of 200 always comes up as the ‘magic’ score that will lead to inevitable victory.

But as this story shows, it’s not always as simple as racking up the big two oh oh.

It was the final day of the season. Our second team had to win away from home to avoid relegation. The opposition were stuck in mid-table, with nothing to play for but pride.

The captain decided we would bat first and set a target if we won the toss. When we arrived at the ground and inspected the pitch, it was damp with plenty of grass on top and looked like a bowler’s paradise. The captain stuck to his guns, he won the toss and decided to bat.

Our captain gave us some advice before we went out to bat.

“Keep it tight early on; the four first team players will bat 4, 5, 6 and 7 so they can press on for 200.”

Our wicketkeeper then says,

“We only scored 112 last season, and then we bowled them out for 90. It was a close game, but that wicket is tough to score on…”

The captain responds,

“But that was last season, this season we’ve got a better side, there’s more at stake and if we don’t get 200 they will knock off the runs easily.”

We had 50 overs to score 200 runs.

Our innings started slowly. The pitch had variable bounce. The outfield was long and had a damp feel to it. The ball was swinging, and it was difficult to get the ball off the square. I was dropped at cover point early on, and my opening partner was clean bowled in the eighth over. We were 12/1 after 8.4 overs. The captain was next in. He met me before facing his first delivery. 

“What’s going on, we need to up the rate.”

I said the ball was not coming onto the bat, the pitch was two-paced and we were not getting any value for our shots.

After facing the next two overs, the captain agreed and said we should try to rotate the strike, without taking any undue risks. This seemed to be working well. We were 40/1 after 20 overs.

Suddenly, in the break between overs, the captain said we had “to go for it”. We had wickets in hand, and needed to attack.

The captain was caught at midwicket three balls later after top edging a pull shot. The first team players came and went within 30 minutes. We were 65/5 after 30 overs. The wicketkeeper was next into bat. He said the captain had given him a message to ask me to “hit out or get out”. I tried to hit the next ball back over the bowlers head, mistimed the shot, and was caught by the bowler. We ended up 73 all out after 34 overs.

The opposition had similar problems, but managed to reach the target with two wickets to spare.

We made some basic errors, and it cost us our place in the league.

So instead of thinking “200 or bust”, here are some tips for setting a target on a tough wicket: 

  • Learn what the ‘par’ score is from previous matches.
  • Discuss a strategy before the game. Set a target in your head.
  • Do not pin all your hopes on better first team players. It will cause the regular second team players to switch off and expect other people score runs or take wickets.
  • Never be afraid to adjust the target.
  • Encourage players to take responsibility and think for themselves.
  • Never isolate any individual for negative criticism while they are still batting or bowling.Team spirit is vital
  • Smaller targets are more manageable and more effective than one large target for the whole innings.
  • Don’t panic if your team is struggling to reach the pre-planned total. Calm, consistent reactions and reassessments will give other players on your team confidence. Mixed messages will cause confusion.

For more tips and advice on batting and bowling in club games, enrol on the online course “The Game Plan: How to Build a Winning Cricket Team” by Adrian Shaw.

image credit: SarahCanterbury

Discuss this article with other subscribers

Become a Classy Leg Spin Bowler (Even if You Don’t Have a Coach)

Something tells me you don’t have a good leg spin coach where you play, but that still doesn’t stop you bursting to get better as a leg spinner.

You have got a grip on the basics. You have played enough games to know what’s going on. But you don’t know what to do next.

In other words, you are stuck in a rut and don’t have anyone to turn to.

Free Leg Spin Coaching Video

Here’s what I’ve got for you.

Professional leg spin bowler and coach, Muhammed Haroon has played and coached at the highest level. He’s one of the few men to be accepted on the elite ECB Level 4 coaching programme. And he wants to pass on the benefits of his advice.

Haroon has launched a brand new online coaching course for leg spin bowlers who want to move beyond the basics. It’s called Leg Spin: How to Defeat Your Mid-Career Crisis click here to enrol now.

And to celebrate he is giving away, via PitchVision Academy, a free video that explains exactly how to improve yourself as a bowler when you don’t have a coach to guide you.

When you enter your email in the box below, Haroon will send you his video, as well as some exciting and relevant other content to help you become the best leg spinner you can be.

Sorry this list is now closed.

You can still Order Leg Spin: How to Defeat Your Mid-Career Crisis. Click here. 

Discuss this article with other subscribers

Cricket Show 98: The Milkman Always Delivers

PitchVision Academy Cricket Show

Burners is on top form, giving advice to a worried batsman based on the bloke who delivers the morning dairy. It’s unmissable.

But aside from yogurt-based metaphors, we also have interviews with Chris Peploe, who tells us the secrets of Ealing CC’s club cricket success, and new contributor Leigh Lowry.

Leigh is a premier grade club cricketer in Australia and he gives us the inside track on how to work your way through the system. It’s the Aussie version of our “How to become a professional cricketer” series. A keep your ear close to the show because Leigh will be back.

Plus, we answer your questions on:
  • How to be a better milkman when you are batting
  • How to get more bounce as a fast bowler


emember you contribution is all important on all open topics. And we really do need your feedback to make the show work.

How to Get in Touch With the Show

Our contact email can be found here.

Use our twitter or facebook accounts.

Or you can call and leave a message (it’s an answer phone, not manned but we check it every day). If it’s a good story or question we will call you back for a chat.

  • UK  +44 (0) 208 816 7691
  • AUST: +61 (02) 8005 7925
  • USA: +1 347 722 1981

How to Listen to the Show

You can download the show onto your computer by right clicking on the link below and choosing "Save Target as..."

You can also subscribe to the show:

Subscribe to the show in Itunes

Click here to subscribe in iTunes.

If you don't use iTunes You can add the feed manually.


Discuss this article with other subscribers

How to be a Good Starter

Everyone is a bad starter at the crease. Nerves jangle, the feet are not moving as fast as the brain and you are keen to get off the dreaded duck.

But some batsmen are better than others at getting off the mark. Have you ever wondered why players like  Jacques Kallis, Sachin Tendulkar and Jonathan Trott look so composed right from the off?

Here are the 3 main reasons, and how you can employ them in your games:

If You Can Bowl Yorkers You Can Write Your Own Cheque for the IPL

There is no sight more pleasing than your yorker taking out a batsman’s stumps. Like a sniper you can use a single yet fatal blow to cause destruction.

And it’s a skill that when done at pace is worth a fortune because it wins you Twenty20 games (and there is no faster way to make a fortune than to show you can win IPL matches).


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: 135
Date: 2011-01-28