Pitchvision Academy


It’s a batting special this week as we reveal the inner workings of the minds of two great coaches.

Gary Palmer exposes his secret notebook with all his mad professor style methods that work in frighteningly efficient ways. Also, Ian Pont shows us some scoring methods that are not in the book.

Have a great weekend, 

David Hinchliffe

Does Anyone Ever Really Need to Play a Switch Hit?

In 2006 Sri Lanka toured England with the great Muralitharan in the side: A bowler who demanded the utmost respect or be destroyed.

This made it all the more outrageous when Kevin Pietersen, a relative rookie to Test cricket, turned into a left-handed stance and “switch hit” Murali for six.

Pietersen has show that such a shot can be done at the highest level against the best bowlers.

Should you try to emulate him?

Build from solid foundations

The switch hit is a very special but very risky shot. Like more orthodox shots, there are rules to playing it that will give you the best chance of success.

The first of which is simple: Never attempt the shot in the game unless you have a solid basic technique:

  • Can you drive the ball on the front foot through mid on and midwicket?
  • Are you able to stay tight, driving in the V early on and leaving the ball outside off stump?
  • Can you play left arm over inswing bowling well?

If you struggle with any of these elements there is a good chance your technique is not good enough to try to get creative.

Go back to the drawing board and work on getting well balanced and aligned first.

Pick your moment

Once you are confident in your technique, you need to consider the match situation.

Imagine you are playing a 40 over match and are going well on 60 not out. There are 12 overs left batting first and the spinner is on, turning the ball into you.

As a result, the field is spread but there is nobody on the square off side boundary.

It makes sense because you have been playing with the spin hitting into the leg side or straight through mid off.

This is just about the perfect moment to play a switch hit: you are forcing the ball into an area with a gap to score a much needed boundary.

Each element makes the shot slightly easier:

  • How well set you are
  • The pace of the bowler
  • Which way the ball is moving
  • The field

It would be pointless trying to switch hit an away swing bowler of your third ball with a deep point set in a 2 day game. You can score in safer and easier ways just by waiting for the long hop or half volley.

Practice it, even if it’s just for fun at first

Of course, when the perfect moment does arrive you need to be confident you can at least make contact.

That means hitting the nets.

As it’s such a unique and risky shot it’s best not to spend hours trying to get it right. Your time in nets is limited and you need to get the proper shots sorted first.

However, 5 minutes at the end of a session with some progressive drills will give you the confidence you need when you feel the time is right.

What are these drills?

You can find out as part of Ian Pont’s online coaching course: Attacking Batting: 8 Innovative Shots That Escalate Your Run Rate.  The course gives you the drills and techniques to master unorthodox batting and be able to score at ODI rates.

Ian is an experienced coach who has helped at the highest level. He is waiting to help you become a better batsman here

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Cricket Show 119: Master the Little Things to Become a Professional

Burners is away again this week, but big cheese Richard steps in to give us the full story as begun last week.

On the show we discuss walking and dropped catches while taking time to answer questions on stretching and how to go from club to professional cricket.

There is also a catch up with Watsonian wicketkeeper Fraser Boyd and we have a few moments with another important mover and shaker in world cricket: CEO of North West Cricket, Jacques Faul.

How to Get in Touch With the Show

Our contact email can be found here.

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Secrets of Coaching Batting Revealed: Gary Palmer’s Notebook

Gary Palmer, master coach, has revealed the inner workings of his coaching methods.

With over 20 years experience of coaching players to batting success from juniors to first-class level; Gary is the go-to guy for advice on how to teach batting perfection.

Until now he has kept his methods secret.
All that has changed.

Like a crazy but brilliant scientist, Gary has meticulously kept his findings in a notebook that has built up over the years into a complete system.

The notebook, titled Teaching Batting Technique: How to Coach Pupils to Cricketing Mastery is a unique insight into one of the most creative batting coaches in the world.

In its 78 pages there is information on:
  • Why technique is still so important, even in these days of creative, fast run scoring
  • How to make the fastest difference to a player’s game
  • The best ways to communicate with a batter
  • How to identify and correct technical errors using Gary Palmer’s unique ABC method
  • The 5 immutable stages of batting technique
  • Which shots to teach first; and why
  • How and when to move beyond technique

And the best part: Gary is giving it away to you for nothing.

All you need to do to get instant access to Gary’s notebook is enter your email in the box below. You’ll get a reply right away with a link to the online version of the notebook:

Get the notebook
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If you can't see the form above click here to fill it in.

Don’t worry, Gary and all of us at PitchVision Academy hate spam as much as you, and never do it. 

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A Typical Summer Week for an Injury-Free Club Fast Bowler

Staying healthy during the season is one of the biggest challenges to fast bowlers at every level.

Bowling quick is tough on the body. The stress on muscles, joints and ligaments is huge and when you are playing regularly recovery times are never enough.

How to Take a Five Wicket Haul

Batsmen plan out their hundreds in meticulous detail, but when was the last time you saw a bowler plan a five wicket haul?

For a five-fer can be planned too.


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.


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Issue: 156
Date: 2011-06-24