Pitchvision Academy

Who doesn’t love a ninja?

The black masked guys who excel at everything have a thing or two to teach us about cricket too, you know, in between assassinating evil warlords and being awesome.

Also in the newsletter we pose some more down to earth questions like asking how important a captain really is (not very, according to Darren Sammy) and helping set a field for a new bowler in a club side.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Ask the Readers: Set a Seam Bowler Field and Win a Prize

It’s been a while since I asked for your help in return for some online cricket coaching; but now the time has come again.

I need your help with setting a field for another new player in my team. Yes, this is a real life problem.

Like last time with our left-arm spinner, we have a new bowler.

So the question is:

What is the best field for a medium pace seam bowler in a club league match?

The best field will win a prize of an online coaching course from our library at PitchVision Academy.

He is young, plays a lot of cricket and bowls at a good pace for club level.

Due to our seam bowling strength he has had few chances in the 1st team, but the captain has promised him a run in the team up to the end of the season.

He bowls from wide on the crease meaning his stock ball is angled in to the right handed batsman, which often cramps players for room. 

He gets seam movement both ways.

With a skiddy action, he bowls a heavy ball without noticeable bounce.

He is a thinking cricketer and adapts his game to the pitch, sometimes slowing his pace on dead wickets but able to ramp it up on quicker ones.

He is also a very capable death bowler, able to bowl full and straight. He often cleans up the tail in 2nd XI games by just bowling at the stumps. He gets a lot of wickets bowled.

He is inexperienced at first team level and has a temperament that often sees him lose interest if things are not going the right way.

In first team cricket I can see him bowling at the back end of an innings; both in the middle overs and at the death where he can reduce the options of big hitting batsmen.

So what would your standard field be for a bowler like this?

Remember we play maximum 50 over per innings games with draws possible.

4 fielders must be in the 30 yard circle at all times.

Remember the most useful field will win a prize, so don’t forget to check back to find out if you have won.

Leave a comment in the comments box with your field

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How to be a Cricket Ninja

Ninjas were the greatest warriors in the history of the world.

They were the original results guys: they didn’t care if their methods appeared unorthodox or devious because they got the job done.

They did it so well that at the time it was assumed they had supernatural powers.

It’s this extreme level of skill combined with the philosophy that “anything goes” that made the ninjas such a force in feudal Japan.

It’s this same approach that will make you a ninja cricketer.

The smiling assassin

Back in ninja times, war was fought with a specific and honourable code. The way of the Samurai was noble but sometimes ineffective.

Ninjas didn’t subscribe to this idea (they wanted results) and used tactics like deception, disguise and targeted assassinations.

I see a clear parallel with cricket today.

We play in the time honoured way, and when that doesn’t work we continue to play in the time honoured way. It’s mindless, structured and keeps us out of the ninja clan.

Wouldn’t it be better to be an assassin?

Wouldn’t you do more damage if you focused in on your target, using deceptive ploys before striking with ruthless efficiency?

You have those methods available to you.
  • Bowlers can use field settings to force a batsman to play a false shot, or bowl to weaknesses.
  • Batsman can manipulate the field and target bowlers to go after or see off.
  • Both sides can work the umpire.

There is no doubting that these are high-level ninja tricks.

Yes, you need to be able to bowl the ball in the right place when bowling and hit the ball well when batting.

These are the basics that everyone must master.

But once you are confident in the basics, you can also start to develop your ninja legend.

The legend of you

The real ninjas let rumours spread that they were superhumanly strong, and fast with powers like invisibility and shape shifting.

As a cricketer I’m sure you have heard rumours about good local players destroying the opposition. They become a legend too and the fear leads to nervous performances against the “legend” which leads to his legend growing.

By mastering basic skills then applying ninja tricks it’s you that becomes the legend rather than the guy down the road.

You are the one sneaking up and picking the opposition apart through fear, skill and any tactic you can find that works.

And that is the sign of a true ninja.

Just leave the black face mask at home. 

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Cricket Show 123: Sightscreens Blowing Past the Window

It’s the height of summer in the UK so we are experiencing monsoon conditions. Undaunted by the weather Burners and David discuss all manner of cricket coaching, playing and watching.

We look at the big international series as England challenge India for the Test number 1 spot and try to work out what a bowling “enforcer” really does.

Plus Craig Wright gives us a few tips on how to be a club captain.

And of course we have your questions where we discuss how to stop getting bogged down as a batsman and how to get selected for rep level cricket. 


How to Get in Touch With the Show

Our contact email can be found here.

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Discuss this article with other subscribers

How Important is Cricket Captaincy?

Everyone agrees that captaining any cricket team is not easy; but how much can a good captain influence the success of a team?

Here’s A Template for Using Powerlifting for Maximum Cricket Power

This is a guest article by powerlifter and club cricketer Brian Wardle.


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: 160
Date: 2011-07-22