Pitchvision Academy


One of the most asked questions on PitchVision Academy is about how to time the ball, so this week guest contributor - AB - looks at the subject in detail.

Plus there are articles on deadlifting and using the crease as a batsman. We also take a little review of some other things going on at PitchVision Academy at the moment. Take some time to look at the bottom of the newsletter to get the gossip.

Have a great weekend, 

David Hinchliffe

Four Ways to Use Your Crease to Upset Bowlers

When a bowler is in rhythm they are in control, so it’s your job as a batsman to find ways to disrupt that balance.


Mostly bowlers find ways to do it to themselves, but you can have an influence in the right circumstances. One simple way to do that is by moving around your crease.

But you have to do it right, so here are four ways to do it, alongside the reasons to get your toes twinkling:

1. Get out of your crease

Moving out of your crease is an aggressive move that upsets the seam bowler’s length. A good length ball is now a half volley. A yorker is a full toss that you can dispatch anywhere on the park.

It also makes LBW a lot harder to get.

Plus it has the benefit of intimidating the bowler. You are suddenly bigger; suddenly coming forwards and making them think twice about where to bowl:

The tactic works especially well if you are a front foot player, or you are playing on a slow pitch that requires a lot of driving.

Step out as the bowler enters the delivery stride. Some people prefer to do it early so they can get set at the new position, others prefer to go late and be on the move. Practice both.

With slower seam bowlers you will see the wicketkeeper stand up to counter the move. That’s OK because you can still try the next option.

2. Stand deep in your crease

Standing with both feet inside the crease is also designed to put a bowler off his length as you can now play back to good length balls. It’s especially effective against spinners and slower medium paced bowlers; both of whom hate to get cut and pulled.

Of course you stand a greater risk of LBW, especially against quicker bowlers with the keeper up, so be careful on the pitch you choose. A slow, low one is not the best idea.

It’s also wise to watch your bat and feet as knocking your stumps over is a genuine risk.

3. Exaggerate your trigger move

Another trick to using the crease is a variation of starting deep. This time you start in your normal position but move back and across just before the ball is bowled.

This gives the impression you have “cleared the front leg” even though it’s the back leg you have moved.


From this position you can play any shot: Short balls can be cut or pulled, length balls can be driven on the off or leg side.

You can also slog sweep.

It’s a bit more of a risk because you are opening yourself up, so not in the best position. However, by doing that you are giving yourself options without taking a massive chance.

4. Become a moving target

The last option carries the most risk but allows you to hit bowling into gaps at the end of an innings: you move sideways.

The choice is:

Step away to the leg side and aim to hit the ball over mid off or extra cover

Step away to the off side and aim to chip the ball over short fine leg

It’s not easy because it’s premeditated and you are moving away from your guard so you will lose where your stumps are. This means you have to practice it a lot to get right and you also need to save it for situations where you need to score most quickly.


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Is Deadlifting Good For Cricket?

Today’s article is a guest post from personal trainer Brian Wardle.

Look at all the top level athletes in the world in any sport.

They all have something in common: a well developed backside.

By this I'm referring to the glutes, hamstrings and lower back. These muscles (and the hip extension movement they control) are important because the stronger they are the better they allow you to:

  • Run fast
  • Turn quick
  • Jump high

and literally perform any athletic movement with grace and style.

So what can you do about it?
Start performing the deadlift!

The deadlift gets a lot of bad news because people believe it to be a dangerous exercise. Performed properly, nothing can be further from the truth.

Deadlifting with good technique

Here are a few tips to help you build a strong posterior chain and a big deadlift:

  • Step up to the bar with your feet approximately hip width apart. Your shins should be about half an inch away from the bar.
  • Bend down to the bar by flexing the hip and knee
  • Take a grip which is just outside of either shin (I would suggest an alternate grip where one hand is facing away from you and the other facing behind. This will make your grip stronger)
  • Keep your back straight and shoulders slightly behind the bar:
  • When you’re ready start to pull the weight from the floor (imagine a piece of string pulling you up from your head)
  • As you get close towards completion of the lift, drive your hips into the bar. Some people call this “humping the bar”
  • Lower the bar under control to about knee height before you let go.

The key to being successful in the deadlift is to start light and gradually increase the resistance.

Technique is paramount!

You want to make sure you’re sending the correct signals from the brain to the muscles as this will translate more to athletic performance, including batting, bowling and fielding.

So don't get left behind.

Start working on your deadlift technique today and who knows you could be the next big star everyone is talking about! 

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2 Reasons You Are Not Timing the Ball Well
This is a guest article from club player AB about 2 common mistakes all batsmen make when trying to time the ball well and score runs.
I’m sure you have said it:

"I just couldn't get my timing right on that slow pitch"

Or you heard a coach say, "you don't need to hit it hard, just time it nicely".

But what does that actually mean?

Good timing is a matter of the bat coming down at exactly the right time so that the ball both strikes the middle of the bat, and then leaves it in exactly the direction the batsman was intending.

Simple when you put it like that; but it’s easy to go wrong too.

There are two different ways in which timing goes wrong - and a cross bat shot and a straight bat shot will typically suffer from poor timing in different ways.

 1. High on the bat vs. low on the bat

 This is mainly an issue with cross bat shots, particularly the pull.

It's perfectly possible to play the exact right shot to a short delivery, but if you're a fraction early or late, instead of flying to the boundary, the ball will squirt off weakly towards midwicket.

Bring the bat around too late, the ball will have travelled that little bit further and will make contact with the splice instead of the middle; bring the bat around too soon, and the ball will hit the toe of the bat.

How do you get around the issue?

It’s important to get a feeling for the pace of a pitch and the bowler before attempting expansive cross bat shots.

You may get a juicy long hop early on, but if you have misjudged the pace of the pitch, you may find that instead of landing in the trees the other side of the square leg boundary, your poorly timed shot floats straight into the hands of a grateful midwicket fielder.

Just watch the pace and bounce for an over or two first, and you will be in position to make a better judgement on those aggressive shots.

 2. Into the ground vs. up in the air

 The second timing problem affects the drive.

We all know the dangers of driving too early on a slow pitch, but the opposite problem brings its own issues: if the bat comes down too early, you will make contact with the ball beyond the vertical and the shot will be "uppish".

It may possibly even go straight up if the pace of the pitch or the bowler is particularly badly judged.

This is immediately fatal, so cautious batsmen overcompensate and hit their drives into the ground.

Although this isn't going to result in a wicket directly, the ball also isn't going to go very far and the batsman will soon get frustrated about his inability to get the ball away through the infield.

Aiming to hit the ball along the ground is not the same as hitting it into the ground.

Practicing your timing

The way to practice improving timing is to be aware of what is happening.

Whether you're practising in the nets or trying to find some touch out in the middle, and the ball just doesn't seem to be coming off the bat right, ask yourself:

 "How is my timing - am I playing too late or too early, and what adjustments can I make?"

Knowing what the problem is will be a step in the right direction. You can then start to make adjustments based on the feel of what is happening.

This is easier in practice sessions than in the middle, but awareness is the first step.

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Free Stuff from PitchVision Academy

Recently I’ve been busy giving away loads of stuff on PitchVision Academy. It’s a refreshing change to get a more detailed look at a topic than you can get in a single article.

It’s also easy for all this cool stuff to get lost in the daily updates on the site, so I’ve created a home for it all in one place here.

Here is the complete list of the best stuff on PitchVision Academy:

Cricket Coaching Bestseller List

As you know, we occasionally publish the bestselling books, eBooks and courses on cricket coaching (or related subjects) sold through PitchVision Academy.

It’s a nice primer to see who is buying what over the previous months. As the site grows, sales are healthy and we can see what subjects are exciting you in your quest to become a better cricketer or coach.

So, here are the lists for 2011 (so far):

Bestselling online coaching


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: 163
Date: 2011-08-12