Pitchvision Academy


It’s not often you get the chance to learn from a current international cricketer. But as you know from last week, JP Duminy is passing on his secrets on classic and modern techniques, tactics and preparation right now.

Of course the newsletter continues apace with articles produced for you to learn from and discuss (there is a comments section for every article so you can leave your opinions).

We look at the importance of short leg, spinners shining the ball and the route to batting nirvana through enlightenment. Yes, really.

Have a great weekend, 

David Hinchliffe

PitchVision Academy Becomes the Official Home of JP Duminy’s Online Coaching

I’m delighted to announce that your long wait is over.

As you know, A while ago we announced the JP Duminy was joining PitchVision Academy to produce his first ever (and exclusive) online coaching courses.

Now the courses, titled Hit the Ground Running, are available in the courses section of the site

Click here to enrol right now.

It’s been a full production featuring camera crews, extras and a huge amount of logistics. And all to allow JP to spread his passion for cricket to you.

The result is 2 coaching courses (and a Masterclass bundle of both courses together) that cover technique, tactics, mental preparation and training techniques.

The best bit is that the courses have been designed to teach you to teach yourself. Worksheets allow you to customise JP’s advice to your specific situation so you can make the most of every training session.

JP Duminy has seen it all already. You can learn from his experiences through the streaming videos, then put it all into practice right away.

So click here to enrol on Hit the Ground Running

JP will see you in the IPL... 

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Choosing the Right Short Leg is a Match Winning Decision

Choosing your short leg is as crucial as deciding on who fields at 1st slip or point.

Get it right and you will win your side a couple of wickets for free.

Because short leg is the most attacking fielding position available, it is the most important fielding decision to make.

There is a thin line between bravery and stupidity; and to field at short leg you need a bit of both.

The availability of leg guards and a helmet are of little consolation as your off spinner drags down on a delivery that can be regarded as the first course of an A La Carte menu.

Unlike the majority of fielding positions, the batsman can be caught at short leg without making a mistake; like an edge, mistimed shot or general loss of concentration. 

It only takes one spitting delivery to find the glove and pop up a catch to short leg. So placing someone there who doesn’t flinch or duck away at the slightest movement from the batsman is crucial.

Personally I think that the best short legs are batsman because an element of batting technique helps a short leg.

Most short legs in the professional game are middle order batsman who themselves have immaculate technique; Ian Bell being the obvious example of this.

In my experience as a short leg your first sign that a chance is coming your way has nothing to do with the delivery and everything to do with analysing the batsman’s technique. 

The early signs come from the batsman’s hands and feet, and having the technical ability to recognise these in a spilt second dramatically increase the chances of a catch being held. 

The ability to recognise a front foot or back foot shot early help the short leg anticipate the type of catch coming. 

Defensive shots will be slow loopy chances and attacking shots will come hard and flat. 

Identifying whether the batsman is going for a defensive or attacking shot allows you to position your hands correctly in anticipation. 

Defensive shots are catchable with two hands as they offer more time to see the ball due to their soft connection.

So look to position your hands almost together and in front of your eyes.

Catches from attacking shots will in most cases come hard and flat; resulting in much less reaction time and consequently are often only catchable one handed. 

In which case, look to position your hands shoulder width apart in order to cover a bigger area of reach as quickly as possible.

But more important than technique is to have someone in the team who is willing to do it, to practice is and be brave/stupid enough to ignore the danger. 


If You Want to Be a Better Spinner then Shine the Ball

Everyone knows that spinners struggle to grip a new or shiny ball.  No wonder they are guilty of shining neglect during their spell. 

But finger spinners can add an additional dimension to their arsenal of deliveries if they embrace the shining.

Pace bowlers know that they are able to swing the ball more if they bowl slower than normal and some of the biggest swingers of the ball are medium pacers. 

That’s no coincidence.

And a finger spinner has the potential to use that information.

Imagine bowling a controlled quicker ball at roughly the same pace as a medium pacer.

The ball will swing.

Graeme Swann uses the physics of swing as a variation to his arm ball. 

He uses the shine to swing the ball downwards, creating a ball that dips late. Landing it on the rough side also increases the chance of variable bounce.

At club level, one of the leading wicket takers over the years in my team uses swing regularly within his spin spells to great effect.

A spinner’s quicker ball is read out of the hand and negotiated with ease. So adding the element of swing creates better chances of getting a wicket.

As a batsman, what is more inviting that a spinner’s quicker ball that is full and outside leg stump?

A simple flick off the legs or an on drive: an easy shot selection. 

But what if that ball swings away late, or dips to become a good length ball?

A leading edge or a complete miss are very viable outcomes. 

The art of spin bowling is built on the foundations of control and discipline, and the mastering of swing bowling is something that is mastered quicker than the traditional variations of spin.

And all it takes is a bit of polishing between overs.

Look after that ball.

Cricket Show 130: Coaching Like Gary Kirsten and Winning Twenty20 on TV

Burners regales us with his stories of meeting former-India coach Gary Kirsten this week as we discuss the challenge of trying to coach players with greater talent that you.

Plus we find out exactly how Burner’s we omitted from the squad for the finals day of the ECB Club Twenty20 live on Sky TV.

Batting Enlightenment: Discover How to Play Your Own Way

We have come across that wily batsman who manages to score stacks of runs without a great technique.

At first you look at them with contempt, frustrated at how someone with so little technique can hang around so long and score so many runs (especially if you’re the bowler).

Then after a few overs of this you will just put it down to pure luck.

It’s not luck at all.

That guy knows how he bats: He knows his limits and what he is able to do.


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: 169
Date: 2011-09-23