Pitchvision Academy


With former Test, and current first-class cricketer Aakash Chopra joining us this week to give us his batting mental game advice, it’s another informative yet entertaining newsletter.

Plus, we take a fresh look at roles, tell you how to play spin and ask if cover point really is the place for your best fielder.

Have a great weekend, 

David Hinchliffe

Why You’re Putting the Best Fielders In the Wrong Position

Cover point is where your best inner ring fielder should always be to a seam bowler, right?

At least, by conventional thinking.
But what tells you that is the case?
What’s your evidence behind that statement?

You might say two names: Jonty Rhodes and Paul Collingwood.

These men have raised the profile of the cover point position by being brilliant fielders, diving around, taking breathtaking catches and executing world class run outs.

Yet both fielders were not there because tradition dictated it.

They were there because the bowling attack and the playing surfaces merited it.

Due to pace and bounce, point was the "high traffic" position. The best fielder fields there.

Where is your high traffic position?

Now transfer that thinking into the cricket that you coach; the bowlers in your attack, the lengths that they look to hit, the pace and bounce of the playing surface.

Is point is the high traffic area on your pitch?

If the answer is yes, then I would ask you how do you know?

Now, I wouldn't be doing that to be awkward but to ensure that you had something to back it up.

Finding your high traffic positions

A good exercise is to plot a wagon wheel for each bowler in one of your games.

Your scorer might already do this.

Even if they don’t, it’s not too difficult a demand as long as you turn on the charm!

From that information, you will begin to see if where the high traffic areas are for each bowler.

This will challenge conventional thinking and lead to a change in fielding deployment of players or a change of position in the field: say cover moving squarer for a particular bowler.

Or maybe it won’t. The point is, at least you know for sure rather than relying on tradition.

You will be working from facts that inform your decision-making and improve performance.

An example of analysis in action

At International Level this all happens through Analysts and computers, yet the approach is very basic, someone plotting wagon wheel for each bowler in essence.

Australia established in the 2007 Ashes that the high traffic area for Stuart Clark was mid off and mid on as he was looking to pitch the ball on a full length, induce the drive and with his wobble seam deliveries would bring the slips into play as a result, therefore it was vital to get the best fielders in these positions: Clarke at mid off (left handed) and Symonds at mid on (right handed).

England, especially KP, bellowed balls down the ground with little gain as the fantastic pairing dived, saved and frustrated England into mistakes with their presence.

England started to try to hit the ball squarer.

Edges flew to the keeper and slips.

Watching on I thought that this could work at all levels of cricket.

I applied it into all of the teams that I coached after that with startling results.

Apply it to your teams

Based on the ideas in the article I want you to do the same thing.

Start by leaving a comment: where are the high traffic areas for your main bowlers?

Then track where the ball really goes. To help, here's a free wagon wheel sheet you can download and print.
Does it match up?

I’d love to get your feedback here in the comments section.

Think of it as a little project that you can discuss with other coaches right here.

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Limited Offer: 50% Off Batting Lessons from an International Batsman

Every cricketer has wondered it: how do I make it as a professional cricketer?

Indian International Aakash Chopra is revealing the answer in his new online coaching course.

For the next few days, as a thank you for being a dedicated PitchVision Academy reader, you can get lifetime, unlimited access to the course for 50% less than the regular price.

Presented online, in one place, Ranji to IPL: Lessons from a Lifetime of Batting is the complete solution to becoming a player with the mental strength and tactical knowledge to become a batsman who is can successfully play in the IPL, the Ranji Trophy and even for India.

Learn directly from someone who has already been there as the course is presented from the experience of Aakash Chopra, the Indian Test opener with vast experience at first-class Ranji level.

Unlike a traditional coaching manual or DVD, you can interact with Aakash, take on his advice and take his video tips and apply them with the personalised worksheets included.

It is all tied together with a unique “roadmap” that gives enrolees a step-by-step guide to becoming as mentally strong as any professional cricketer.

If you enrol on the course before Thursday 24th November there is a 50% discount.


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Cricket Show 138: Aakash Chopra

The mental side of batting takes centre stage with a free preview from Aakash Chopra – Indian international – on how to play that old cliché of one ball at a time.

For more from Aakash enrol on his online coaching course Ranji to IPL.

There is also a lengthy discussion between show regulars Mark Garaway, David Hinchliffe and Burners on dealing with anxiety about getting out when you are in the middle.

Plus we rant about declarations and look into choosing a new cricket club.

And it wouldn’t be the cricket show without a discussion about cricket teas. Will the team really have a bake off after the close of play?


How to Get in Touch With the Show

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Here’s the Real Key to Playing Spin Well

Today’s article is a guest post by club cricketer and coach, AB.

Batsmen spend years practicing coping with increasingly quicker bowling.

Naturally your main improvement comes by training your feet to move early and instinctively as soon as you pick up the line and length out of the bowler's hand.

This makes perfect sense because you’re automatically in the right position to play the appropriate shot without ever having to think about your feet.

Why Roles Restrict Success
Let’s face it, cricketers are pigeon-holed.

The slow scoring reliable opener, the hard hitting tail ender, the elegant stroke player, the strike bowler...

We all do it.

We label team mates to help determine their role in the side and to assist us in making decisions to best suit the situation.


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: 177
Date: 2011-11-18