Pitchvision Academy


Kevin Pietersen talks about playing left arm spin this week in an exclusive video.

As if that wasn’t enough in itself, we also look at the truth about hitting against spin, cricket technology and how to make the summer longer.

You are welcome. Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Kevin Pietersen on: Playing Left Arm Spin

In our regular series of coaching questions PitchVision Academy put to Kevin Pietersen during the filming of Keep Calm and Smash It, we asked KP to explain his approach to left arm spin. He doesn't see a problem.

The video below explains it all, including demonstrating the way he scores.

Click here to watch it.


If you want to learn shortcuts to learning your own methods of batting success get Keep Calm and Smash It, the online coaching course that gives you instant access to videos, drills and worksheets.


The Truth About Hitting Against the Spin

In England, I was bought up being told that you should not hit against the spin.

You can't hit with control and the bowler will end up getting your wicket, they used to tell me.

Every time I hit an off spinner for 4 between mid off and extra cover I was told it was risky.

But I reckon that in all my batting career scored 2000 runs with that one shot.

I  got out only once (bowled by Durham's off Spinner Jason Searle).

Now, that is not a bad average for a risky shot.

Hit into the spin, not with the spin

Later, when I worked with England, Duncan Fletcher talked about and coached hitting into the spin.

What did he mean?

The ball spinning into the stumps can be met by the full face of the bat when you hit through the off side because more of the ball and more of the bat will come into contact with each other.

 This means more power and - crucially - more control.

Contrast that to hitting a ball that is moving away from the stumps into the off side (hitting with the spin).

The bat face has to catch up with the ball rather than the ball coming to meet the bat.

Less of the bat face and less of the ball come into contact with each other. This means less power and less control.

I am not suggesting that hitting with the spin is risky. Players who hit with the spin well generally get close to the ball which enables them to control the shot.

All I am saying is that a greater understanding of the principles of hitting spin will help players to develop their scoring options against spin bowlers.

So the next time you hear a coach telling a player off for hitting against the spin, bring up the principle of hitting into the spin. Have a constructive debate as this is the way that understanding is developed and limiting beliefs are challenged.

Shots to play

When the ball is spinning into the stumps you can hit with the spin by playing;

  • Back foot drive (back foot on leg stump) through the off side
  • Front foot drive between mid off and extra cover
  • Using feet and hitting up and over mid off and extra cover (often described as hitting into out, yet we now know it is hitting into the spin)

When the ball is spinning away from the stumps you can hit with the spin by playing;

  • Sweep along the ground to deep square leg
  • Use of feet to hit over mid on
  • Hitting leg stump half volley through mid-wicket (See Sachin Tendulkar, Younis Khan, Rahul Dravid or Jonathan Trott)
  • Hitting back foot either side of mid wicket  (See Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid) 

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Cricket Show 149: Captaincy, Tail-enders and Indian Academies

With Mark Garaway away in the West Indies, cocktail in hand, it’s over to Burners and David Hinchliffe to run the ship.

The show discusses how not to use PitchVision (as this video shows) and defining roles for players with a wide skill set. Irfan Sait of the KIOC Academy in Bangalore comes on the phone to talk about what it takes to become a pro.

Your questions are also covered on bowling to tail-enders and how to captain an inexperienced side.



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Cricket Technology - an aid; Humans - the key

Today’s article is a guest post on technology in coaching from Bala of criccube.com, republished with permission.

Kids Cricket: How to Make the Summer Longer

Cricket coach Darren Talbot has been thinking about how to make the most of a short English summer for kids still in school

The summer is far too short for colts cricket here in the UK and it’s causing a problem.

Matches start at the start of May and end when schools break up in mid-July. Kids are getting barely 3 months of competition. Certainly in my area this is unlikely to change anytime soon.

6 whole weeks of potential cricket, including the whole of August and how much is played? 


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: 190
Date: 2012-02-17