Pitchvision Academy


It’s Twenty20 week in the newsletter to celebrate the IPL. The biggest T20 tournament in the world has many great skills on display, so if you play short format cricket it’s a wonderful showcase.

We look at T20 roles,  how to watch the IPL to improve your own game and bowling yorkers. You can up your skills with the Revolution bundle.

Have a great weekend, 

David Hinchliffe

How to Watch IPL Cricket Liveā€¦ and How it Will Make You Better at Cricket

The Indian Premier League is a product as much as it is a cricket tournament. Many use this as a criticism, but for the budding club, school or academy cricketer it’s a real chance to improve.

Wherever you are in the world you will be able to see the IPL in action and that means you can see some of the world’s best players demonstrate their skills under huge pressure.

If you talk to many retired cricketers (and I have spoken to luminaries like Derek Randall, Mike Brearley and Desmond Haynes) they will tell you that when they were young they used to learn about the game simply by going to matches and watching.

Television allows you to do that without going to the ground, and every IPL game is on TV.

By watching the best at work you get a feel for the rhythm of the game; you see in close up the body language of the confident players (and the nervous ones) and you can study technique that makes players the best.

If you have any ambitions in short format cricket, there is no doubt you should watch the IPL live this season.

Where to Watch IPL Cricket Live

The easiest place to keep an eye on matches is in India, where the matches are primetime and on SET Max TV.

You can also watch IPL on English TV thanks to ITV4, who are broadcast every match on the channel and streaming IPL live on itv.com. In the UK matches start mid morning or mid afternoon making it perfect for students on Easter holiday.

African cricketers can catch the games on SuperSport, both on the TV and live streaming with similar day times for games. In the Caribbean you can catch the games on SportsMax TV.

Australian viewers don’t have a broadcaster this time. But don’t fear you can still watch online if you want to stay up late (the matches are on in the small hours).

If you want to watch IPL live streaming, you can access it via the official site at the Times of India.

How to Watch IPL Live

It’s important to remember not to passively watch the games though. You will only get the most from the IPL if you are thinking while you watch.

That means you are best turning down the sound so you can’t hear the commentary. Watch the way the game unfolds and work out for yourself what is happening. Keep asking questions like:

  • What is the bowler trying to do?
  • How is the batsman reacting to the different types of balls?
  • What fields are set, and why?
  • How does a player’s confidence change through an innings?
  • How do players react in different situations?
  • What shots are bineg used, and what areas is the ball going?
  • What mistakes are players making and why?

Become an analyst in your armchair: be mindful when watching the IPL and you will start to pick up things that you can try in your own games and practices.

And that’s when the IPL becomes a coaching tool whatever level you play.

For more ways to watch cricket technique and learn Twenty20 tactics get the new online coaching bundle Revolution: Twenty20 Playing and Coaching Bundle, available now for clubs, schools, Academies and players to get instant access.

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IPL Skills: How to Teach the Yorker

Yorkers will single-handedly win games of cricket in this year’s edition of the IPL. And they will do the same if you coach it well because the yorker is an exciting ball that can be practiced and developed through coaching routines and practices.

Malinga has made himself into one of the most valuable T20 players in the world in the IPL over the last 2 editions.  It’s no shock to learn that he attempts over twice as many yorkers than any other bowler in the IPL. 

Malinga is a diligent trainer and is often seen aiming his yorkers at targets before matches with unerring accuracy. Here’s how your bowling unit can copy his success.


T20 Yorker Bowling Coaching Kit

  • 1 x Set of Multi-Coloured Cones
  • 6 x Newish Balls
  • 6 x Older Balls
  • 1 x Whistle

Length for Yorkers

The most effective length for a Yorker is between 5 and 10cms in front of the crease.

This in contrary to the common idea that you should hit the crease line itself. Real life Hawkeye (from international level) and PitchVision data tells us this in terms of strike rate and economy.

Set your cones on this length and ask players to hit them.

Line of Yorkers

There are different lines of Yorkers that are deployed in IPL. The two most effective options are:

Straight at the Stumps

This is often bowled at players who prefer to use their arms and leverage to muscle the ball to the boundary. Tucking up this kind of batter will restrict the swing of the bat and is a highly viable wicket taking option.

The field set for this type of delivery often includes a deep fine leg as the bat can jam down on the ball and deflect past the short fine leg. The ball is less likely to be hit over mid-off if delivered relatively accurately. Coach your bowlers to have mid-off up on the edge of the circle as this position along with deep fine leg are the most likely field options.

Lasith Malinga, Charl Langeveldt and Alfonso Thomas all prefer to bowl this type of ball to this field set.

Just inside the Wide Line

This yorker is bowled to batsmen who open up the stumps and set themselves to hit straight balls over cover or drag the ball over midwicket. Jacob Oram, Chris Gayle and Scott Styris are good examples of players who are less happy with the wider yorker as it makes them stretch, lose control and lose power.

Bowlers who execute this yorker well include Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan.

Ideally, we can train bowlers to deliver either ball type at will and also with a late change of decision. This is massively important so a bowler can react appropriately when a bowler moves around in the crease.

Yorker Decision Making Drill

Set a red cone straight in front of the stumps (5 to 10cms in front of the popping crease) and a blue cone on the same length just inside the off side wide line. Set a green cone 7-8 metres from the batters end stumps for the alternative ball type ( for example a slower Ball or back of a length).

Ask the bowler to hit the red cone with every ball unless given a whistle signal.

As the bowler runs up, about 2 paces prior to bound strike, the coach or team-mate has the following options:

  • No blow on the whistle (hit the red cone)
  • One blast on the whistle (hit the blue cone)
  • Two blasts on the whistle (hit the green cone)

This drill helps develop decision making and over time, gives resources to the bowler that can use against good batters capable of creating hitting areas through movement in the crease.

Additional options that can be deployed (dependant on resource, the style of bowler and ability/age):

  1. Increase options for delivery types by placing an extra cone/s (Slower Ball Bouncer, Bouncer).
  2. Place a shoe down on the length for Yorker instead of a cone to increase realism
  3. Build a wheeled platform that holds a cone or shoe that can be pulled by rope to simulate movement in the crease. 
  4. Incorporate both right-handed and left-handed simulation into the drills.
  5. Practice with both new balls and old balls as the yorker is a wicket taking option throughout the full 20 overs.

So, watch the IPL with interest, look out for the yorkers, how often they are deployed across 20 overs and see which bowlers execute their options most effectively.

Then use the drill options above to build awareness, competence and ability to perform skills under match pressure.

But most importantly; have some fun with the yorker, the most exciting ball in cricket!   

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Cricket Show 156: Twenty20 Lessons from the IPL

The IPL is high on people’s minds because it is such a good showcase for learning Twenty20 cricket. That’s why the team look at the impact of the IPL on grass-roots playing and coaching.

On the show Mark Garaway, Burners and David Hinchliffe talk about the science of selection, how to measure fielding performance (if you don’t have access to video feeds and hawkeye data), scoring runs of good length balls and preparing young players for Twenty20.

How to Get in Touch With the Show

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Handle Pressure with Set Piece Practice

What’s the best way to handle a pressure situation in a cricket match?

Simple: knowing you have been there before and succeeded. There is no better confidence than the confidence of experience. This is why practicing set pieces is a crucial tool for any side who want to know for sure they can battle out of any situation, no matter how rough.

A good coach or captain is always looking for ways to add this pressure into practice to build confidence. Set piece or scenario practice is the perfect tool for the job.

6 IPL Superstars to Emulate in Your Cricket Team

 Many have criticised the Indian Premier League as being less about cricket and more about entertainment. But it is very serious cricket business that is played by cricketers from which we can all learn lessons.

So, on the cusp of IPL 5, I take a look at some of the superstars of the game, and how you can match the players in your Twenty20 team to similar roles (even if the talent levels are not as high).


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: 197
Date: 2012-04-06