Pitchvision Academy


The newsletter this week features IPL lessons from both the bad boys (Harbhajan Singh) and the upcoming stars (Mandeep Singh). Meanwhile - for the keepers - Mark Garaway looks at the fine art of leg side stumpings.

Have a great weekend, 

David Hinchliffe

Lessons from IPL: Do Bad Boys Prosper?

From Harbhajan Singh to Dale Steyn, IPL 2012 has been littered with examples of cricketers pushing the Spirit of Cricket to its limits. The offenders will say it’s just passion over-spilling, but do you need a bad boy to succeed at your level?

The example of Harbhajan Singh is a good one to examine. The Mumbai Indian’s skipper argued for several minutes with the umpire, eventually forcing him to review his decision.

In this situation, the review found out that the batsman was out and the decision was reversed. The bad boys were vindicated because the correct decision was eventually made. They didn’t escape censure after the match, but by then the work had been done anyway.

We have all seen similar behaviour at club, school and academy level too. Some personalities are fired up so much by the heat of battle that they can forget what is acceptable.

Playing with passion is an important part of cricketing success. Bowlers especially need to get “fired up”. It’s a well known sport psychology phenomenon called the Inverted U Theory:

Here you can see there is an optimum point of arousal (or how fired up you are) that leads to maximum performance.

But you can also see that if you get too motivated – too passionate – you lose performance. So there is certainly a strong case for making the opposition tut at your naughty acts.

Making the most of bad boys

What this graph doesn’t show is exactly how much arousal each individual needs. Someone with that “bad boy” personality will be pushing the boundaries of acceptable behaviour before they are at their best performance.

Different personalities have no need to go as far.

It’s up to you to identify how fired up you need to get to perform. If you are of the bad boy personality you will find yourself getting into trouble to get to your best game. For me this is better than accepting the alternative of behaving perfectly and playing poorly.

Of course, this doesn’t excuse bad behaviour. Most people don’t need to see off the batsman by pointing to the dug out. We all know where the line is and you can be a world-class player without ever being ill-mannered.

So be mindful of your actions. Get your arousal to the right level and avoid bad behaviour as much as you can.

But if you or one of your team-mates is a bad boy that gets results then perhaps you can cut him some slack. He may just keep the whole side playing with passion. 

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5 Simple Steps to Become the Master of the Legside Stumping

The legside stumping is one of cricket's finest sights. I know as a former wicketkeeper I’m biased, but it’s a skill that turns games. It’s achievable by all keepers if these sound rules are followed:


1. You can't catch what you can’t see

Many keepers see the ball going down the legside and head off blindly to take the ball without gathering enough information. The result is that they get stuck behind the line of the batter and then we see a pair of gloves appear from behind the batsman grabbing blindly at thin air.

Stay on the offside of the batter for as long as possible in order to gather the information that tells you of where the ball will be at ball take. Then you aren't guessing when you move down the legside. You move across smoothly and with confidence, the ball nestles in the gloves.

2. Panther-like lateral movement

Move across to the legside of the batter using a low movement pattern (like a hunting panther) keeping your head and hands low enabling you to come up with the bounce of the ball. As we stated last week, 80% of balls that are missed go under the line of the hands and this low movement will help to ensure that you don't add to the statistic.

3. Should you use a one step or two step movement to move across?

Shorter keepers tend to use two steps to move across, this provides them with an anchor position where their inside foot is close to the Leg Stump and provides a base for movement back into the stumps to take the bails. Tall keepers have the option of using the one step movement patterns and use their leg length to slide their foot across early whilst staying off side of the batter with their head.

Rob Turner, the Ex-Somerset Keeper used this technique brilliantly when standing up to Mushtaq Ahmed

4. Create a base at ball take

If the keeper is balanced at ball take then she is able to push back into the stumps and take the bails. Balance is achieved by having a minimum of shoulder width base with your feet at ball take and having your head, hands and feet in line.

Often, when a keeper is losing balance you will note that their feet are too close together and create a narrow base that forces the keeper to topple over away from the stumps. This naturally reduces the chance of taking the bails or makes the movement back into the stumps a stretched one: widen the base to increase the control, stability and the number of stumping opportunities.

5. You have more time than you think

With a strong base and an anchor position, the keeper is in great shape to whip the bails of and complete the leg-side stumping.

I never missed a stumping because I was too slow at getting the bails off. However, I missed plenty because I didn't have the ball in my hands! Many keepers are so keen to take the bails off that they leave the ball behind. Enjoy the take and move smoothly to take the bails; you always have more time than you think.

Follow these 5 leg-side take points and consistency, control and success will quickly follow. Let me know when that leg-side stumping count starts to rise. 

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Cricket Show 162: The Problems with Indian Club Cricket

Club cricket in some parts of India is almost extinct. So this week the team discuss the how to beat the system and become an Indian cricketer if you are not picked up early.

There are also questions from Indian listeners on opening tactics for Twenty20 batsmen and how to stay in form during the off-season. Listen to the show for the panel’s answers.


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How to Play Fast Bowling as Effectively as Mandeep Singh

Imagine opening the batting for Kings XI Punjab in Mohali. The opposition is Deccan Chargers and standing at the end of his run is no less that Dale Steyn; one of the world’s most destructive pacemen.

It’s fair to say your heart would be racing. That’s a situation experienced by 20 year old Punjab opener Mandeep Singh. Yet despite the pressure, the pace and fear he is flourishing. Many critics have him on the fast-track to becoming India’s next big thing.

The Junior Cricketer’s Guide to PitchVision Academy
This guide for young cricketers aged 8-18 is of a series of introductory guides to PitchVision Academy, for the full list click here.

Cricket is a game that takes a long time to learn and even longer to master. Coaches, parents and plenty of others are on hand to help with advice for your matches. You wonder if you are the next Tendulkar or just another kid.


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: 203
Date: 2012-05-18