Pitchvision Academy


It's a huge newsletter this week as big names rub shoulders with knowledgable and experienced coaches. And who is bigger than Sachin Tendulkar? He has seen it all. So, when the little master struggles we can learn from his reactions to problems. It's great to know even legends have times of difficulty like us normal human beings.

We also have a detailed case study on profiling with Mark Garaway, a drill on how to make the most of a bowling spell and spin bowling run up tips with Menno Gazendam.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

What Tendulkar's Reaction to Getting Out Teaches You About Batting


When Sachin Tendulkar was bowled for 17 in the 2nd Test against New Zealand he did something unusual.

Normally the Little Master walks off quietly, thoughtfully and focused.

This time he swung his bat in frustration.

Sounds like a tiny change?

Yes, but it shows something from which we can all learn as batters.

Only he can know what made the difference, but it showed a crack in the temperament of one of the greatest batsmen of all time.

And the worrying part for Sachin is that temperament is what has driven his astounding success.

It's his dogged determination to improve as a batsman that took him to heights as a young player through a relentless practice schedule.

It's the ability to put frustrations and setbacks aside time after time and head back into to the nets to keep working towards his goals that have kept him at the top; even well past his 35th birthday.

It was always about the next practice session, the next innings, the next ball.

And in the one swish it was suddenly not about that any longer. It was about the preceding delivery.

It was about a doubt.

A doubt that lingered in his mind.

Perhaps a thought that he can no longer play fast bowling the way he could: The idea that maybe his "eyes have gone".

The concept that maybe - just maybe - he is finally too old.

How to bat without fear

As batsmen, we all have a fear like this.

Perhaps, like Sachin, you are in the Autumn of a career. Or perhaps you are just starting out and you wonder if you even have the talent in the first place.

It's the same doubt, the same paralysing fear that makes you bat with restriction and think about giving up the game.

It doesn't have to be like that.

When I see a cricketer with that kind of fear, here is the advice I give (and it would be the same for Tendulkar as it would be for you).

1. Forget eyesight and reactions

It's a misconception that being able to bat is about how good your eyes are, or how fast your reactions are.

Of course, these things play a part but batting is far more about judgment through reading the bowler. If you have this ability then you don't need super-fast reactions or pinpoint eyesight.

So while any cricketer - especially those over 35 - should be doing regular exercise and eating a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and good fats, its most important to acquire and maintain the ability to judge line and length early.

2. Remove flaws

Once you have realised that the control of your fate is in your hands, you can get into the nets.

The better your batting technique the more confidence you have in your ability to face any kind of bowling; from high pace to extreme spin. If you feel you have a technical flaw that can be exploited then it will always be in the back of your mind.

However, you can achieve a better technique by hard and smart practice. A lot of batsmen make the mistake of practicing less as they get older, especially on technique. But by using methods like 4 Angles you can hone technique and remove any niggling flaws in your method, even when you are getting on a bit.

3. Be Super-fit

I mentioned fitness briefly before, but it makes a huge difference, especially for older players, although no-one gets a free pass.

Fitness will give you the confidence that you can bat for a long time, that your body is not fading and that your concentration will not flag. You can use BATEX to combine fitness work with your net practice.

Fitness is also shown to stop the decline in power and speed you get as you age, reducing the ravages of sage significantly on your game.

But above all this, the important aspect is to remember that you don't have to go gently into the night. You can fight. And those who fight hardest for longest are the most successful.

It may just be a bat swish, but for Sachin, it's becoming more difficult for him to keep the fire burning.

Can you make sure the passionate flame keeps you at the top of your game?

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How Profiling Kick-Started One Cricketer's Academy Drive

Following on from the profiling article, this is an example of how the profile is used practically.

I'm lucky enough to work with some very talented players, one of whom was disappointed not to make the Academy cut last year. Following that decision, We sat down and worked through the profiler in January and planned our programme around that initial assessment.

The aim was to make the cut for this year.


The main area in the profiler that required attention was the development of his tactical game and the decisions that would come as a result of enhanced tactical understanding.

The specific profiler areas I used were:

  • Batting routine
  • Building an innings
  • ODI accumulation
  • ODI hitting out
  • Fielding routine
  • Adaptability
  • Review processes

The player in question is an opening batter so the profiler was tweaked to reflect his specialism.

The two graphs below depict the journey from assessment to assessment throughout the year. Graph 1 is the Player view; Graph 2 is the Coach View:

Assessments were in January (Winter Training programme), April (Pre-season) and July (Mid-Season).

His rapid development was due to focusing on the areas of most significant need; his development gaps. His initial assessment indicated that Batting Routine, ODI Accumulation and ODI Hitting out were areas to really target.

So the programme that we built included the following things:

Building a Batting Routine

Narrowing the focus from the broad (review of previous ball, scoreboard, what others may be thinking, where are we in the game, I must do my homework etc.) through a process whereby the batter ended up having a single focus or an "open awareness" which allowed the body to react appropriately to each ball.

We did this every ball of every session as practice makes permanent with things such as pre-delivery routines. This made a world of difference to his performance over time.

ODI Accumulation

Particularly against spin as this was highlighted in the technical batting element of the profiler (illustrating that combining elements of the profiler helps to build a complete training programme).

We did lots of work on the Merlyn bowling machine initially, then against bowlers. The focus was on the use of his feet and hitting the ball down the ground, along the ground hard to deep fielders. Basically, beating the bowler either side and using the non-striker as a blocker.

We also explored how he could hit the ball over the top to push mid on and mid off back in the first point to open up singles down the ground.

Other shots included pairing up the run-sweep with the "tuck to square leg". This was also important as it guaranteed a single if utilised effectively.

ODI Hitting

I introduced the back-load technique. This player mastered this and was the batter who effectively won the T20 final with his 2nd ball back-loaded six.

2 further profile sessions, targeted training, some review and reflection, and lots of sweat and tears later, the same player was asked onto his Academy.

So there you have it, a living example how profiling, monitoring progress and building specific programmes can help your players reach their process goals.

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Cricket Show 179: How to Score Daddy Hundreds in Assam

Hit the PLAY button to listen right from your browser!

A first-class cricketer from Assam in India gets in touch with the show to ask how to kick on from a pretty 20 or 30 to a big "daddy" hundred. The team get stuck into the answer in the mailbag.

We also examine uncovered pitches in the Ranji Trophy and have a special guest presenter to answer a question about practice and success. Listen in to hear coach and cricketer Nikhil Sharma direct from Haryana give his advice.

Plus we have another Tailender cricket slang term.


Sadly, due to a technical hitch there is no Soapbox rant this week, but it will be back next week for everyone who love it when Burners starts shouting.

Links this week are:

How to Send in Your Questions

If you want to win a cricket coaching prize, you need to send in your burning questions to the show. If your question is the best one we give you a free online cricket coaching course!

Send in your questions via:

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USA: +1 347 722 1981

How to Listen to the Show

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You can also download this show onto your computer by clicking the link at the top, or you can stream it by pressing play!


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Bowling Drills: Make the Most of Your Bowling Spell

Wouldn't it be handy to know the exact natural spell of every bowler? As a captain, coach or even bowler, you will be able to use your best time, and rest when you know you are tiring. Every bowler - no matter how fit - has a natural spell length.

How Long Should Your Run Up Be?

Menno Gazendam is author of Spin Bowling Project. Get your free 8 week spin bowling course here. 

Asking how long the run up should be is a common question.

And as always, no definitive answer.

Primarily, rhythm is everything: from dancing to delivering the perfect off-break.

It all involves going through the mechanics, feeling comfortable and knowing what the next move should be: a strong, regular, repeated pattern of movement.


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.

4 Angles


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Issue: 220
Date: 2012-09-14