Pitchvision Academy


Settle down with a drink and an early festive treat because you are about to read some more cricket coaching gems from PitchVision Academy.

Mark Garaway talks about thinking out of the box, Menno Gazendam bowls into the rough and there is advice on running between the wickets.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

To Plan or Not to Plan: The Power of Out the Box Thinking


In the world of analysts, TV replays, team meetings and data mining it is easy to forget the value of instinctive tactical thinking.

As an analyst in a previous life, it was my job to come up with the plans for our bowling attack that maximises the impact against any given batsmen or batting line up.

The data behind those plans was significant yet the most rewarding experiences I had came from the things I suggested which were considered "off the wall".

Yesterday, in my role at Millfield School, I watched two lads bowl off spin to right handed batters with a 6/3 off-side field and bowled 16 overs. Only 3 balls would have hit the stumps.

They pitched the ball way outside the off-stump and the batters from my team smacked cover drive after cover drive into a slow outfield and 5 waiting fielders.

The 2 young bowlers came on at 80 for 1 and quickly turned that into 120 all out when these lads asked different questions to my batters.

I asked myself 2 questions:

  1. Would I have asked my off-spinners to bowl such a line to such a field?
  2. Why didn't my batters take a stance outside off-stump and hit a few deliveries into the acres of space on the on side?

The answer is the same: my conventional thinking and my conventional coaching!

What I learnt yesterday from watching these two Sharjah based young bowlers was that out of the box thinking can throw another team off track. In the shortened formats of the game this is vital. If you can confuse your opponent for an over or two then you lessen their impact.

I watch so many 50 over games where the middle overs are dull because someone bowls off spin to a 5/4 on-side field and go at 5 an over. Everyone says well bowled, instead of saying,

"Actually, that was boring, how can we win an over or two through deception or confusion?"

So, when the game is meandering the question to ask yourself is,

"Can we do something different? Can we confuse or deceive and see what happens?"

Former England captain Michael Vaughan was awesome at this; putting fielders in odd places - remember a close catcher on the pitch edge to Mathew Hayden in 2005 - or asking his bowler to bowl an over of cross seam bouncers.

Later skipper Andrew Strauss was less instinctive yet very self aware. So he used Stuart Broad as his "out of the box thinking" lieutenant. Often you would see Straussy and Broady in discussion. That was the reason why.

So are you an out the box thinking coach or captain?

If not thats fine because you have other vital leadership skills. But then I ask; who is your Stuart Broad?

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Cricket Show 192: My Vision is PitchVision

Mark Garaway gives us a whistle stop tour through some of his articles as we discuss bowling boots, hitting the ball into the ground and vision training. Meanwhile Burners chips in with some notes on conditioning fast bowlers and a new tag line for PitchVision (maybe).

Plus we discuss the problem of poor footwork in batting and try to find as many words for 'stumps' as we can.

Next week's show is the last before the end of year break, so phone in today!


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!

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Here's A Simple Way to Get More Quick Singles

Running between the wickets is often portrayed as a simple art, but it is done best by those who have a real understanding and trust in their batting partners.

In this video filmed at a recent Twenty20 tournament, I talk about the need to remain aware of your surrounds if you want to trust your batting partner.

If you can't see the video above, click here.

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How to Make it in Grade Cricket: An Instructional Guide

Sam Perry of The Public Apology takes a wry look at playing Australian grade cricket in the guest article. Catch up with them on facebook and twitter

Let’s take a quick cultural glance at your typical grade cricket club, and have a look at how one might climb its ranks.

Firstly, any attempt to analyse grade cricket theatre calls for a glimpse at a player’s emotional cycle at season’s end. Typically, his relationship to the game will undergo a self-sabotaging appropriation of the seven stages of grieving: hate, relief, peace, restlessness, hope, optimism, love. This happens over a period of roughly four months. Once complete, he is ready for further pain.

How to Attack with a Defensive Spin Bowling Line

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

When a spin bowler bowls outside of leg stump commentators always call it a negative line. While this is the case most of the times, it is not always so.

There is no such thing as a defensive line just outside leg stump. It only becomes defensive if,


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: 233
Date: 2012-12-14