Pitchvision Academy


Christmas is a great time for cricket. Presents, Boxing Day tests and the same rate of tips from PitchVision Academy.

For example, in this newsletter we look at the beauty of spin bowling, tips for 2013 and making the most of the term 'stimuli identification'

Have a great weekend and a Merry Christmas,

David Hinchliffe

Spin Bowling Project: Why Spin Makes Cricket Pretty


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

Spin bowling challenges a batsman's skills in a way that medium and fast bowling does not.

My favourite cricket photo of all time is the posed one of the great Australian batsman Victor Trumper at the Oval, where he leaps out at the ball, bat wound up high above his head, ready to uncoil and unleash fury.

It's pure poetry.

The photo is posed, but there is no doubt that Victor is double-stepping towards the ball. Most probably the cameraman asked him to pretend he is playing a spinner. "Just pretend you are about to murder a spinner Victor."

A beautiful battle

There is something mesmerising in watching a top batsman dance towards to the ball. And when a top spin bowler is fighting against a top batsman who shows dazzling footwork then all is good and right in this world.

But, without spin bowlers we will not get to enjoy this.

Think of the horror of only watching medium trundlers running and trying to contain.

Footwork must be show against all types of bowlers. But, the true beauty of footwork is shown on a dusty, spinning track where the batsman is meeting the ball on the bounce every time, giving it no time to turn. Frustrating for the spin bowler, for sure, but a joy to watch as a cricketing purist.

And although seeing a genuine fast bowler in full fearsome flight is a sight to behold we must ensure that the art of spin always thrives.

Spin is beautiful in itself but it also leads to beautiful batting.

Magical cricket.

The indian leftie Bishan Bedi use to applaud (much to the irritation of his teammates) the batsman when played a good shot against him. He did this with genuine admiration and no hint of sarcasm.

He knew he was part of the process that gives and takes in cricket - and if a batsman hit him through the covers for four, well then it might as well be a batsman showing dazzling footwork.

We can't all be dazzling batsmen but we can work on it.

We can't all be world-class spinners but we can work on it.

You owe it to work hard and master your game.

You owe it to your opponent at the other end and you owe it to the majesty of the battle that is the game of cricket.

For more detailed spin bowling advice, tips, tricks, tactics and training drill for spinners in all formats of cricket, get the Spin Bowling Project free 8 week email coaching course.

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Coaching to Win: How England Broke a 28 year Duck in India

The 2012 India vs England Test series was a resounding success for the visitors.

After India won the 1st rubber by a convincing margin, Andy Flower asked for his team to be judged on the whole series. Many questioned his faith, yet Andy could see that the ingredients were beginning to come together. This is how they did it:


Batting like Dravid

Against spin, England were looking to get as close to ball bounce OR as far away from ball bounce as possible, especially when attacking.

Using the depth of the crease proved to be key in this method and it was excellent to see improved footwork in all of the England batters as they took practice methods into the middle.

This was especially evident when England bought Joe Root into the melting pot in the final test. Joe did exactly as he has been asked by the coaching staff and this method gave him a fifty and 20 not out to start his Test career.

Letting Monty be Monty

Monty Panesar fell out of the reckoning as an International player when he started to vary his pace and try and develop different deliveries.

After a couple of years of hurt, Monty has reverted to his super-strength of fast paced deliveries into a length. These balls can either turn sharply or run on into the stumps to collect LBW. Monty simply bowls the same ball over and over. Natural variation makes him special.

It's great that Monty is allowed to be himself again. He has the strength of character to say "No, this is what I do" rather than bowl like others desire.

Captaincy by example

In truth, there is only way to lead and that is through example and performance.

In 'Chef's' first major tour as Test captain he did exactly that. At one point Cook was out on the field for 94% of the balls bowled in the series. Cook's 562 runs at 80.28 set the standard for the others to follow.

Perfect leadership.

Accepting the 'bad boy'

There is nothing like a historic win to put recent trouble behind you and that's exactly what England achieved.

By making Kevin Pietersen a key part of things, he performed miracles in Mumbai during that innings of 186 which pulled England back into the series. Many have called it KP's finest work with the bat.

Solid specific selection

England's selection of Nick Compton to open was a master stroke.

Having 3 solid players at the top of the order gave England the foundation to bat long and post competitive totals that gave Jimmy Anderson and the spinners some scoreboard pressure.

The goal in Test cricket in India is to long in the 1st innings. The game generally has a shape of 'Slow, Slow, Quicker, Fast!'

The way the pitches deteriorate mean that the final 2 innings are the most tricky to bat. The spinners pick up wickets at an accelerated rate on days 4 and 5. If you bat too quick in the first innings you are likely to lose wickets and end up 100 short of a match winning foundation.

England scored 413 in 121 overs in the 1st Innings in Mumbai, 523 in 167 overs at Kolkata and 330 in 146 overs in Nagpur to get their 3 crucial results. This was in no small part to the solid contribution of Compton's partnerships with Cook and Trott.

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Cricket Show 193: 11 Tips for 2013

The last show of the series and the year sees 11 tips for 2013 from all corners of the world.

But we also time to find out about Mark Garaway's tour to Dubai, Burners' plan for Christmas and how England beat India at home. Here is the article on playing spin that Garas mentioned.


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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How to Use Stimuli Identification to Become a Better Cricketer

This is a guest article from coach and PhD candidate Adam Kelly

Everyone says you should train hard but sometimes it's good to step back and ask a bigger question of ourselves.

What is the purpose of training?

We spend hours and hours in nets and on the field looking to enhance our performance. Drills are designed to improve our skills.

Logically we should train recognise which skill to execute and when to execute said skill.

Rewind: The Best Indian Articles from 2012

What would a year on PitchVision Academy be without a good old-fashioned review of the year?

And where better to focus that review than on the cricketing super-power that is India? With the world's most populous and passionate cricket fans the premier domestic T20 tournament in the IPL, 2012 is another notch on the belt of India as the cricket superpower.

How did we see it on PitchVision Academy?


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: 234
Date: 2012-12-21