Pitchvision Academy


Steffan Jones joins the coaching panel this week and so the newsletter is packed with tips on how to use fitness to become a fast bowler.

And Steff should know, he bowled professionally for 20 years, and has now become a respected cricket strength and conditioning coach. Read all about it below.

Plus we have articles on spin bowling line and how to use the new ODI rules to your advantage.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Firepower: How to be the Next Indian Fast Bowling Sensation


MS Dhoni recently lamented the lack of fast bowlers in India,

"We're going through a stage when we don't have the same firepower when it comes to the bowling department."

That has to hurt if you are an Indian fast bowler.

But it's true at club and school level too, it's not just an issue at the top.

A quick search of PitchVision Interactive's fastest bowler list reveals Indian bowlers languish in last place with an average speed of over 15kph less than the top side.

So what can a young Indian cricketer or his coach do to improve his speed and give Dhoni the firepower he desperately wants?

Do the right thing at nets

When it comes to pace, it's not always the case that bowling more will help you. This is because lots of bowling reinforces poor technique rather than improving bad technique.

You can spend hours in the nets bowling and make no improvements because you are not learning from your technical errors, you are just tiring yourself out (and increasing your injury risk).

So when you go the nets, spend time working on the key technical points of pace. That means drills without a run up, batsman or even a ball until you get the feel right of transferring energy into the ball for maximum speed.

Develop brutal strength and conditioning

Lots of nets also cause imbalances and weaknesses in the body.

Of course you need to bowl to get stamina for bowling, but you need to have a base of strength, mobility endurance and power to make sure you stay injury-free.

Sadly, most fitness plans are rooted in a philosphy outside of cricket, for example bodybuilding.

Your fitness training should be based on methods that allow you to be strong and bowl fast rather than just have good biceps for a show.

One super-simple way to navigate this is to use a plan that has been proven to work with other fast bowlers.

Steff Jones has developed a brand-new exclusive programme that delivers results for fast bowlers of all ages. The chances are you will have not seen anything like it in terms of your results. You will, simply, be way ahead of your slow peers. Steff calls it "brutal strength within your own bodyweight" and it works.

The evidence shows that Indian fast bowlers need to speed up.

You have your chance to make a name for yourself by using a proven plan that many in India just don't know about.

Click here to enrol on the course and download the fitness guide.

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Be Ahead of the Game: Learn New ODI Rules Now

The new ODI laws will continue to encourage players and coaches to develop new methods and shots to optimise scoring possibilities in the outer areas of the cricket field.

When the changes come into to your level, you're going to have worked on them already.

Here are some of the boundary fielding options for seamers and the options available to batters:

Deep Third Man, Deep Fine Leg, Deep Square, Deep Cover - Bouncy Pitches

The bowler is going to use the 2 bouncers per over often and predominantly hit back of a length using his squarer fielders as run savers and potential wicket takers.

The backloading technique where a batter steps back in the crease early thus loading the back leg to move forward and take the bouncing ball - between top of the stumps and chin - up and over the straight mid-wicket man into acres of unguarded space.

To counteract the extra bouncer, players will start to practice the ramp shot over the keeper to eliminate the catching threat of Third man and Fine Leg.

Sachin Tendulkar has mastered this shot by flexing his knees, keeping his head as close to the ball as possible and let the ball run along the face of the bat and using the pace of the delivery to clear the batter.

Deep Mid On, Deep Square Leg, Deep Third Man, Deep Cover - Flatter Wickets

The stumps are bought into play more often on lower bouncing wickets and the backloading technique works to strike up and through the ball into the vacant deep mid wicket area once more.

Players who play this shot well keep their hands low during the backswing and swing flat across the line of the ball to maintain the bat on the height of the ball for as long as possible. The player presses the ball over the straight mid-wicket with a slog sweep kind of shot.

Ross Taylor is a fantastic exponent of the shot.

We have seen Joss Buttler master the flip over short fine leg by getting inside the line of the ball and low prior to ball release, he retains a still head as most of his movement has been made ahead of ball release and uses the pace of the ball to scoop it up over the man who has been forced into the circle as a result of strong shots down the ground earlier in the innings.

Joss also has the option of playing a hitting option if the bowler chooses a slower ball option.

Because you are still at ball release, the batter can adjust the swing of the bat to counteract the pace being taken off the ball and the shot is aimed 20 yards behind square with the spin and angle taking it away from the deep square leg.

In extreme situations, a captain may choose to have third man and fine leg both up in the circle.

The flip shot can also be played inside and over the short third man. Again, being still is vital and if there is pace on the ball then the bat face is applied to the ball and the ball does the work to either be run between the keeper and Third Man or over the Third Man.

The advent of the Switch Hit has made it acceptable to swing a slower ball over that man too.

The top players in the world will be practicing these options - how long will it take the club coaches to start building these options into their programmes to prepare their players to the new Limited overs Rules?

They will hit club, school and Academy cricket soon. Will we be ready?

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Cricket Show S4 Episode 2: Steffan Jones

It's a head-to-head on the show as Mark Garaway and David Hinchliffe trade friendly blows about the world of playing and coaching cricket.

The team cover the importance of personal reflection as David talks through his junior coaching experiences, nutrition for batting, and think about how stats are not the answer (except when they are).

Steffan Jones also answers questions for fast bowlers on the importance of med balls and heavy ball bowling for speed and fitness.


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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This is Cricket Show #195


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Exercises to Bowl Faster: Ab Wheel Rollouts

Ask any Strength Coach about the fitness needs of fast bowlers and they will all quickly start talking about the core.

The term is loose, but it broadly means your "midsection". It is vital for you to be strong and stable in that area if you are looking to bowl fast, prevent injury or both.

And who isn't?

Of course, core training can et complex with a lot of differing theories so it gets confusing quickly.

Do you do crunches or not? Are your hamstrings part of the core? What about this "anti-rotation" buzz word you have heard?

Are You Bowling the Right Line for Spin Success?

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

You will hear commentators talk about bowling in channels and lines and that good bowlers should look to bowl good lines.

This is true, but not the whole story.


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: 238
Date: 2013-01-18