Pitchvision Academy


This week's newsletter is a horn of plenty, Stuffed inside are the sweet treats of coaching methods, ways to set up your camera for video analysis a guide to running a cricket club and Menno Gazendam's 7 deadly sins of spin.

It's time to feast on the best cricket newsletter in the world!

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

The 7 Deadly Sins of Spin Bowling


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

Bowling spin is a passion, and it is fraught with danger at every turn. You can't use pace or intimidation so you need guile and guts.

It's easy to make mistakes on your journey. I know, I have made them, and I have seen others make them too.

If you want to be a superstar spinner, avoid these sins and take a shortcut to success:


1. Not trying to turn the ball

Your a spin bowler, not a slow bowler. So, spin it. If you learn to spin it first you can correct your accuracy later. Spinning hard makes the ball not only turn off the pitch, it makes it drift and dip in the air. Even on flat wickets you need to make the ball fizz out of your fingers.

2. Not having a perfect stock ball

After you spin it, you need to hit your target line and length. And that takes a lot of practice. So much that you should forget about variations until you have the perfect (and dangerous) stock ball.

3. Bowling too straight

You need to get the batter driving. Or at least thinking that a drive is on before it dips, a spins through the gate. You can't do that if you bowl straight all the time.

4. Bowling flatter when getting hit for six

I know, it hurts. The last thing you want is to go for two in a row. So you are tempted to bowl flatter to stop your stock ball going again. But really, you are in the game. A batsman is vulnerable after playing a big shot and you want to tempt him. Toss it up and invite him to do it again. Chances are he will get it wrong and your wicket only cost 6 runs.

5. Not flighting the ball

Flight is a misunderstood term but a crucial skill to master. Tactically it means the batsman moves his head above the eye-line, which makes it harder to pick. The ball travels slower and so turns more, it also drifts and dips more (if you rip it). This makes you into a bowler with 4 ways of deceiving the guy at the other end, not just turn.

6. Not pivoting

Pivoting is the anchor against which you turn your body and generate energy. You cannot turn the ball without this movement timed to perfection. Stay open, smooth and work on it every day until you feel the revs on the ball.

7. Not varying the pace

A batsman loves a bowler who he can line up. Your job is to make sure he never quite knows when the ball is going to arrive. Keep the batsmen guessing by slightly varying your pace in the air. The ball arrives slightly before, or after expected and you have upset the rhythm and timing of the batsman. Frustration for him and wickets for you.

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Camera, Action, Coach: How to Get the Most from Your Video Camera

It's never been easier to get video footage of players with cameras everywhere from phones to specialist equipment. But very few coaches understand the optimal angles of filming to get the best from video analysis.

I'm going to let you into the secrets of the way that we analyse the fast bowlers using a digital zoom camera.

You can then use the principles to adjust the distance from the point of release depending on the camera type that you are using at the time (phone, iPad or digitial camera).


The optimal equipment in my view is:

  • Tripod 1.50m in height
  • Casio High-Speed Exilim Digital Camera
  • Tape Measure

Rear view

Always line up with the camera on middle stump. This gives you consistency in angle. If this is not achieved then the different angles can throw the accuracy of your analysis.

In my experience, most bowlers like consistency and comparability so getting this right is crucial if your hard work is to get maximal results.

For all rear shots you want the bowler filling the screen at point of release.

A guide is to keep the feet at the bottom of the screen with enough room for the arms and ball release at the top of the screen.

Get 3 rear shots to accurately analyse a bowler:

  1. Full Run Up: Position the camera 5 metres back from the end of the run up with the zoom being used to ensure that the bowler fills the screen at point of release.
  2. Half Run Up: Position the camera 7 metres behind the back crease line. This angle allows you to look at running style, how the arms gather into the jump phase of the action and the full action itself.
  3. Close up of the Full Action: Video the action itself without zooming in with the bowler. Will help to line the bowler up in a stationary fashion at the crease to calculate an accurate zoom to capture the bowler as fully as possible.

Side view

The ideal position is 8 metres back from the wickets on the line of the back line (stump line).

It's important to see the arms moving through the action so make sure you are facing the bowlers chest rather than back.

There is no zoom needed on the Casio Exilim cameras from this distance and angle. The bowler fills the screen well on the normal lens.

Start filming your bowlers with confidence and see your coaching interventions hit the jackpot as a result.

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Cricket Show S4 E12: Turning from Seam to Spin

Mark Garaway discusses the difference between the professional and amateur sides of the wicket, in a follow up to his article on run out methods.

Then, David Hinchliffe and Garas chat through the topics of turning from seam to spin (and how to get your coach to take you seriously), and how to define team roles when you don't have a coach.

Listen to the show to get the details.


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:

Or you can call and leave your question on the Academy voice mail:

UK +44 (0) 208 816 7691

AUST: +61 (02) 8005 7925

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 play button at the top of the article, or clicking on the mp3 to download.


This is show number 205.

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How to Run a Cricket Club: Playing

This is part of the How to Run a Cricket Club series on PitchVision Academy

The games you play are the raison d'être of running a club. It's where, as an administrator, you get the most satisfied feeling watching your 11 men or women battle it out on the field.

But before they get out there - and even during the match - there is plenty to be done in the background.

Here is the PitchVision Academy rundown.

The OAT Method: How to End Frustrating Net Sessions

The boy was about 17 years old. He loved playing cricket but knew he wasn't a natural with the bat.

But he had some grit. He wanted to improve.

Even better, there were plenty of people around willing to help with technical advice. So he walked down the net declaring,

"If you see me do anything wrong, let me know."

He did a lot wrong.

Like I said, he was keener than he was a natural ball striker. As instructed, the bowlers all gave their advice to him.


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: 248
Date: 2013-03-29