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We live in a world of hype and overblown claims, but one truly incredible cricketing feat was pulled off by Chris Gayle this week when smashed 10 records on his way to 175 not out in the IPL.

You could say he is the Bradman of T20, but the Don would never have hit the ball that far, even with Gayle's railway sleeper bat.

So, we take the coaching angle on the feat of batting with Mark Garaway examining what Gayle does well both in his Coaching to Win article and on the Cricket Show.

Plus we calm down all those panicking about a lack of preparation and give you another exclusive tip from Nathan Bracken's Swing Bowling Masterclass.

I wonder how Bracks would have dealt with the Gayle storm...

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Swing Bowling Tip: Improving Seam Position


This is an exclusive excerpt from Nathan Bracken's Swing Bowling Masterclass.

To me, getting the seam position right was very important. If you have control of the seam, you have a much greater control of how much you can swing the ball.


That's why I had a little friend that used to travel everywhere with me. He helped me make sure I had excellent control of the seam.

The red and white ball.

It didn't do anything complicated. Just something that worked for me; practising. Delivering as much as possible with the red and white ball, getting my fingers behind the ball.

The more you do this the more confidence and the understanding you get.

Like to me, an in-swinger felt like came off my middle finger and an out-swinger came off my index finger. It was feeling it off the fingers and knowing how it was coming out. Mabye it's different for you, but the key is to understand and groove the feeling.

You see in changing rooms, a spinner walking around with a ball spinning it. I'd walk around with my friend. I'd take it out in the centre when we'd warm up before the game. I'd take it into the nets. So it would be something I had every training session.

It's better than just a white or red ball because you can see the positions the seam in. Then you can work on having the seam up and just slowly turning it in either direction until you get that perfect swing level.

Practice, practice, practice and you get the control and understanding of the ball. That's what the art of swing is about.

Get more ways to bowl like an International swing bowler by clicking here.

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4 Ways to Coach the Next Chris Gayle

On the day Chris Gayle rewrote the Twenty20 history books, I aptly worked with some talented young players on power hitting.

As with many young players, the guys I worked with today swung hard, hit a few for 4 and missed plenty of balls that sailed harmlessly through to the keeper.

So how does Gayle hit the ball so consistently hard?

What is he doing that is different to the players at my school?

What can we learn from the T20 record holder?

1. Keep it simple

Chris moves very little in terms of coming down the wicket or moving laterally around his crease.

One of my biggest bug-bears is when batters constantly shuffle around the crease; never giving themselves a chance of establishing a base, judging the location of the ball and transferring their momentum from the ground up through the kinetic chain and into the ball.

Excessive movement results in poor contacts, complete misses or a lack of power.

2. Hit through the line of the ball

This is where players such as Gayle and David Warner excel.

I was once taught in a golf putting lesson to imagine that I was making contact with 4 or 5 balls in a line and not just the ball that was between my feet. This meant that the club-face stayed square on the line of the ball for longer, thus improving my chance of making a precise contact. The same thing applies to power hitting in cricket.

Chris Gayle hits down the line of the ball brilliantly. You can see that bat-face going straight through the line of ball as it is struck in and over the area between mid off and square leg.

3. Legside Harry

I was once told by a very wise man,

"Only foolish players look to play through the offside when trying to hit the ball hard and far. That side is the weaker side."

If this is scientifically true or not I can't say, but he would always follow it up by saying "and in most overs of any game there are less fielders on that side".

Fair point!

Chris Gayle hits more balls to the side with less fielders and that is a fact.

Ask yourself why Matt Prior - world number 1 Test keeper/batter - is not in his Nations ODI or T20I team.

Simple; he isn't a "legside harry".

4. Dessie Haynes' best batting tip

I was lucky enough to be coached by the great Desmond Haynes and he started one session with what he described as his best batting tip.

"Make sure you have got a great stick Garas. It will get you out of trouble, make a catcher earn his catch and even your half hits will go for 6!"

When I watched Gayle's innings he didn't middle at least 2 of his first 5 maximums. He has lots of great bats!

So choose your bats wisely, take your time and pick them up before you buy. Please do not buy them straight from the internet as its a huge gamble.

Gayle is certainly a unique talent, but we can learn plenty from him to help the batters we coach improve their hitting skills.

So get out there and show them how to bat a little bit more like Chris Gayle!

image credit: royalchallengers.com

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Cricket Show S4 Episode 16: The Gayle Storm and Playing Seriously for Fun

The team of Burners, Mark Garaway and David Hinchliffe talk about Chris Gayle and also tackle the issue of playing "seriously" in recreational cricket. How do you find a balance?

Plus, there are questions from listeners about how to confuse a batsman, and the best structure for a non-professional cricket team.

Download the audio or click the play button to listen in your browser.


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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This is show number 209.

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Coaching the IPL: Play Like Water

"You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup" - Bruce Lee.

If there is one thing you cannot accuse of the IPL, or any form of Twenty20 cricket for that matter, it's of the quiet calmness of a cup of water.

Bouncers fly past noses, stumps get destroyed, sixes get bludgeoned and the crowds go berserk (except when Sachin gets out).

It's noisy chaos.

Which is why the secret to success in this format is to be able to filter out all that noise and, as Bruce Lee said, become the cup.

Preseason Panic: Your Break Glass in Emergency Guide

Somewhere in the world right now is a cricketer panicking.

He's panicking because his season starts in two or three weeks and he has spent the winter doing anything but cricket.

He was too busy for nets, he forgot about the gym membership he paid for in January and pressure for his time comes from all sides; family, friends and work.

Maybe that guy is even you.

If it is, you're not alone. Life gets in the way of good intentions.


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: 252
Date: 2013-04-26