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It's an exciting edition of the newsletter for fast bowlers, as we proudly announce another groundbreaking cricket coaching element: An exclusive Hindi version of Ian Pont's Magnum opus, Pace Bowling Secrets

The eBook is available online in both English and Hindi. It's the world's first multi-lingual online coaching course so wherever you are, you can benefit from being able to bowl faster with more accuracy. The knowledge of a lifetime has never been more available. That's exciting stuff!

This is so new that I am very keen to hear your opinions about Ultimate Pace Secrets so we can keep innovating in the ways that work best for you and help you to reach your cricketing aims. Hit reply and let me know what you think.

Plus we examine the doosra, the diving catch, the 10,000 hour rule and some cricket-specific ways to make sure you don't run out of energy in long matches.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Spin Bowling Tips: How to Bowl a Doosra


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

The Doosra is a ball with a longer tradition than you may think.

An Australian bowler called Jack Potter was bowling these bad boys roughly 30 years before Saqlain Mushtaq even came on the scene. Jack never did play for Australia, but he does hold the record for being 12th man the most for Australia without ever winning the cap.

But I digress. The fact is that the doosra has a long tradition.

The elephant in the room about this ball is a simple question though


Can a doosra be bowled legally?

Some say no, like Cricket Australia that decided the doosra will not be taught in Australia.

I do not agree with this.

While I do agree it is incredibly difficult I will not be so arrogant to say that it cannot be done.

We also have to remember that the flipper is crazy difficult as well and wants to break your shoulder, but many bowlers bowl it beautifully. It’s just that the delivery has been developed for decades and so there are kids bowling it from a young age and many coaches out there that teach it. So, it's an impossible delivery that has become a common delivery because of all the research.

To just dismiss the doosra as impossible after it only being mainstream a few years is not right.

Will some bowlers break the rule when bowling it?

Sure, yes. But that should not stop us coaching kids from a young age to able to bowl it legally. We do not ban driving for everyone because some people break the road rules.

Give young bowlers the right coaching, support and structure and then yes we can have doosra bowlers all over the place.

They use to say that running a 4 minute mile is a physical impossibility.

Impossible is nothing.

So let's get out there and learn - and teach - the doosra properly.

2 ways to bowl the doosra

There are two main variations how to bowl the doosra.

I say variations, because actually every bowler will bowl them differently. So, in fact there are as many versions on how to bowl it as there are spinners who bowl it. Each with his own little twists and turns (pun intended).

These days we get all sorts of carrom balls thrown in the mix as well. With some guys bowling hybrid doosra/carrom balls, and so the distinction becomes difficult.

Nevertheless, here are the two "true" doosra variations.

  1. Side of the hand/finger doosra
  2. Back of the hand/wrist doosra

Although both methods are tough to bowl, variation 1 is more difficult due to the unnatural position you have to get your hand and wrist in during the release.

Finger doosra

This is the method that was used by Saqlain Mushtaq. He developed this by practising with a tennis ball, which made it a little easier to do as the ball is a bit smaller and lighter.

This is a good tip for practising the doosra. Start with a tennis ball and later upgrade to the cricket ball once you get the hang of it.

Cricket ball still too tough? Start with a table tennis ball like the original carrom bowler, Jack Iverson.

Have a look this video to see how Ajmal he bamboozled Damien Martyn. He has no idea what hit him, you can see how confused he is walking off!


Above shows the release angle of variation 1. The seam is angled towards 1st slip. You need to go through you action and release the ball in this position.

Do not worry if you cannot do it because it is tough! This variation is best used as a surprise delivery (just like the above video) because you can hide it from your stock ball.

Above photo shows the position of the seam at release point:

The following 4 shots show the release sequence for variation 1.

Give the doosra a go in practice and stick with it, it's tough to learn!

In the next part we will look at the 2nd type of doosra. Get the newsletter to stay up to date.

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The "New England" Method to Pull Off Blinding Catches

We all know that catches win matches, yet there is one type of catching opportunity that is being taken in the upper echelons of the game that isn't transferred down the playing levels.

It's when a player dives forward to take a blinder.

This method of catching can occur at slip with the one that isn't quite carrying, in the inner circle when a batsman mistimes a drive or more commonly, in the deep.

Duncan Fletcher, when he was England coach, used to shout at the slip fielders in training sessions to get forward and catch balls falling short of their normal position.

'Old England' was his call when the ball was allowed to bounce. 'New England' when someone dived forward and came up with the ball.

The likes of Andrew Strauss and Marcus Trescothick ended up mastering this technique, pulling off significant numbers of catches which wouldn't have been sniffed in previous years.

How to dive forward to catch

There are two ways of getting your body and hands into a position to catch the ball.

  1. Lead with your head. Tres and Straussy both used to lead their movement to the ball with their Head and fall forwards towards the dropping ball
  2. Bend the knees and drive from the thighs. Joe Root displays this technique beautifully here (1m 04s):

These are two ways of initiating movement and each of us will better at one than the other. Encourage your players to give both a go and find out which is your preference.

How to coach diving catches


  • Stage 1: Practice falling forward on a crash mat or sand pit/beach without a ball. Imagine you are catching a ball coming flat from a cover drive yet falling slightly short and experiment with the two movement methods listed above.
  • Stage 2: Introduce a ball with slow underarm throws into the space in front of the fielder. Again, do this on a crash mat or other soft surface.
  • Stage 3: Use a crazycatch or find a wall with grass in front, and throw balls for rebounds looking to dive forward every time the ball is landing short.
  • Stage 4: Once confidence in this is established its time to increase the distance between the feed and the fielder. This then builds up the appropriate judgement of ball flight which helps the fielder to time her dive forwards.
  • Stage 5: Incorporate fully into your normal fielding drills.

Reward and praise your fielders who attempt catches in practice using the method and watch as their competence and catching stats build in practice and then start to impact on match results.

Maybe send me some footage of you diving forward on beaches or sand pits to show me how your going?

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Cricket Show S4 Episode 24: The Truth About The 10,000 Hour Rule

Mark Garaway, David Hinchliffe and Burners are back together to chat about playing and coaching cricket. In this show they discuss the implications of pitches on coaching players.

The team also help a teacher train focus in his young players, and a spinner on what the 10,000 hour rule really means.

Remember, you can participate in the show and win a prize!


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This is show number 217.

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How to Improve Your Cricket Stamina for Longer Matches

This year I am coaching a group of talented 11 year old players. The kind of guys who one day hope to play professional cricket over 4 or 5 days.

Bur right now they are 11 years old and have only played 20 overs. This season they have had to jump up to playing 40 over games as well.

It's a big jump in required levels of stamina and concentration. One similar to players entering the professional game going from one day to multi-day cricket.

So how do you prepare your body and mind for this unique cricketing challenge?

Current Vacancies: National Cricket Coach of Uganda

PitchVision Academy are dedicated to cricket around the globe, so when our friends at the Uganda Cricket Association told us they were looking for a new national coach we jumped to help.

UCA requires the services of a coach to the national team in preparation for the ICC World Twenty20 and ICC World Cup Qualifying competitions.

You will be responsible for planning, developing and executing the men's team training program. This includes:


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: 260
Date: 2013-06-21