Pitchvision Academy

Hi there,

Sachin Tendulkar knows a thing or two about cricket, so he is a good man to listen to if you want to improve as a player or coach. We examine some of the great player's messages in the newsletter this week.

Plus, Menno Gazendam talks leg spin deliveries, Mark Garaway gets reflective and we examine how to keep a purple patch purple for longer.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

The #1 Factor in Tendulkar's Batting Success


Speaking at an Karnataka State Cricket Association event in Bangalore recently, Sachin Tendulkar was talking about selection.

For him the key to finding the next Tendulkar wasn't about stats.

It wasn't about textbook technique.

Or immense power and timing.


No, for the Little Master it was about "the ability to withstand pressure and execute."

And he is right. We can all smash the ball around in the nets. With a little experience we can score runs when the sun is shining, the pitch is flat and the bowling is gentle.

But everything changes when you are chasing 120 on a difficult wicket with a couple of big scary quick bowlers decimating your top order.

Knowledge is not execution

The problem is that it's easy to say this.

It's just as easy to know that's what you should do to stand out as a batter.

I'm willing to bet that half the people who started reading this article got as far as the Sachin quote and abandoned this article altogether because the information was so self-evident.

Yet those are the same people who fail under pressure every time it is applied.

They know they should withstand pressure but they can't execute.

They are scared before they walk into bat, they don't want to be out there. When they are they scratch around nervously before falling to a poor shot and blaming the pitch.

They also have scored easy runs so they feel they are a decent player. They probably are. But they will never be a reliable player making runs in all situations like Sachin.

Pressure will always defeat them, even though they know that pressure makes the difference. They know but they don't execute.

Luckily you have an advantage over these people. You may have the same issues under pressure but the key is you are still reading, still open and willing to admit something: that being able to handle pressure is the most crucial part of your batting development.

So how do you handle the pressure and become a hero, like Tendulkar has done so many times?

You have already taken the first step in recognising the need for it, and to work your psychological training into you plan.

Because, just like a cover drive, you can practice handling pressure to get better at it.

Deliberate pressure practice

People handle pressure situations in many different ways. Some love it (but if you have read this far, that's probably not you), others have to learn to love it.

Either way, you have to know how you react to different pressures and the best method you have to prepare for them.

The best way to do that is to add pressure to your deliberate practice.

For example. Lets say you are bowling in nets and wanting to bowl line and length. Target practice with PitchVision is a perfect deliberate practice tool. You can add pressure to it by competing with another bowler. Make it like a penalty shoot out in football. You have 5 goes to score more hits on target than your opponent. Put a drink or a meal on the outcome.

You can do the same with batting. For example, testing how many balls you make good contact before you edge or play and miss. You can do this for any "set piece" situation.

You soon learn how to play under pressure!

The other advantage of this kind of practice is that you can try different psychological preparation methods. You can see what kind of self-talk works best for you. You can work through imagery methods, and discover ways to eliminate distraction. For more on these techniques get the online coaching course How to Use Mental Training to Boost Your Game

You don't need to make any huge changes to the way you practice, just the way you approach practice mentally.

Soon you will gain a handle on your ability under pressure, start making improvements and get the Tendulkar edge that we all desire.

It will put you way ahead of the guys who stopped reading.

image credit: Privatemusings

Discuss this article with other subscribers

Know Your Leg Spin Deliveries

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

It seems these days that there are a million and one variations with spin bowlers mixing it up in all sort of ways.

So, let us take a look at the glossary of deliveries for leg spinners:

Stock ball

A stock ball simply refers to the main delivery used by a bowler. It's not always what you think. For example, Anil Kumble's stock ball was, in fact, the top spinner.

For most leg spin bowlers your stock ball will be your leg break.

Leg break

Breaks from leg to the offside, after drifting from off to the leg side. Seam is angled towards slip. The ball ideally will be hitting the top of off stump.

The main dismissal forms are caught (slips or keeper) bowled and LBW.

Top spinner

Although it looks like a leg break, the ball continues straight on after pitching, with a lot of dip in the air beforehand. Seam is angled towards the batsman.

The greater bounce brings catches from close fielders. It can be used as a stock ball or as a surprise variation.


The opposite of a leg break because the googly spins from off to the leg side. Your action appears to the batsman a leg break. Seam is angled towards leg slip and the ball come out of the back of the hand.

The key is deception off the pitch and so the googly should be used as a variation to bowl batters though the gate who are playing for spin the other way. Some spinners get stuck bowling the googly as a stock ball and if this happens you will probably need to do some repair work.

A little-know bit of history about this ball is that Bernard Bosanquet did not invent the googly. Other players have dabbled with this delivery years before he did. Although the ball will go down in history as the "Bosie".

Slider / back spinner / zooter

This ball is almost the opposite of the top spinner. The seam is angled towards extra cover and spins along its own axis. This delivery is refer to as a slider or back spinner and you will hear this name used in equal amounts. The zooter is what Shane Warne called his slider.

Whatever you call it, the variation skids on trapping the batsman LBW. It's great for strong back foot players who will get caught on the crease.


There is no one flipper. In fact, the flipper should really be the family of flippers. There are a variety of ways to bowl this delivery, but the main idea of a flipper is a variation that skids through quick and low after bouncing.

There are versions bowled by WG Grace, Grimmet, Benaud, Warne and a few more obscure historical cricketing characters.

It's tough to learn, but used as a skilful variation will get you wickets.

Quicker ball

This ball is as it sounds: simply pushed through quicker that the stock delivery. The more you can disguise it the better because a common error is to make it obvious with a big change of run up and action.

I can think of no better example than the one delivered by Shaid Afridi, which has brought him tons of wickets. The variation in pace is huge but it's hard to pick.


I realise that's a lot of deliveries and variations to think about, try and use. You can speed up the process of untangling the mess and come up with your own way of bowling successful spin with my Spin Bowling Tips guide.

Discuss this article with other subscribers

Cricket Show S4 Episode 33: I Know What you did this Summer

The podcast team are in a reflective mood as they discuss the sensible (and not-so-sensible) things that have been learned over the last few months.

Plus your questions are answered about coaching and playing in the frame of pressure, and the importance of a good leave.




PitchVision News Links

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:

+44 (0)203 239 7543

+61 (02) 8005 7925


How to Listen to the Show

Just click the "play" button at the top of the article.

Or, the show comes out every Friday and you can listen to it on your computer, mp3 player, smart phone, iPad or other tablet every week automatically.

Download in iTunes

Click here to subscribe to the weekly show in iTunes


RSS Feed

If you don't use iTunes, you can get the show from the RSS feed. Click here

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 226.

Discuss this article with other subscribers

How to Stay in Form

We have all had a purple patch. The runs and wickets flow effortlessly. You wonder how it could all be so easy.

In fact it's so effortless that many cricketers fall into the trap of thinking that this is the time to do less. On the surface it makes sense: Something is working so just keep doing it. Relax, reign back on the training and coast along on the wave of good form.

Ask the Readers: Swing Bowling Against a Breeze?

Phil sent in a question and, frankly, it's one I thought the PitchVision readers would be able to help.

Here it is:

"Having played league cricket 26 years and taken a wicket or two, I have now moved city. The ground where I now play is very open and there is a strong breeze blowing from left to right. As an away swing bowler I have quickly accepted that I cannot swing it away to a right-hander when the wind is blowing across. Is this incorrect of me? Of course, I would assume a high class swing bowler would have no trouble but I am unsure whether it is possible or not"

So, what do you think?


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.

Ultimate Pace Secrets


Want Coaching?

Send to a Friend

Do you have a friend or team mate who would be interested in this newsletter? Just hit "forward" in your email program and send it on.

If you received this email from a friend and would like to get subsequent issues, you can subscribe here.


PitchVision Academy

irresistable force vs. immovable object

Thank you for subscribing to PitchVision Academy.
Read more at www.pitchvision.com


To unsubscribe eMail us with the subject "UNSUBSCRIBE (your email)"
Issue: 269
Date: 2013-08-23