Pitchvision Academy


Cricket and technology continue to integrate together at every level. The high end has DRS and Hot Spot, grass-roots has phones and tablet. Both have PitchVision. Mark Garaway delves into using your phone to improve your bowling action this week.

Plus, we look at a simple trick to help you improve your accuracy and give you the spinners guide to batting against spinners.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Quickfire Analyst: How to Use your Phone to Analyse Bowling Actions


We often talk about video analysis of bowling actions and the importance of building your understanding and awareness of your bowling action as you look to develop and improve.

Lots of people use video analysis, some do it well and others miss opportunities. The reason? Footage from poor angles.

Here is my guide to filming bowling actions on your mobile phone.

Behind the action

This is a great angle to film from with a mobile phone. Position yourself 4 metres back from the bowlers end middle stump and hold the phone still.

Ask the bowler to stand in the crease with bowling arm extended and try and keep the ball release in shot. This calibrates the camera and gives the photographer the confidence that they are not going to miss the ball release.

Start the camera as the bowler begins their approach.

Maintain the position of the camera as you will be able to see the last couple of strides in the approach, the bound and the bowling action from this angle.

When reviewing your footage the things to look for from this angle are:

  • Angle of approach into bound strike (last foot striking the ground ahead of jump).
  • Use of arms in the approach and into bound
  • Angle of jump into back foot contact at the crease
  • Role of the arms in the bound
  • Alignment of feet in delivery stride (back foot contact and front foot contact)
  • Degree of back leg collapse
  • Posture prior to and at release (look for curvature of the spine at release)
  • Angle of bowling arm at release
  • Follow through angle

Side on

This is also a great angle. Ensure that the bowlers chest and face rather than back and back of the head is viewable in their bound or in other words, get the right side!

Do the same calibration exercise before the bowler runs in and bowls so you do not miss anything at ball release.

You have the option of filming statically - focussing solely on the delivery - or to track the bowler into their delivery stride. This allows you to pick up vital info from the approach and bound as well as the action itself.

If you are tracking the bowler then position yourself 4 metres back from the line of the stumps. Ensure that you are perfectly square.

If filming statically then you can position yourself slightly closer on the same angle.

What to look for from the side on angle:

  • Arms in the approach and bound
  • The width of the stride leading into the jump
  • Degree of back let collapse
  • Degree of front leg collapse
  • Path of the bowling arm through delivery stride
  • Effectiveness of the front arm (particularly relevant to fast bowlers)
  • Angle of hips, shoulders at key points of the action
  • Effectiveness of the follow through

The scary angle: front on

If you are brave enough, this is a great final angle. Use a tennis ball rather than a cricket ball!

Kneel on the floor 5 metres in front of the crease and slightly to the leg side of a virtual right hand batter.

Calibrate the camera with the bowler at release position ahead of them running in.

Ask the bowler to bowl normally and bowl the ball over the height of the camera and to the off stump.

Duck if needs be!

From this angle you get that close up only seen on TV.

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Cricket Show S4 Episode 34: Batting Drills

Join Mark Garaway in a café with a generic diet cola drink this week. He talks to co-hosts David Hinchliffe and Burners about cricket coaching and playing.

The team examine Ganguly's new development role, fitness training in France, top and bottom hand batting drills and the most effective types of spinner.






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Transition: How to Get Over Post-Season Blues

The Northern hemisphere season is coming to a close and I return to Millfield School this week to start the individual 12 month programmes with our County, Regional and International players.

In the main, the players will be kept out of the nets for the first 5 weeks, despite the fact that some will be kicking and screaming about it!

Through my experience with elite young players through to Test-match legends, I have seen the benefit of having a "transition" period between the end of the season and the start of off-season development programmes.

It's vital that the body and - more importantly - the mind have the opportunity to recover and refresh. This allows the player to come back into the training environment with hunger, determination, a positive outlook and a healthy body.

The term transition does not mean 'do nothing' of course.

Players are encouraged to play other sports, to review and reflect upon the previous season within their individual planning sessions and to have time doing things that they don't get to do in the cricket season.

The other opportunities that this period provides us are:

Physical deficit training

This period is a wonderful time to deal with some of the niggles or physical development areas that impinged on performance during the previous season.

I have 2 lads who are on significant stretching programmes with yoga influence during their transition period. The aim to be to increase their flexibility through their hamstrings and into the back muscle chains.

The other target from a coaching perspective is to build their awareness and competence in the movements so they can incorporate them into self reliant pre-hab programmes away from our S&C coach.

Develop a new skill

One of the International players at School hit a growth spurt last year which is now beginning to plateau. He has expressed an interest in developing some new skills as a fast bowler to support his batting strength. This is perfect time to start that process without the prying eyes of his team mates who are off doing their own things away from the cricket nets.

Another lad really wants to turn himself into a top class slip fielder and 2 spare lessons per week will be spent building up his understanding, technique and his leg strength so that he can start the programme in October by surprising his team mates at the 1st fielding session.

One of the off-spin bowlers wants to develop his doosra. It is something that he tried last year yet did not feel confident to bowl it in matches. So his 1st sessions will be focused on this with the view to having confidence to bowl it in our simulated sessions or indoor matches in November.

The benefit of being really specific with new skill development is that it does not need to take up all day, that the player can still rest up ahead of the main programme commencing and that its away from prying eyes.

This often revitalises a player and is part of the crucial transition period that allows players to hit the ground running when we start in full during October.

If you're in the Northern hemisphere then try this approach as soon as the season ends. If your from the other half of the cricketing world, then bookmark this article and review in 6 months or so.

Happy transition!

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Improve Your Bowling Accuracy With the Right Focus

Target bowling is one of the most used drills by bowlers to improve accuracy: Lay cones on a length, try to hit them, track you progress.

However, an often overlooked aspect of target practice is where you focus.

There are many options, but when the coach tells you to "look where you want the ball to pitch" he or she is not giving you the whole story.

The Spinners Guide to Batting Against Spinners

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

As we frequently discuss the way in which we can make batsmen look silly against spin bowling, you better be good at playing spin when you go in to bat. There is nothing more embarrassing than being outfoxed by your opposite number.

Here are a few tips in batting against spin. (Only fair, right?).


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: 270
Date: 2013-08-30