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This is your last newsletter before Christmas Day, so the first order of duty is to wish you glad tidings of the season. Of course the cricket continues at a pace that even this time of year can't halt, so the newsletter will carry on as always.

And what does that mean? Bowling tactics designed by Shane Warne, fast bowling tips from Ian Pont and what Mark Garaway learned in Denmark! Plus if you like Mark Garaway stories - and who doesn't - then tune into to Cricket Show for a couple of audio crackers.

Plus, Gary Palmer talks about how to play the short ball and we offer up a brilliant gift idea that can be used even at the last minute.

Have a great holiday weekend, watch some cricket on TV and keep working hard on your game.

David Hinchliffe

Streetwise Bowling: The Warne Rounder


This article is part of the "Streetwise Bowling" series from PitchVision Academy. To view the full list of tactics click here.

Bowling accurate leg spin is hard enough, but to bowl a whole over accurately and also to a plan is the skill of a master craftsman. Someone like Shane Warne.

By the end of his career, Warne had the ball on a string but had less variations. He didn't stop that from being as canny as ever though. He just changes the way he manipulated the batsman into an error. This tactic is just one that he used to great effect.

You can copy it, the main requirement is accuracy rather than a lot of variety but the more you can turn the ball the better too. You also need confidence to be able to bowl very wide on the crease from over and around the wicket. So let's take a look at the plan.

  • Name: The Warne Rounder
  • Bowling Type: Right Arm Leg Spin
  • Difficulty Level: 9/10
  • Success Level: High

The Over

Ball 1 & 2

Start simple and bowl two balls that are regular leg breaks: at the stumps but turning to hit the top of off. This will help you find your range and rhythm and see where the batsman is playing. At this point it doesn't matter much what the batsman does. Just hit your spot and make sure the batsman doesn't get off strike.

Ball 3

Next you start to set the batsman up. Bowl this ball from wider on the crease than normal, but to a good line and length again. Keep your man on strike.

Ball 4 & 5

If the over has gone well, you can go wider on the crease again and bowl the ball a little wider so it is hitting a 4th or 5th stump. There's a chance a batsman might go for this given the width. If he hits it for four, all the better because your plan is set, you have dragged him across the crease.

Ball 6

The batsman is now playing outside off and set up for the ball that angles in to him and spins away. You go around the wicket for the final ball and bowl as wide on the crease as you can. Suddenly the angle has changed dramatically and the ball is sliding across the bat. If the deception works, first slip and keeper have a field day.

The key is confusion to the batsman of the ball landing in roughly the same place but coming from a totally different place. It upsets timing.

The beuty of this tactic is that it also gives you an aura. You can bowl from any angle and you are plotting the batsman's downfall all the time, not just trying to hit a length mindlessly. Even this most confident batsman will have a moment of doubt when you go around the wicket. And doubt breeds wickets.

Download and print the pdf version to take to nets by clicking here.

Give it a try and let me know how you go!

This article is part of a series, to get the latest in the series, click here to subscribe to the free PitchVision Academy email newsletter.

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What Denmark Can Teach You About Coaching Cricket

Picture the scene; there I am, delivering my message to a committed and excellent group of cricket coaches in Denmark when the following points go up on my Keynote speech under the banner of "Batting non-negotiables":

1st response when ball hits pad or body is to think "run".

1st response to mid off and mid on is to think "run".

These 2 points were met by the raising of 10 arms.

Having established that that all 10 coaches weren't in need of a toilet break, I asked why two seemingly harmless points could cause such a unilateral local reaction. The coach told me "in Denmark, the local councils cut all the outfield grass to the same length all year round. This is a setting is for football, not cricket. The ball doesn't run, so the fielders are really close, there are no singles in the inner ring!"

Time for a re-think Mr Garaway!

We then started a conversation which touched on the following topics which may have some relevance in your own environments:

How to combat tightly packed fields

The players told me that batters in Denmark wait patiently for a full ball to hit over the tightly packed field. The aerial shot is more important than the single. That means "Runs per scoring shot" is a more important metric than "scoring ball percentage" in 50 over cricket.

They told me that it would take 3-4 aerial hits to push a fielder back, then they can use the long outfield to generate easy singles or hard run 2s where the fielder has to come in 20+ yards before reaching the ball.

This local knowledge had proven to be advantageous when opposing nations were playing in Denmark, yet the players generally found it tricky to adapt quickly when playing in more English, Australian and South African outfield conditions.

So how can we simulate overseas conditions in Denmark?

The coaching group decided that the indoor practices that make up at least 7 months of each 12 month development programme could be used to practice the ability to hit the ball along the ground on slicker outfields. This promoted the development of transferable striking techniques for the aspiring International players as well as the skill of judging a run to mid off and off. We also discussed strategies for pushing the field around in different outfield conditions.

What other conditions impact on our single running strategies?

We then branched out the discussion and discussed the following:

  • Extreme heat/humidity - quality of contact becomes more important than rushing around for singles (Sri Lanka and Goa spring to mind).
  • Using "rough" or "bobbly" outfields to pressurise fielders on the single or on boundary edge. This is a tactic that England used to use in the West Indies.

The Denmark Coaching Conventions final conclusions were:

  1. Teams and individuals take far too long to adapt to "alien" conditions.
  2. Can this be talked about and imprinted on the brain ahead of the game?
  3. Can coaches help players to prepare for upcoming "alien condition exposure?"

I think that we can! More importantly, my colleagues in Denmark think we can!

What local conditions can you exploit, and how can you adapt to different ones?

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Give the Gift of Better Cricket

Are you looking for a last minute Christmas gift for a cricketer?

We have the answer: online coaching vouchers from PitchVision Academy.

The vouchers are your ticket to the online coaching world of PitchVision: eBooks, video drills and tips from top players are all available in complete courses on every subject in cricket. Click here to find out more about online cricket coaching.

Imagine how popular you will be if your gift gives the edge to a player who goes on to fame and fortune in cricket: professionally, IPL and even International level!

There are three vouchers available that can be redeemed against the value of any online coaching course. The vouchers come as a printable pdf file so you can gift them to the cricketer in your life, or keep them for yourself to redeem any time against any course or coaching session with a PitchVision Academy coach in your area.

The list of available courses and coaches is here. Give the link with your gift and bask in the glory.

Vouchers can be purchased anytime and printed to give right away.

Click the links to get the vouchers now:

(Please note: although vouchers are in UK pound sterling value, the can be purchased in your local currency and redeemed from anywhere in the world)

Merry Christmas from PitchVision Academy!

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How to Play Short Bowling

This is an article by Gary Palmer about the most effective and progressive way of coaching playing the short ball. For a complete video guide on the right trigger moves to play the short ball by Gary, click here.

You need to master the correct techniques of the back foot defence before you move on to playing the bouncer. For young cricketers especially, bouncer practice should be the latter sessions within a coaching program over a number of weeks.

Indian Fast Bowlers: BOOK NOW for Ultimate Pace Foundation

In in this article on how to bowl faster, Ian Pont explains how his methods at the Ultimate Pace Foundation in Bangalore will help you bowl faster. Click here to book now.


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: 286
Date: 2013-12-20