Pitchvision Academy


Sometimes you can turn a mistake into a chance to succeed. For example, the bowling tactic in this week's Streetwise Bowling series. You could do it on purpose, or you could do it on accident and just pretend.

Plus we look into Ireland's mistake in the World Twenty20, how to learn new skills quickly and talk about one of the most vital aspects of fast bowling.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Streetwise Bowling: The False Sense of Security


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

This tactic takes a lot of guts and even more self-confidence as a bowler.

Will you risk it?

It's based around the old joke that after bowling a half volley and being hit for a boundary, some wag will comment that you have "lulled the batsman into a false sense of security". It's funny, but in reality you can do just that.

If you pick your moment perfectly.


  • Name: The False Sense of Security
  • Bowling Type: Any
  • Difficulty Level: 9/10
  • Success Level: Variable

The trick to this is twofold; you need the right batsman and enough control to pull it off.

In the case of the batsman, you need someone with an obvious strength and weakness. You may have worked him out previously or you might get the idea as the game goes on. For this example we will say the batsman is great through the covers and weak off his legs. Perhaps he falls over, as is common.

Balls 1-3

Start simple by feeding that strength.

Bowl on a length or slightly fuller outside the off stump. If you can move it away, all the better. You might even bowl a half volley or two that gets crashed through the covers for four. You could care less. You are about to buy this wicket for a very cheap price.

Ball 4

Get tighter on the crease and bowl a straight ball at the stumps. Moving in to hit middle and leg should do it.

The batsman is mentally set for his booming drive, lets his head go too far and is bowled or LBW. Your bowling average is 8.00. You win.

Ball 5-6

If the plan works you have a new batter on which to plot. If it failed, you probably need to do some damage limitation, as the over has gone for eight. So revert to your stock ball and aim to get a dot.

You might also bowl a yorker here, as these are great balls to get out of an over without looking too silly.

Review how well it worked between overs and start thinking of other ways to lull the batsman if Plan A fails.

It's quite possible to do this by accident. Say you bowled a couple of loose balls early to the strength area of the batter, you can refocus on the weakness towards the end of the over and rescue yourself. Of course, your teammates will scoff when you say it was a plan, but you can always give them this article as proof.

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Ignorance isn't Bliss: Easily Avoid Ireland's Simple Mistake

Can "context" win you matches?

Let's look at an example. I was as amazed as anyone when watching the striking power of the Netherlands in the World T20 match against Ireland.

Yet if you were to compare the two sides ability to strike big sixes at the start of the game then most would have sided with the Irish.

What was the difference?

It was simply that one team had basic match and qualification information at their disposal whilst the other one was oblivious to the match context and tournament connotations.

It seems preposterous to say.

I would be very disappointed if any Millfield School team went into a similar situation without knowing the crucial information that builds the match context.

But it meant that the clarity in which Netherlands approached their batting innings underpinned their shot making. This propelled the Dutch to 91-1 in the PowerPlay and to 193-4 in 13.5 just overs.

Information is power

It was tragic to see how this lack of detail from the coaches and support staff stifled captain William Porterfield.

He was only aware of the Netherlands game plan (and their drive towards qualification on run rate) in the last 10 balls of the innings.

By then it was too late. It shows how information is power.

I'm sure it was hard enough for 20 year old off-spinner Andy McBrine to open the bowling in only his second ever T20I. Now add in the fact that he didn't know that he was about to face an slog-sweep onslaught from his 1st ball.

Good luck kiddo!

What difference would knowing the Dutch plan have made?

I'm hoping that the captain and coach wouldn't have chosen to bowl McBrine at that early stage if they knew the match context.

Probabilities and possibilities are different

"Winners confirm probability and losers chase possibilities."

World class coach, Peter Moores talks a lot about this when it comes to deploying players into crucial situations.

The decision to ignore experienced bowlers at the start of a key innings smacks of chasing possibilities to me.

Who would you want to set the tone in the first few overs of a crucial T20 game for your school or club?

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Cricket Show S5 Episode 11: Carving Out a Niche

Finding your niche in the side is hard when you bowl leg spin. That's why the team look into the subject in more detail and discuss it on the show.

Plus, we decide if the smart watch is a thing for cricket, talk about playing low bouncing short balls and Burner's shows off to Mark Garaway, David Hinchliffe and Sam Lavery.

Listen in to find out more!


How to Send in Your Questions

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This is show number 254.

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Can These Simple Tricks Boost Your Ability to Learn?

What if you could speed up your learning ability?

You could finally reach your potential. Imagine how good that would feel.

The ability to learn and make changes is one of the three most important elements of success in cricket. So how exactly to you teach yourself to learn better?

How Stress Can Make or Break Your Ability to Bowl Fast

This is a guest article from Strength Coach, Fast Bowling Coach and Former First-Class Cricketer, Steffan Jones.

If a fast bowler isn't being physically stressed, you're wasting your time.


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: 300
Date: 2014-03-28