Pitchvision Academy


Sri Lanka are World Twenty20 champions, so we focus on some of the elements of their success this week. Mark Garaway debunks the myth of form with Kumar Sangakkara. We examine the importance of "effort" in fast bowling, and we look at a tactic for spinners that is outside the norm.

Plus, it's a really excellent PitchVision Academy Cricket Show this week. If you are not a regular listener, now is the time to download it and get it on your smart phone or tablet.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

How Kumar Sangakkara Used Hideous Batting Form to Win the World Twenty20


Kumar Sangakkara signed off his Twenty20 career with a Man of the Match performance steering Sri Lanka to World glory.

Yet entering final Sunday, Kumar was experiencing something every batsman feels: hideous batting form.

Sri Lanka had progressed to the final of the tournament despite Sangakkara scoring 19 runs at an average of 4.75. He was horribly out of form and couldn't buy a run.

We all know that feeling!

For most players, the downward spiral tends to continue, our scores remain low, our confidence is eroded on a daily basis and our emotions shift between dejection and desperation.

But this cycle did not happen to Kumar Sangakkara.


The Sangakkara mindset

There is no god given right for anyone to score runs every innings. No batter is consistent. Even the greats like Bradman, Lara and Tendulkar were not consistent run scorers from innings to innings.

The great have a mindset that says;

"I could score runs today and if I do I need to make it a big one".

This sets them up for both success and failure, helps them to accept that failure is a part of the game and prepares the player mentally to take advantage of the next opportunity he has to get a "Daddy hundred" or play a match winning innings.

But that's not all.

"The more I fail, the bigger the chance that my next score will be a massive one!"

The statistics back the Sri Lankan. Here are Kumar's last 7 T20I innings on a Manhattan graph. The left hand side of the graph looks hideous doesn't it?

Sangakkara didn't panic. He knew the trend was in his favour.

Clarke's 46% failure

Michael Clarke scored 2319 runs at 72.46 in the period of time featured above. Sounds bulletproof? Except when you notice that Michael scored between 0-20 on 16 occasions in his 35 innings.

He failed in 46% of his innings.

And still averaged 72.46.

Notice the period of low scores between the huge spikes in the Manhattan skyline. The more he fails, the more his chance of the next innings being a huge hundred.

"I could score runs today, and if I do I will make it a massive one"

What could this mean to us?

How can we change our language to change the expectation of the batters?

Let me know what you have taken from this article by leaving a comment.

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Cricket Show S5 Episode 13: The Batsman's Doosra

The banter flows between David Hinchliffe, Mark Garaway, Burners and Sam Lavery (back with a sick note from his Mum). The team look at serious issues including the "batsman's doosra", the World Twenty20, and changing your fielding skill from dead cert fine leg to high class cover point.

Names galore are dropped as we tell stories about KP, Michael Bevan and Johnty Rhodes. And fun is had with Burner's top tips for fielding with a bad keeper and how to dunk a ginger nut in a hot drink.

It's all on this show, so download today!


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:

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+44 (0)203 239 7543
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This is show number 256.

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Graphic: The Truth About Cricket Skill to Fitness Crossover

You don't need to be fit to be a skillful cricketer, and you don't need to be skillful cricketer to be fit. But, both elements together will feed off each other to make you a better player.

That's what this diagram illustrates.

Of course, the above is an over-simplification to make a point (that fitness is as important as skill), and there are a lot more layers to it.

For example, the type of "fitness" work makes a huge difference. Bodybuilding and jogging is less effective than strength training and mobility work.

The same applies on the skills side. You can roll your arm over in nets for hours and never improve. On the other hand, you can perform drills, bowl to targets and work on handling pressure.

However, the basic principle still applies: To be the best cricketer you can be you need to be an athlete. That means smart skill work and smart fitness work.

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When to Put in Effort in your Fast Bowling. It's Not All the Time.

This is a guest article from former professional bowler, and current Strength, Conditioning and Fast Bowling Coach Steffan Jones.

Go easy on the hard work.

The only way to improve your fitness, pace and stamina is by stressing the body to the limit. You have to train hard. However, the body can only tolerate so much. Flat out effort is draining.

So how do you train and play hard without breaking yourself? Read on to find out.

Streetwise Bowling: The Moon Shot

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

Off spinners have to be clever. Moving the ball in to the right hander reduces your ability to take wickets over an equally skilled slow left arm bowler.

That means you need to be even more canny than the average spinner, and it's why you see such a variety in styles of off spin.

The big ripping offie bowls an "attacking" line outside off stump and through the gate. This is a great tactic, but what do you do to mix it up, or defeat a batsman who has your number?

So, picture the scene: an attacking off spinner who is having no luck against a batting pair. The batsmen are using their feet well to get to the pitch and drive safely.

What happens next?


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: 302
Date: 2014-04-11