Pitchvision Academy


Yusuf Pathan hit an awesome 15 ball 50 in the IPL, so we look at his method and find out what you can learn from the style.

Whether there are tips in there for you or not, there is also plenty more cricket coaching action. We find a way to improve fielding standards, find out how to captain ourselves and show you how to look after a cricket ball so it swings more.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

How to Look After a Cricket Ball to Make it Swing: Your Print and Keep Guide

Swing is such a powerful weapon, yet there is a clear trend in the game away from keeping the ball shiny.

We know so much more about the science of swing than we did 10 years ago, but traditions from the old days remain, keeping the ball straight as an arrow when it could be hooping round corners. This simple guide will help you and your team get more of the latter:

Click here for the high quality pdf version.

Do with it what you will. Print it and put it in the clubhouse. Hand it out to players. email it to your colts section. The choice is yours, as long as the cricket ball is better cared-for.

Let's take back something from the batsman's game.

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Use These Questions to Create Vaughan's 10 Captains

Rewind to 2004 and a moment that struck a chord with world-class cricketers.

When Michael Vaughan took over as England captain, he said that he wanted 10 other captains out on that pitch with him every day.

Very soon that group of England players were winning Test match after Test match on their way to Ashes success. As a group of coaches, we felt that there was a minimum of 9 captains on the field at any one time.


Each player did this by making independent, proactive decisions.

Each player asked himself the type of questions that captains ask themselves all the time. This kept him engaged with the task at hand and limited "drifting time".

Can you help they players in your team do the same in the field?

Here are some questions to light the spark of captaincy in all players:

Vaughan 10: Bowlers

How many times do we run up and deliver balls without being fully focused on what we are going to bowl? Talk to your inner captain:

  1. What ball am I going to bowl?
  2. What field do I need to support that ball?
  3. What is the likely response from the opponent?
  4. Can I manage my pre-ball routine to help me engage and execute?

Vaughan 10: Fielding Questions

  1. What's my role? (Catching, saving 1, holding the edge of the circle)
  2. What angle do I need to be on?
  3. What's our bowling plan? (What length are we looking to hit?)
  4. Then how will our bowling plan to this batter impact upon my depth/angle?
  5. Is there a throwing preference end? Are we targeting one batter over the other?
  6. Which fielding angles do I need to back up on the other side of the ground?

Paul Collingwood was incredible at this. He had a number of specialist fielding positions during any given day. He had to ask himself a lot of questions about each position and from memory. He was never asked to change his angle or depth.

He was captaining himself as well as others around him. Vaughan tossed the coin, yet "Colly" was one of the captains in the field.

Vaughan 10: Wicket Keeping Questions

  1. Are high traffic area fielders on the right angles?
  2. Are the inner ring fielders at the appropriate depth?
  3. Does anyone need a shout, so back up when the ball goes on there opposite side of the pitch?
  4. Have we got the right fielders in the correct positions?
  5. Have we got the right "bowlers end keeper"? And what can I do to influence that?
  6. What feedback can I give the bowlers about the opposition batter from my unique viewpoint?

Wherever players are are from bowler to keeper, many of these questions can be asked ahead of the game in preparation for performance.

Others can be asked in between each over or as we move into a specific position for a new batter or change of bowler. We ask others as we adjust to the context of the game or batting partnership that is playing out in front of us.

So if your team doesn't have 9 or more captains out there then give them a hand by encouraging each player to ask some "Vaughany's 10 Captain Questions".

It will take the load of the actual skipper and increase performance, guaranteed!

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Cricket Show S5 Episode 20: I'm Used to Six Balls in an Over

Mark Garaway joins David Hinchliffe to talk about playing and coaching cricket.

The show kicks off with discussion on a couple of #garasgold articles about the cost of extras and the 40 run consequence net.

We catch up with the work being done at the Chris Gayle Academy in London.

Finally we discuss questions of the difference between "backyard" and "normal" run up for a leg spinner, and help a coach set some fitness standards for his team of 17-15 year old players.


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.

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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 263.

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Become a Better Fielding Side with Tables

Here are some things we know for sure:

Catches win matches. 15 runs makes the difference between a tight loss and a comfortable win. Everyone remembers the moment the game turned on a brilliant piece of fielding.

I bet you are thinking of one right now.

These are things we know, things that the coach says again and again (especially after we drop a couple). Yet still there is no accepted measure of fielding skill like batting or bowling average.

No wonder some players - no you, others - don't fancy it.

What's in it for them apart from the wishy-washy talk about "doing it for the team"? They scoff and head back into the nets to put another couple of points on the average.

How to Score Fast and Hit Clean like Yusuf Pathan

15 balls.

That's how long it took Yusuf Pathan to reach the fastest fifty in IPL history. He hit Dale Steyn for twenty six in an over. It was a thoroughly modern display of power batting.

What happened in the 22 ball innings tells a story of batting, a story that can teach you a thing or two.


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: 309
Date: 2014-05-30