Pitchvision Academy


This week we announced IPL coach Monty Desai as the latest addition to the panel. And of course, we talk about the best way to get a trial and succeed when you get it. For those of you looking for your chance to become a cricketer, you can't miss the advice!

Plus Mark Garaway has an excellent wicketkeeping drill and we talk about the debate between traditional cricket methods and modern progressive changes. What side are you on?

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Become A Cricketer: What A Talent Scout Looks For At Trials

This is an exclusive excerpt from How to Become A Cricketer, from IPL Coach Monty Desai. For more information about the videos and eBooks, click here.

When we are looking for players at cricket trials there are some important qualities beyond runs and wickets and stat figures.


First, how is he able to perform under pressure? You might have all the skills, but can you do it under pressure? For example, you have been given an opportunity in a trial where you'll end up bowling in a death over. If you are able to execute yorkers under this pressure you look good.

Imagine the extra pressure at a trial of a coach questioning you after every ball; asking what is your next thinking? You say you're going to bowl a slow one. Then you are able to execute the slow one very well. So, that means that you are have the skills to execute under pressure. That will become a very big quality for you.

Then, it's about your behaviour throughout the trial: How you are moving around. Is there a "team man" quality in you? When you are not bowling, are you also throwing your body around as a fielder? Sometimes you might not be performing but you can be the person who is making an effort stopping the balls for someone else. Say the other bowler is bowling brilliantly and you haven't bowled a great over, but you'll take a brilliant catch for him. So, you have contributed.

It could be sometimes you are not playing in the trials but you are outside and you're just running around to give water to your team mates. You're also there to enjoy other's success and support them. So, when it comes down to comparing two players who both have performed equally well, we will choose the cricketer who can come in and enhance the team with personal character and off the field qualities. It will be a huge bonus.

It might not turn up on the stats but the people around you in the dressing room know that you have contributed for the team. We've known people who have just chipped-in in their game, like they might have only end up scoring 20 odd runs for the team, but have contributed in the wins in other ways. It's a quality which is needed in team environment.

You can have a person, who is only a selfish guy. He is only looking for himself. IN the long run the team suffers and you don't want the team to suffer. We cannot encourage "I," we want to have more "We's." There is a role played by someone as an opening batsman, but there is also a role played by someone as a tail-ender who is hanging in there. You have to credit to a person who is scoring a hundred, but you have to credit to tail-ender who is hanging around with you on the other side making sure that you score your hundred. If you bowl, your role might be to keep the line tight. You have contributed by creating pressure from the other side. You have helped the other bowler to pick up wickets.

It's the job of that person who's picked up five wickets, as a character, to go and thank the person on the other side who created that pressure for you. If you are not able to acknowledge that then there is something wrong with you.

For more information about the videos and eBooks on this course, click here.

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Wicketkeeper Standing Back Drill

This is a cracking drill for wicket keepers standing back using equipment that is becoming commonplace within coaching kitbags around the world.

We are presently in a "specific preparation phase" of the programme, so much of the aim of our sessions are build volume into both keepers "catch" and to free up the movement patterns to both right and left handed batters.

The session was for two keepers. They swapped every six balls to simulate overs. We ran the session in a confined net area so I ensured that we maximised the width of the area so the keepers could move freely for offside takes and for simulated outside edges. It's just as easy to run outdoors or in the open, or both.

You can use a Sidearm, bowling machine or bowlers for the drill.

You'll also need Fusion Multi-stumps


The Multi stumps are used as stumps and to simulate edges from a 5th-7th stump line. Both sets of stumps provide deflection and different paces of ball coming through to the keeper.

Here's the drill:

I set the bowling machine up to bowl a length which brings the top quarter of the multistumps into play. This ensures that the deflections are slight and maintain their pace in a realistic fashion. I set the bowling machine to move the ball from the stumps into an off stump/4th and 5th stump line. This brings deflections into play and optimises the space that we had available in the session.

This can be seen in the drill for right handed batters and then the last ball on the edit which is to simulate standing back to a left handed batter.

I worked off a pace of 68-73 mph, which worked for that surface.

Wicketkeeping drill outcomes

The keepers took over 120 balls each in the session. There were 72 deflections.

We looked at the starting line to right handed batters and then the same to left handed batters. Both keepers made slight adjustments to this over the course of the session in order to facilitate smooth movement and to ensure that initial vision to the bowler was optimal.

One keeper is working on getting past the line of the ball and established some good rhythms when doing this on a repeated basis. The other keeper is a relative beginner yet experienced more flowing movement as the session went on.

It was highly relevant to the match situations that they will find themselves in the fast approaching season.

It was great fun!


I have also used this drill with bowlers as they delivery bowl-through as part of their game day preparation.

Often, a keeper perceives them taking bowl-throughs as "servicing the bowler's needs". Yet by simply placing a second set of multistumps alongside a coaching intention then we instantly engage the keeper. The drill is now specific to them.

Indoors or outdoors, this is a simple and great keeping drill that will keep your keepers smiling!

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Cricket Show S6 Episode 10: When Things Go Belly Up

What lessons can coaches and players learn from England's mistakes at the World Cup? That's the story Mark Garaway David Hinchliffe and Sam Lavery talk about on the show with an air of despair.

But it's not all doom and gloom as the team answer your questions. The first is about throwing lessons from baseball. The second goes into the latest thinking about fitness for cricket. It's changed a lot in recent times and we need to know more than ever.

How much is enough to get by?

Listen to the show to find out the conclusions.

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, smart phone or tablet every week automatically. Simply choose your favourite podcast player and do a search for the show:

Or subscribe manually with the RSS feed. Right click here, copy the link and paste it into the appropriate place for adding new feeds in your podcast subscription software or RSS reader.

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 301.

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Which Side Of The Battle For Cricket's Soul Is Best For Your Game?

There's a battle for the heart and soul of cricket right now.

It's a battle that is shaping cricketers and cricket teams at every level. Get it right and you could be pushing yourself to new heights. Get it wrong and you will be languishing on the sidelines forever.

Each side thinks they know all the answers. if the other side just listened to common sense for a moment, they say in frustration, we would all realise the truth. We would all be better players.

So what is the truth?

Which side should you take in this epic war?

How to be the best player at cricket trials

Love them or hate them, trial matches are used the world over to decide the fate of young cricketers.

They are the exams of the cricket world: Do well and you could be on your way to a professional contract. Mess up and... well, let's not think about messing up.


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: 350
Date: 2015-03-13