Pitchvision Academy


If you are lucky enough to have some special kit (Katchet and Sidearm) you will love the drill in this newsletter. It will boost fielding skills and test them to the limit!

Plus there are articles on injury prevention, playing wily medium pace bowlers and ways to have better nets.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Fielding Drills: Sidearm vs. Katchet

Here's a drill to practice your infield stopping and catching skills, and test them to the limit!


Use the speed and variation of a Katchet board and Sidearm thrower to overload your practice and make game fielding seem easy.

If you can't see the video above, click here.

Click here for more drills.


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Use Geometry to Deal with the Silver Fox Conundrum

I received a cry for help on Facebook the other night from a dear friend of mine who plays village cricket in the heart of Somerset.


Charlie - who opens the batting for his local team - is a quite incredible man: A huge cricket enthusiast who has worked wonders as a coach with players with physical disabilities. Charlie finds that his game is suited to playing faster bowlers but struggles against the wily, experienced medium pacers who land it consistently, with no pace, on a length.

He was struggling against the “silver haired foxes”.

Many village or club teams have a fox in their starting XI. They are often the life of the club game and many bowling attacks have been organised around their steadiness over the years.

Fight fox with fox?

The greatest silver-haired fox, Duncan Fletcher, always says that

“batting is all about geometry! If you understand angles then you can bat!”

This statement was normally followed by a clip to the side of my head, a dig in the ribs and a knowing wink!

So after watching Charlie play against my medium pace dobbers for a few overs I applied this theory is Charlie’s batting.

I asked Charlie to take either middle and off or off stump guard for 20 balls. The other intention that I gave him was to play his usual, conventional cricket shots and to see to see what happens. This intention was to create an angle on the ball that would enable his normal array of shots to access different parts of the ground, often into the less heavily guarded on side.

Charlie started to drive middle stump deliveries to the right hand side of mid-on, he accessed both back foot and fuller middle and leg stump deliveries backward of square on the leg side instead of patting the same delivery back down the wicket. It was great to see Charlie picking up a new approach/skill and his face was a picture.

Charlie was playing the same game as normal, he was just playing it from a different position. This in turn was creating a different angle and getting a different outcome as a result.

Other players who do this brilliantly include AB de Villiers and Jos Buttler. Now, both have more expansive games than Charlie, but the principle is exactly the same. They both use geometry and angles to access different spaces on the ground.

AB does this brilliantly with his step across, way outside the line of off stump to sweep the faster bowlers up over fine leg, often for 6. Whilst the shot is more expansive that Charlie’s deflections and drives, the principle of creating a different angle to access a different space on the cricket field is exactly the same.

I then asked Charlie to make his own decisions about how he set up to receive each ball against my medium paced dobbers. Charlie randomised where he stood and therefore, made it really difficult for me to adjust my lines and to keep him quiet at the crease.

He tucked me here and there between mid-on and fine leg. I then adjusted my field so I had four men on the legside and he simply stood on Leg Stump and defended me repeatedly into the gap that he had just created on the offside, I tried to bowl a counteracting yorker and instead dished up a ½ volley that flew through cover for four.

This angles based strategy can be practised and then used against all manner of bowlers. It even works to spinners. Mark Waugh used to vary the depth and line of his guard to access different parts of the pitch with fairly conventional shots. He was a master of it.

So the next time you come up against a “Silver-haired Fox” in the opposition bowling line up, you may find yourself having a different way of causing him a problem or two.

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Khyati Gulani: Preventing Injuries in Women's Cricket

This is a guest article from new contributor, Khyati Gulani. Khyati is an ex-cricketer now coaching state and academy cricket in Delhi.

Women cricketers are more prone to injury than men.


A recent study at Harvard Medical School showed the gender gap in sports injuries are on the rise due to sheer lack of awareness of such problems. Structurally, women are more prone to injuries due to:

  1. Higher estrogen levels, along with less body mass and high propensity to accumulate fat leads to fragile bones and stress fracture
  2. Less powerful muscles and lose ligaments, leads to muscle injuries and spasm
  3. Wider pelvis that alters the alignment of the knee and ankle leads to knee injuries
  4. Narrow space within knee for Lower Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) to travel through
  5. Anaemia, calcium and Vitamin D deficiencies lead to lower stamina, stress fracture

So, injuries like stress fractures, knee injuries, shoulder and joint trouble and ankle sprains are likely to trouble women more than men.

The situation may be worse for Indian women. Studies show 59% of women suffer from anaemia in India. 27% women have thyroid imbalance and 76% have Vitamin D deficiencies. These are startling statistics for women who want to be athletes.

Anecdotally, look at Saina Nehwal. Saina’s feet are small for her frame. She suffers from a form of Plantar Fasciitis, a condition that is the most common form of heel pain and one that athletes are particularly susceptible to. This has made her sit out of important tournaments. Saina has since focussed on Bio-mechanics to map her movements to understand better her power and reaction forces, landing patterns and accordingly strengthen herself in the weaker areas.

Saina is lucky to have an array of trainers and expensive techniques to heal her faster. Not all athletes have this. So, the golden words remain true; prevention is better than cure. Also, starting early has its dividends. After reaching a certain age, it is difficult for an athlete to change their style of playing.

Here’s what I suggest to my players:

  1. Eat better: What you eat is 80% of what you are, thus one must focus on a balanced diet. Avoid junk at all cost and think of diet as a lifestyle rather than a forced activity. Look at natural sources of irons and use supplements under strict advice.
  2. Strengthen your lungs: Strong lungs will put in strong stamina. For people who can’t run laps fearing injuries, swimming is best alternate and better than running at times.
  3. Identify weak areas in the body and design programs to strengthen the weak areas.
  4. Focus on mental fitness: A 2008 study concluded women to be mentally and emotionally stronger than men. Use this to your advantage, ladies. Mental fitness seem to have inconspicuous benefits and must be an important aspect of your personality development
  5. Enjoy your body: Put some enjoyment into fitness, do a combination of running, biking, elliptical, Yoga and dancing! Yeah, dancing can be great source of fun and bring you out of monotone.
  6. Female athletes should do exercises which focus on lower body stability. As they should have strength in their lower body, thighs, hips and feet for the longer stride and stability.

For a female cricket player to be as fit as the male counterpart, you have to better understand your body, as early as possible, focus on the positives and enjoy the rigour.

Citations and Bibliography:

  1. http://www.firstpost.com/sports/threatened-by-injuries-saina-nehwal-needs-to-find-a-smarter-route-to-the-top-2486180.html
  2. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/59-Indian-women-are-anaemic-Study/articleshow/46589333.cms
  3. http://breakingmuscle.com/nutrition/what-athletes-need-to-know-about-iron-deficiency
  4. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health-news/Osteoporosis-on-the-rise-among-young-women/articleshow/24663408.cms
  5. Harvard Medical Journal 2015, December 03, 2015

This is a guest article from new contributor, Khyati Gulani. Khyati is an ex-cricketer now coaching state and academy cricket in Delhi.

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Cricket Show S7 Episode 21: Catches Win Matches

David Hinchliffe chats to Sam Lavery and Mark Garaway. Catches aree the main theme, with a discussion on how to take more in games by practising in better ways.

Plus, there are questions on female fast bowling technique and moving from getting 20s and 30s into hundreds.

Have a listen!

12 Ways to Have a Better Net: Fit, Focused and More Runs

As you know by now, nets are one area where you can improve how you train. How do you do it?


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: 415
Date: 2016-06-10