Pitchvision Academy


This newsletter delves into some technology solutions for age old issues. From the PV app to the PV/ONE system, there is something for every cricketer to experiment with in the PitchVision family.

We look at analysis, latin dancing, bowling fatigue and the "Magnificent Seven" spin bowling drill. Phew!

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Case Study: Scoring More Runs by Breaking Down Bowling Length Tactics

How do you improve your batting?


One simple way is through the tools provided by PitchVision's PV/ONE system. With them, you can look at how you play against different types of delivery, and work out how you do in very specific areas.

Let's pick an example.

Analyst Waqas Zafar recently did this for a club level batsman facing seam bowling. PitchVision allowed him to break down the batsman's performance against different lengths of delivery and different heights of bounce. So, quickly we can see the batsman faced 77 deliveries at an average pace has been 65.40mph (105.25kph).

What did he find?

Facing short bowling

The bowlers were short 14 times (18% of the balls that have been bowled). These bowlers have usually set up targets on the good length and are keen to hit those areas instead of banging it short. Here is a look at the beehive placement of the short pitched deliveries.

It's generally accepted that batsmen should look to score whenever the bowler straightens lines or offers width. And you can see here that none of the deliveries are attacking the stumps, so the batsman could have attacked any of these balls with pulls or cuts.

This is true even with variable bounce.

One of the balls ended up just being on top of middle and off stump. Though it pitched on 7.6m from the stumps it ended up missing the stumps by a small margin. The same seamer pitched the ball on 7.7m but it ended up bouncing above 1.0m mark!

Here is a look at the two balls with variable bounce.

So, if the batsman can get confident in cross bat shots, especially adjusting for variable bounce, it's clear that the "shooter" is not a major concern.

Dealing with good bowling

36 times (46.77%) the bowlers hit 7.0–5.0m range (good length for club cricket) and have generally kept the ball outside off.

10 times they have found deviation though one of the balls was sliding well down the leg side.

The balls which have deviated outside off stump are more around the stump height which will encourage front foot play more often than not and it is a good sign for the bowlers.

So we can see the batter can look to score when the bowler strays on his pads as most balls are not attacking the stumps. We can see from this length that only one ball is hitting the off stump (the wicket ball) with average bounce being 0.81m. This carries away the threat of LBW or bowled. The batter can pick off runs and put pressure on the bowler.

A look at the beehive placement of the balls:

Attacking fuller balls

27 times (35.07%) the bowlers over-pitched the ball. The average deviation from this length has been 0.1 degrees which isn’t enough to cause any worries for the batsman. Average bounce from this length is lower at 0.58m, which attacks the sumps but also makes driving much easier and it is more manageable to put the ball away.

Here is a look at the fuller balls.

The blue ball in the beehive placement shows a boundary ball. This ball pitched on the 4.7 m mark but we can see a lot of dot balls below the blue mark which were even fuller than 4.7.

This shows that the batter has to work more on his consistency of putting away long half volleys in line with the stumps and outside off stump.

Based on this analysis, the batsman can work on,

  1. Cross-bat shots when the bowler pitches it short. The bounce has been high enough to cut or pull.
  2. Picking off straighter good length balls that stray down the leg side.
  3. Develop confidence in attacking fuller balls.

The role of PV/ONE

Before PV/ONE this analysis was perfectly possible to achieve. However, it required both a highly skilled coach and a lot of time consuming video editing. Imagine filming a session then watching the whole thing back and trying to pick out the balls that are over pitched, that bounce higher or that deviate. It would take ages!

Instead, PV/ONE does all that tagging anc catagorising as it goes. This allows coaches with less time and experience to get the same analysis results as we have seen here with an expert analyst like Waqas.

On top of that, all the videos and information are logged and saved in the cloud for analysis anywhere in the world and from anyone; parents, rep level coaches and any other trusted adviser. That's how Waqas in Pakistan can review the skills of a cricketer in the UK!

Cricket South Africa have chosen to roll out 20 PV/ONE systems across South Africa for these reasons. The systems will be used to track video and data and hunt out talented cricketers who can be fast-tracked more effectively that ever before.

For more details on PV/ONE in cricket coaching for every level, contact PitchVision:

  • Neil Fairbairn (United Kingdom, Europe, U.A.E.) +44 (0) 781 364 9054
  • Craig Van Dyk (South Africa) +27 (83) 5568019
  • Shantanu Sah (India) +91 99535 55778

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Bowl Faster by Learning from Latin Dancers

My girlfriend is a huge fan of TV show Strictly Come Dancing. It might be about dancing, but it reminded me a lot of bowling fast.


One of the main criticisms the judges make about the celebrity dancers is their lack of "hip action", especially in the passion-fulled Latin dances like a tango. When they get it wrong they look stiff and unnatural. When they get it right it appears their hips are barely connected to their body.

Now think away from dancing and towards the great fast bowlers.

Like dancers, they use their hips.

Like dancers, a good fast bowler appears to separate their hips from their body.

The difference is that the fast bowler does it to propel a cricket ball at high speed, but the movements are all from the hips.

So to bowl faster, do you need to take up the salsa, tango and merengue?

Not quite! Although you can take some inspiriation from those wonderful dancers. Here's how to spot of you need a littl more Latin in your bowling.

Film your hip action

Step one is to take a look at your hip action currently. It's easy to spot if it's working.

Download the PitchVision app (for Android on Google Play or iPhone on the App Store). Then use it to film yourself from the side, as shown in this guide video:

What are you looking for?

If you have created a good seperation between hip and shoulder, and strong drive of your hip through you will see your knees together at the point you release the ball.

As you can see in this example from the PitchVision app, this bowler's knees are not together. His hip has trailed and - depsite having a braced front leg - he has lost a huge amount of speed as his back hip trails behind his shoulder.

(By the way, the arrows shown in this still were draw using the PitchVision app drawing tools, click here to find more about that)

If you see your knees like this, you have work to do!

If you see your knees together as you pause the video at ball release, pat yourself on the back. You can work on something else!

Work on your hip action

If you do spot this energy leak, then you know your next step is to get to work. There are two tricks to better hip drive

Option three is to take up salsa dancing, but we have no hard evidence this has a direct crossover. It's more fun than cricket performance-related in all honesty.

Still, if dancing inspires you to bowl faster, use it.

Don't forget to get the PitchVision app to help you bowl faster. It's available now for free.

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Bowling Drills: Make the Most of Your Bowling Spell

Wouldn't it be handy to know the exact natural spell of every bowler? As a captain, coach or even bowler, you will be able to use your best time, and rest when you know you are tiring. Every bowler - no matter how fit - has a natural spell length.


No one can hit a length on the first ball and then keep up pace and accuracy forever There is a lead in period, a time when you find your sweet spot. Eventually you will tire and tail off.

When you start to tire, accuracy goes a little, perhaps you lose the snap through your action. The captain asks "OK for one more?" and we all know every bowler on earth will say yes, despite knowing it's all over really.

These are dangerous overs to bowl because you are more likely to get your figures ruined than bowl a magic ball.

So, if you know your lead-in and cut-off points as a bowler, coach or captain you can avoid these pitfalls. Here's how.

Bowling Fatigue Drill

That's where this simple drill comes in.

Using a PitchVision system you can track your pace and accuracy over your spell and work out what you need to do to maximise your peak period.

The drill is simple;

  • Bowl a spell in nets off your full run up.
  • Track the pace and accuracy of every ball.

You can bowl with a batsman, or simply as a fitness test with noone at the other end.

Using the PitchVision reports that are built in to the system you can see how performance changes over a spell. You can view your bowling pace and accuracy over time and see where the trends show improvement from the start through to drop off at the end.

How to use bowling spell peak period

You can use the information to work out tactics and training.

Lets take an example of a bowler who takes 10 balls to find a rhythm, maintains pace and accuracy for four more overs and then begins to lose accuracy with the natural spell ending at eight overs.

This bowler now knows he needs to bowl at least 10 balls from his full run up during warm up/the innings break. The captain can be confident of four strong overs and also be happy to take the bowler off at the end of this spell unless he is bowling very well (and sometimes, even if he is bowling well as we know his fitness will show a decline).

However, the bowler's aim should be to increase this peak period so longer spells are possible at accuracy and pace.

So the bowler can go on a programme of conditioning, then retest a few weeks later. Over time with a well-designed plan anyone who does this will see peak bowling spell times improve, and along with it an increase in wickets.

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Batting Against Spin: The Magnificent Seven Drill

“The Magnificent Seven” is a drill that you can do with a variety of feed options dependent on the level of experience and skill of the cricketer that you are working with at the time.

Cricket Show S7 Episode 38: Good Environment

Mark Garaway, Sam Lavery and David Hinchliffe discuss the cricket coaching and playing issues of the week.

The phrase "good environment" is banded around a lot, but what does it mean in cricket? The team share their experiences of growing and repairing the mythical idea in practical terms.

Plus, there are questions about batting through 50 overs and getting a comfortable batting stance.

Listen for the full show.


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: 433
Date: 2016-10-14