Pitchvision Academy


It's a big week for coaching as PitchVision announce the Global Coach of the Year! It's a prestigious award that is a year in the making. Get the details below.

Plus we discuss tactics, long batting and high catching.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

PV Global Coach of the Year is Praveen Hinganikar

It’s been a year, dozens of nominations from around the world and 12 monthly winners. Now PitchVision can finally announce the prestigious Global Coach of the Year.

PitchVision is pleased to announce Praveen Hinganikar as the Global 2016-17 PV Coach of the Year

Praveen Hinganikar is not a household name in the cricket world. Yet, his work as a coach has influenced cricketers from grass-roots to the professional game. The selection panel recognised this talent beyond the glamour of fame. So despite strong competition from coaches in the UK, Australia and South Africa, there was only one winner.

For those who know him, it’s obvious why Praveen won.

For everyone else, remember the name because he is a phenomenon. Head of PHCA since 2008, his academy is an illustrious highly successful centre of excellence for cricketers in Nagpur, India.

Currently the Academy has over 200 players with many already playing state cricket and five first-class cricketers. It’s a track record that is a testament to the great long term commitment of Pravin Hinganikar and his team.

PV caught up with Praveen to inform him of his success, and reflect on his work as a dedicated, passionate cricket coach.

How do you feel about winning this prestigious official Global PitchVision Coach of the Year 2016-17?

It is a great achievement and feeling to know that I have been chosen. It could be possible only because of my player's involvement. I really want to thank the PV panel and the awards committee for the honour.

How did you first get a passion for coaching?

During my playing days, in Nagpur, we did not have any coaches to guide the teams and players. My first coach was Mr. Kamraj Kesri. He taught me a lot about the game. After him, there was no one to guide. Also, no technology was there, like it's there today. Even TV was not that popular in our days. When I retired from first-class cricket, I thought I should get into cricket coaching and pass on my learnings, education, to the future generation.

Fortunately, the cricket association gave me the opportunity to coach. I coached under 19 boys for three years. After that, I was delegated to coach the Vidarbha Ranji Trophy Team. During this, I was also given the opportunity to coach the Zonal Cricket Academy also as a fast bowling coach twice. All these opportunities put me into the passion of coaching. Also, my boys responded to my coaching, inputs to improve their game and this basically boosted my moral support.

What is your philosophy for being a good coach?

As far as philosophy is concerned, one must get to the root of the problem. I get to the root of the cause, try to minimise issues. I try to nurture the boys the way they are. I try to maintain their natural game.

What challenges do modern coaches face that did not exist years ago?

One challenge is the education system. The education system today is such as the boys do not get time to practice. During holidays, summer vacations we get their complete attention towards the game which helps us to train them properly.

The new generation is such that they do not accept things as it is, unless and until you are able to convince them. This is a good thing too that they are not blindly following the things. And thus the coach also has to be stay updated.

What is your greatest skill as a coach and how did you achieve it?

I played first-class cricket at the age of 17, on the merits of my batting. After few years, I was given the opportunity to be a wicketkeeper. I also used to regularly bowl in the nets. Since I have managed to be in all three aspects, I am able to handle situations and train boys accordingly.

How do you mentor a good player to become a professional cricketer?

I make sure that the player is disciplined with the passion to improve day by day. To be a professional cricketer, one must have mental stability and toughness. I try to bring all these aspects by putting hard work, discipline career, life,

What is your proudest moment as a coach?

When the Vidarbha team reached the semi finals of the Elite Group, they lost against the UP team, but we played very hard till the end. The second proudest moment was when I started my cricket academy. The third was when Yash Thakur was picked up by the Indian Team for the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka. He came to me at the age of 13. Four years he worked very hard

Who do you admire and respect in the coaching world?

My first coach Mr. Kamraj Kesri, he was the person whose coaching gave me confidence. I have immense respect for him. As far as admiration is concerned, I can say that Mr. Chandrakant Pandit, Sandeep Patil are good coaches.

What would you change about the coaching world?

One thing is very sure than everyone, every coach should enter into technology. This change is a must. Technology helps in improving coaching and performance. It takes the game to a very next level.

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Avoid This Unforced Cricket Tactical Error to Give Your Team a Better Chance of Success

Cricket - even limited overs - is a game that can be won and lost with tactics. Here's an example.


On Sunday, the team I coach were playing an important knockout match. Winner takes all. Stakes were high.

The setup

Batting first, it was difficult to read what would be a good score. The pitch had pace and bounce, and there was lateral movement off the seam. The bowlers were favourites. However, the outfield was very fast with most shots beating the infield going for four. Batsmen were getting value.

The opposition clearly knew this, setting a ring field early on and protecting behind square on the off side against faster bowling. With good lines, my team found it hard to rotate the strike.

Boundaries were possible thanks to the fast outfield, but the fielding side were almost ignoring this, and focused on bowling good lines and stopping everything in the ring with some excellent ground fielding.

As a result, the run rate dipped from 4.1 after 10 overs to 2.9 after 30. Wickets fell under this pressure, the score was 87-5.

The mistake

Naturally, the field was attacking as the fielding side looked to finish things early for an easy chase.

However, thanks to some excellent batting from a well set number four and a level-headed number seven, the extra gaps in the field were exploited to improve the strike rotation dramatically. Suddenly the team were under less pressure and pushed the rate back up with no real change in approach.

It was at this point, the biggest tactical error was made.

Instead of returning to a ring field, cutting off the singles and ignoring the odd boundary (as before), the field went out. Boundary runners were leaving single gaps at cover, mid on and mid off.

There was even a short period where there was no third man.

This allowed the pair to play their confident rotation game under less pressure and keep wickets in hand for a big push at the end.

The death

From a difficult moment, the team entered the death phase on 121-5, and a well set batsman past fifty.

The final ten overs saw an explosion of runs, going at seven and eight an over from the 40th. There were over 80 runs scored, with some huge hits taking the score past 200.

This was all from a situation where the team were considering 140 as a first target earlier in the innings.

From here, 202 proved too many and the winning margin after the second innings was 23 runs.

The conclusions

It's safe to say that the fielding tactical error was not the only reason the game was won by the team I coach.

However, its was also a crucial moment that was a slip up due to an unforced error.

Any team can lose thanks to great batting or classy bowling. You can't control that. What you can control is how you read the game and how you react to the situation. If you are engaged with the game and realise your best chance of success is different from "orthodox" tactics, then go for it.

I think this time, the fielding side fell into a trap of field placing by tradition rather than how the game was actually unfolding. It was enough of a crack to make a hole in the wall by the batting team, and they took their chance.

The lesson: stay engaged with the game and avoid letting a team in. Good teams will not wait to exploit the opportunity!

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Save the Dying Art of Batting Long

Times have changed.


The diet of T20 cricket played around the world nowadays has its pro’s and con’s in terms of cricket development. It is fantastic at developing hard-hitting, innovative batters and for encouraging younger participants into the game. I get that and it is important that the modern formats of the game keep bringing new players and parents into the game.

However, when I was young, I could not get enough of the longer format games. On my 16th birthday, I recall sitting at the County Ground in Southampton watching the 1989 Australian Touring team taking on Hampshire in a tour game ahead of the fourth Ashes Test match.

Steve Waugh scored 112 in the first innings. He was magnificently simplistic with his batting approach that day. Yet all I actually recall was his swashbuckling back foot drive, his clip off his toes hit just square leg and his straight-drive. It was so simple and so effective. He scored quick enough for his team and yet did this stuff in a steady and repeatable fashion.

These days, we play lots of 50 over cricket at school on Sundays against County age group opposition.

It has been fascinating to watch over the past few weeks. Whoever bats first tends to score at five or six runs per over but they are regularly bowled out with between 60 to 90 balls still left in the innings. This sets average targets but ultimately, on the awesome wickets at school, you will never defend the score unless you bowl the opposition out.

As I keep telling the lads, you can never get enough runs and the most successful players tend to face more balls than the less successful ones.

These are basics of the game and have to be applied otherwise, you will always come up short in terms of runs, wickets and therefore, you will come up short in the outcome stakes too.

Back to Tugga Waugh...

The Self-awareness secret to Steve Waugh’s success

During the Ashes series is 1989, Waugh scored 393 runs before England could take his wicket. By this time, Australia were two-nil up on their way to an eventual four-nil drubbing of their English counterparts.

Waugh effectively had three or four shots and limited himself to those for most of his Test career.

He scored just shy of 11000 runs at an average of 51 with a game centred on his three most effective and fundamental batting shots.

If you ask a young player to name his shots nowadays then they will list about 8 different options.

Which ones is their best shot?

What attacking shots average over 50 and which ones average under 20?

Can our young players be as self-aware as Steve Waugh when it comes to their 3 most effective shots?

Many of my conversations with young players presently centre on them naming their 3 most effective shots.

Do they know their scoring shots in rank order in terms of Average and Runs per Scoring Shot (RSS)?

If they did have this awareness, would they have more clarity when it came to deploying their attacking options within centre wicket practice and match play?

Well, it certainly would not do any harm in my book.

So if you have a batting team or an individual who is underplaying their hand when it comes to time in the middle and therefore, their ability to score runs then can they follow Steve Waugh’s self-awareness example.

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How to Bat During a Horrifying Innings Collapse

I know you don't like to think about it - nobody does - but there will be times where your innings has collapsed and you are at the crease. If you have the right approach, you can see this as your moment to shine.

Picture the scene in your mind: The let's say the score is 140-7 in 40 overs.

There are 10 to go and you are batting first. You know a winning score on this ground is close to 230. Numbers nine, 10 and 11 are all tail-enders who can hang about but are not going to score a match winning innings.

You have two options.

Remove the Queue from High Catching Drills

One of the most frustrating things in coaching is a line of cricketers standing in a queue waiting for their turn.

While watching other people play sport from the close vantage point of a queue can be fun, getting involved is much more productive and it also seems like a pretty good way to improve.

While a few areas of cricket have developed in this regard, one area that continues to see the queues build up is fielding practice. Not necessarily ground fielding, as there a lots of different fielding circuits that recycle the ball and can work without a coach at times.


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: 463
Date: 2017-05-19