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The World Twenty20 is showing us how exciting modern cricket can be, but sometimes it's easy to get drawn in and forget the basics.

That's why this week we look at how a great fast bowler got wickets by keeping it simple, test your training knowledge with another quiz and look at another way bowler's can exploit batting weaknesses.

Sometimes tradition is tradition because it works!

Have a great weekend

David Hinchliffe

The Brian Statham guide to keeping bowling simple

Modern cricket is a game swamped with fashions and coaching theories. It can get confusing for young bowlers who just want to take a few more wickets.

So it's very tempting to go back to English fast bowler Brian Statham for a much more simple answer.

Statham took 252 Test wickets at twenty fours during a time when conditions did not always suit fast-medium bowling. He always seemed to be second fiddle to someone, Tyson or Trueman, because of his quiet understated ability to get on with bowling non-stop come rain or shine.

In first class cricket his average of 16.37 is lower than any other bowler of note in the 20th century. Not bad when you consider he took well over 2000 wickets.

And he achieved it all by keeping it as simple as possible.

Bowl 5 good balls

Statham worked on the theory that if he bowled 5 balls an over that the batsman had to play, wickets would always come. Bowling as a percentage game.

He would consider it a waste of energy to run in and watch the batsman leave it so he developed an unnerving accuracy, rarely deviating from a good line and length except to bowl yorkers.

He did this by bowling and bowling, as all good pacemen should do. If you want success there is no substitute for practicing your accuracy. And the good news is you can do it on your own in the nets. Either with a low tech solution (a blanket to mark a good length) or something to record and track your results via Bluetooth to your mobile phone.

If you played darts you wouldn't enter a competition without throwing a few arrows at a dartboard first would you?

Be as fast as you can be

But Statham wasn't just about accuracy. He also had serious pace. He wasn't up there with the fastest of his time, but he made the most of the speed he had, especially after remodelling his action.

And that's important. If you want to trouble batsman, making them feel rushed is part of the job. If they are worried when the inswinging toe-crusher is coming they are not as certain against you.

Even if you bowl slow medium pace, you should be looking to move up speed because the quicker you are the harder it is for the batsman. You might never be the fastest in the team, but that's OK as long as you are as fast as you can be.

Like Statham, you can remodel your action for speed and accuracy. The good news is you can do it with the help of Andy Caddick, another fine pace bowler.

When you keep things simple you avoid getting a cluttered mind and you can get on with the business of bowling; which is simply waiting to pounce when the batsman makes a mistake. Or in other words: You miss, I hit.

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How to solve your batting problems with a simple change

Have you ever wondered if the solution to all your batting problems lies with a simple change? 

Too good to be true, right?


Not according to former first-class player and PitchVision batting Coach Gary Palmer in his online coaching course "Improve Your Batting with Simple Changes to Your Setup".

In the course Gary presents a series of videos. Each video shows you how a tiny error in your setup can lead to massive problems in your technique.

Most people think they know all about the grip, stance and backlift. Yet those same people are the ones making the easy-to-correct errors that make a huge difference.

At least, those errors are easy to correct for experienced coaches like Gary.

That's what makes this course so good. You don't need to pay a big-time coach to come a correct your technical flaw. You can just buy the online course, watch the videos and make the change you need.

Then you can get on with scoring runs, which is what this is all about anyway.

When you buy the course you get instant access to the videos, pictures and practice sheets that allow you to get the perfect grip, stance backlift and trigger move for your needs.

All in one place, for one, one-off price. Then access is unlimited. Forever.

Want to know more? Click here and start learning how to improve your game instantly.


What do you know about cricket training?

After the success of the last one, it's time for another quiz to test your cricketing knowledge.

In this short test we take a look at cricket practice, focusing specifically on the type of training you do at nets.

How good are your sessions?

Find out by taking the test and seeing how your answers match up with the training methods used by good coaches.

There are just 6 questions so the whole thing should take less than 5 minutes unless you really dawdle.

Click here to take the test and see how much you know.

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Can you visualise the future of your cricket to help build on the past?

This is a guest article by Daniel Maddocks of T20Kids.com: Promoting Cricket for Kids. Daniel is an ECB Coach with experience in coaching young cricketers in the North West of England.

How to exploit batting weaknesses: Top hand grip

 This is part of a series on how to exploit batsman's weaknesses. To see the other weaknesses click here.

Talk to any school cricketer about gripping the bat and Vs and he will know what you mean. Everyone knows how to grip a cricket bat.

But players of all ages still get the top hand position wrong.


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: 98
Date: 2010-05-14