Use Your Honours Board to Score More Runs in Less Time | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Use Your Honours Board to Score More Runs in Less Time

Rotating the strike is the most unglamorous and under-appreciated skill in batting. You know you need to improve it but you never work on it. How do you solve the problem?


In season, one simple way is by an honours leader board, comparing you to your team mates (or even other players in your league). This will motivate you to develop a way to rotate the strike, just so you can have bragging rights about who is the best. We are all competitive creatures in cricket!

This works in the same way as when you like to see yourself top of the batting averages. The difference is that you use measures more specific to keeping the board ticking. Averages are a fine measure of batting ability, but the problem is that it favours total runs scored and doesn't account for how you got those runs.

So, make a leader board based on these measures instead, and watch as everyone fights to get up the table:

Scoring ball percentage

This is a brilliant measure of how well you rotate the strike because it divides the number shots you played that scored a run (scoring shots) by balls faced. This tells you the percentage of balls you scored from, regardless of how many you scored.

So, SB% rewards you for scoring off more balls, rather than "block and hit". It encourages you to turn dots into singles and doubles. You start to look for gaps in the field to place the ball rather than just waiting for the bad ball to put away for four.

Put this on your leader board. Then add the next performance indicator:

Ball Difference

This measure is similar to strike rate (number of runs scored per hundred balls), but it also rewards longer innings, where strike rotation is a safer way to score than hitting out. To work out the BD, take the number of balls faced away from runs scored.

For most batsmen in longer games, this will be a minus number. However, the closer you get to zero and beyond the more quickly you have scored. Yet, it encourages safe, fast scoring rather than slogging because scoring a hundred in 90 balls (+10) is the same BD as 30 in 20 balls. Both are excellent innings in contexts of course, but the strike rate difference alone (90 and 150) makes it look like the lower score is better.

Average and strike rate

Naturally, it would be foolish to throw traditional stats like the batting average and strike rate out completely. They are still important, even if they are less important when you are focusing on strike rotation. So, put these on your leader board too.

These elements will show you the wider pitcure of batting performance so you can understand more than just strike ration alone. Howevre, if you are encouraging good running in yourself and others, you can weight the SB% and BD higher than average and SR.

An example honours leader board

So, what does this look like?

Here's an example leaderboard for a club cricket team seven games into a competitive season. Batsmen need to have faced more than 20 balls to qualify:

As you can see, the batsman with the highest average and most runs also is one the lowest in BD and third lowest in SB%. It's clear he is a good stick (he's already got 200 runs) but could benefit from working on rotating the strike.

At the top, the two players with the highest SB% (48%) have very different BD and SR. This shows both players are good at knocking the ball around, but one can also hit more boundaries. Once you add in SR and Average, you can see the player at position two in the table has actually batted the best.

Imagine what would happen if you put this table up in the changing room.

I'm willing to bet the guys who are doing well in the traditional averages will feel motivated to also push up their scoring rate to move up the leader board. If I was the guy with 200 runs but sitting third bottom in this table, I's start working on hitting the gaps more often right away.

I'm sure you would too!

By the way, if you want to work on strike rotation in nets, try the plans found in this article.

Give the leaderboard idea a try and see how it works. You won't be sorry when you are hitting the gaps with ease!

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