Now we have covered the important technical points so in the next three lessons we will focus softer skills (tactics, drills and mental strength).
If you get the technical things right you will be good, but add the softer skills and you will become brilliant.
We start with tactics.
We can talk for months on end about spin bowling tactics, but as I'm sure you do not have months right now we will pick two important points and discuss them. Bowling and field placement tactics:
While you are bowling plan a few balls ahead, only think about one ball at a time when you bowl.
Does that make sense? Let me put that another way; between deliveries and overs you have to plan how to work the batsman over with a sequence of planned deliveries. But, when you bowl the bowl you should only be thinking about the particular delivery you want to bowl right then.
But, how you should you plan a few deliveries ahead?
Well, there are so many ways to do this (I go a more in depth on this topic in my Guide), but you can first try and see where the batsman's weak points are.
For example, watch his feet to see if he is a slow mover (bowl a few stock balls and then a fuller quicker one to trap him LBW on the crease),
Or does he fish at wide deliveries? (Then bowl a few straight balls and a slow, big spinning wide delivery to tempt him).
So, watch what the batsman does for a few overs. See, where he has a weak point or likes to take risks. Then you plan around that.
Use the surprise element, so do not feed him wide balls if he tends to have a swash at them (he will soon realise what you are up to). Rather, like I just explained, slip one wide at a different speed to tempt him.
A few fielding placement tactics
Oh, fielding placements. Do you have time? This could take months as well.
I have tried to make it a bit easier in the Guide and gave you plenty of field placement diagrams for study and quick reference.
In the email I will limit this to a few rules though:
- When you come on to bowl for the first time, do not drop men to the boundary right away. Let the batsman have a go. Let him take the risk to see if he can hit you over the top. Start with your field in.
- If the pitch is turning and you are an offie, rather have a bat-pad position than a slip (if you only have one close in fielder)
- If the pitch is not turning then place your fielders straighter. If it is turning then place them squarer.
- Put pressure on a new batsman at the crease and always get a few close men in for the first few deliveries he faces.
- Put your best catchers in the deep (common mistakes for younger teams to try and 'hide' the poor fielders on the boundary).
Right, that was a few quick pointers. We go into much more depth on these issues in my Guide but this should set you off in the right direction.
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