Tactics you should be using: tip and run | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Tactics you should be using: tip and run

It’s a club game on a typical summer afternoon. Tell me if what I saw is a familiar story.

The opening batsman are being tied down by some accurate medium pace bowling. After 10 overs the score is 18-0.

Seeing that he needs to get on with it, one opener plays a defensive nudge towards cover and makes a dash for a quick single. His partner is looking for it too and they make it home. In the next few overs they do more of the same, making the scoreboard look a little fuller before the first wicket falls.

This tip and run tactic had saved the team from a grindingly low score.

Yet they had wasted the first few overs by not looking for these singles and twos.

Score more off non-boundary balls

For me this is one of the big differences between average and good club (and school) sides.

Boundaries are important, but good sides know how to score more off balls that are not boundaries too, and that can add 50 or more runs to a score when you do it right.

And so every batsman at every level should be playing tip-and-run right from the first ball.

It’s an add-on to good batting, not an either-or situation.

Tip and run mentality

For most players it’s simply a matter of mentality.

For example club batsmen play a defensive shot and hold the pose. Professional level players instantly look to see if a single is on. Even if they don’t pinch a run, they are looking (and so is the non striker).

So the first step is to start looking for that extra single to nab.

But to become a good judge you need some other things too.

Read the fielders

Firstly, you need to know how to play the percentages. Start reading the fielders as soon as you can (even before you go out to bat) and look for:

  • Left- and right-handers. So you know which the weaker side is for each fielder.
  • Those who stay on their toes and those who relax and can be caught on their heels.
  • The fast and slow fielders.
  • The fielders with good and bad throwing arms.
  • Whether the ‘keeper is up or back
  • Gaps in the field (careful with this one as good captains often lay traps)

Every time you notice a weakness and act on it you are adding extra runs to your total, all without risk.

Trust your partner

You also need to trust whoever is at the other end that if you can for a single (or he does) there is little risk to the run.

Some partners have an instinctive relationship; others just let one player make all the decisions. For most pairs, you need to develop an understanding of how each other thinks and judges a run.

The best way to do this (apart from batting together) is to practice your running together.  Not only will you both get better at judging a run but you will get better at knowing how your partner judges a run.

And if you have some ‘unique’ runners in your side, that’s a critical skill to have. 

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I'm captaining an indoor team this year. Although it's a far cry from your average game of cricket, it does teach you to tip and run in quite an intense situation. Out of around 30 of my players i'd say that only a dozen would be suited to this style of play,which requires physical and mental agility.

What age are the player Daniel?

Between the ages of 19 and 30. They are all able players, I just think indoor cricket requires a different type of thinker..someone who can make a very fast decision to take a single. That's my opinion anyway, I don't know if you've had any indoor experience?. Cheers

But surely you can coach that with deliberate practice? Or do you not get much coaching time?

It could be coached I'm sure, we have 6 hours of training before the first tournament. I've asked one of the Level 3 coaches at lancs to plan some indoor specific training for a shortlist of players, we can work on the rest of the squad throughout the winter.

The 'tip and run' tactic may be an effective tactic, however it seems to be much more effective as a junior cricker, and it's usefulness decreases as players age and their skills develop. I coach and umpire Under 13's cricket, captain Under 16's cricket and play Social cricket with 30-40 year olds. I told my team I coach to attempt this tactic if they are bogged down at one end, while I employed it in both of my other grades. There wasn't a single run out in Under 13's, there were 3 run outs in Under 16's and after the first two in social, the team wisened up and didn't continue this tactic.

I'm not sure you can blame poor execution of the tactic for not using it. Tip-and-run has virtually zero risk of a run out if you do it right. Hitting it to cover and setting off is not tip-and-run it's suicide. Dropping the ball and watching it roll towards covers left hand (and he is right handed) is risk free.

I see so many easy runs missed because of bad awareness.