The Fast Bowling Talent Test | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

The Fast Bowling Talent Test

Many of the leading Cricket nations now use "Talent Testing" for 13 and upwards as a part of their talent identification process. I want to show you how to use some of these tests in your coaching.

Here is the first of the talent test drills that you can use to test players and then provide feedback that improves performance. What's not to love?


The Knockout Bowling Test

Set Up

  1. Place/Fix 2 cones to the back of the net at head height.
  2. Place/Fix 1 cone to the top of Off Stump (RH) and 1 Cone to the top of Off Stump (LH)
  3. Place/Fix 2 cones to the crease line in front of the stumps (Yorker)


  • The bowler has 6 attempts to hit the first target (Top of OFF to RH)
  • As soon as they hit the target they progress to the second target.
  • Should the bowler fail to hit the first target in 6 deliveries then the test is terminated and the bowler does not bowl at subsequent targets.
  • lt is possible to complete the test in 4 deliveries, equally it is possible to complete the test in 24 deliveries or anywhere in-between


The target order and scoresheet is defined below:

Make it competitive

Keeping ladders or league tables is a great thing to monitor performance gains and maintain internal competition within your group.

You may find that the combination of your practice KPI's and Match KPI's then leads to enhanced selection conversations and possibly impact upon selection/deployment of your bowlers.

The pressure of competition is a great thing to simulate and building the tension ahead of the tests helps to create that competitive environment. This can be achieved by establishing rewards/consequences for performance.

An example of this could be ladder leader finishing the session and returning to the changing rooms without having to help clear up the kit whilst the others tidy the pitch area or hall that your working in.

You will have players who don't get past Target 1 initially. Keep the score for monitoring and this score can be used motivationally when the player does it next time. Any progress builds confidence. If a player completes the Knockout Test then their aim for next time is to trim a couple of balls off his/her score.

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Love these types of drills and have been using the above, along with ones for batting and fielding. At the moment have been scaling the bowling one back a little to make it suitable for U10/11s. Keep the off stump target but have a target for length and one for line. Yorker can also be used but depends on the players.

I tend to go line, length and then off stump. Can progress as needed and depending on the players.