Why Playing Bad Cricket Makes You a Better Cricketer | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Why Playing Bad Cricket Makes You a Better Cricketer

 If I’m being very kind, the standard of midweek league cricket in this part of the world is “mixed”. Despite that, my experience in a recent game showed me that playing bad cricket in poor conditions will help you improve.

It was the first game of the new season; a twenty over slog squeezed in before the sun went down; no umpires, no sightscreens. I was playing for a new team and two guys turned up in shorts and black trainers.

Black trainers are a solid indicator that general standards will be poor.

But it didn’t matter because I still learned some things I could take to more serious matches:

Out-think the batsman in 2 balls

We fielded first and took an early wicket. I wasn’t keeping because the team already had a gloveman (in batting pads obviously). I recognised the new batsman as someone who had netted with my Saturday club team in the winter.

He smashed everything in those nets and I put the call out to our skipper he was a slogger.

The captain pushed a fielder out to deep mid on. I moved to a deep gully.

He biffed the first ball from our slow medium bowler over mid-wicket for a 4.

So the captain indicated to send me out to deep midwicket in a very showy way. The batsman knew I was a reasonable player and watched me trot all the way to the boundary. The field was now:

Next ball he tried to play straight; missed it, and was bowled.

He was totally out-thought by one simple field change.

Free your arms

When we came to chase I had to go in towards the end of the innings and see it through to a relatively easy total. I scored a breezy 22 not out.

During the innings I realised how free I was feeling. Released of the shackles I could play with a clear mind, hit unorthodox shots and enjoy batting without worrying about getting out.

It’s this kind of play that bridges the gap between nets and high-importance games.

We already know you can only get so much from netting. Actually playing a game where the outcome matters – although not that much – helps you improve your experience and calmness at the crease substantially.

You are mentally training yourself without even knowing it.

As a bowler, it’s a simple way to do target practice under pressure.

So if you get the chance to play a knockabout game then take it. It teaches valuable skills and besides it’s great fun. 

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I entirely agree with this. I love playing midweek cricket and I think it really helps me maintain form through the season. For example - I got knocked over by a cracking seaming delivery for single figures last weekend, and was feeling nervous about the coming weekend. But two midweek games and 90 runs off 45 balls later, and I've forgotten about my dismissal and I'm feeling in good nick again.

A ringing endorsement!

The thing I find interesting is how variable the standard is from one over to the next. Because these teams are a mixture of good players all the down to complete non-cricketers, you can be batting against a guy bowling donkey drops from one end and a league standard quick bowler fizzing them down from the other.

please send details why are you playing bating i am a write hand batsman and my team opening batsman ok