The sweep and the reverse sweep are two batting shots which are not commonly used, especially the reverse sweep which is rarely used. However both shots can be used in certain batting situations and are an effective way to score runs and keep the score board ticking over.
There is a high element of risk with the sweep shot, so good judgement and excellent timing is essential. Avoid playing the sweep and reverse sweep early on in your innings especially to straight deliveries, as it is not a good idea to play it until you have your eye in and know how the pitch is playing and what the bowler is doing. As for example, if the ball stayed low it would be quite easy to misjudge and get out LBW or bowled which you definitely want to avoid, so be patient and play yourself in first.
The sweep and reverse sweep are both cross batted shots and should ideally be played to slow deliveries which are of a good length and not too full. To play the orthodox sweep shot, first wait for the ball to be released before making any movement...
DON'T PREMEDITATE THE SHOT
Once you have determined that the ball is there to play the sweep shot, move your front foot as far down the wicket towards the pitch of the ball as you can. As you are moving forward bend both knees simultaneously so that you whole body is low down, let your back knee touch the ground to act as an extra base of support. Try to stay balanced and relaxed. Bring the bat down from the off side and across the ball towards the leg side and aim to hit it either in front of or behind square leg. You can roll your wrists over the ball as you hit to help keep it on the ground. Aim to have your arms fully extended when you contact the ball.
To play the reverse sweep, get in to the same position as for the orthodox sweep, however this time, bring you bat down and across from leg side towards the off side, so you are aiming to hit the ball through the gully area. This shot requires very good coordination and timing as you have to twist the bat round so that the bat face faces the off side at the point of contact without altering your grip.
Common problems: Premeditating the shot- deciding to play the shot before the bowler has bowled the ball. Wait until the ball is released from the bowlers hand before deciding to play the shot.
Playing the sweep too early in the innings before getting your eye in. Wait until you are set and know how the pitch is playing and what the bowler is doing before attempting the shot.
Trying to hit the ball too hard. Good timing and technique is better and more effective as you need to reduce the risk as much as possible.
Playing the shot to deliveries which are either too full or too short, so good judgement of length is required.
Remember that the sweep and reverse sweep are quite hard shots to master and carry quite a lot of risk, so make sure that if you intend to use them, practice the shots in the nets and in training to get a feel for the shot and so you know when to play it; so that when you come to use them you are confident and skilled enough to do so.
When you watch cricket on television, it can appear to be quite an easy and simple sport, but under the helmet of the batter, there is a whole different game going on inside the batters mind in an attempt to banish any possible distractions, and focus every bit of mental energy on the ball as it is released from the bowlers hand, this is the psychological side to batting.
It is an aggressive/attacking shot played off the back foot to a ball which has been pitched short of a good length (a short delivery) and is passing wide of off stump. You should aim to hit the ball square of the wicket ideally between point and gully, always aim to hit the ball between the fielders and into the gaps.
As a batter, your aim is to score runs, stay in and help your team reach a certain particular target. To achieve this, you need to be in the correct mental state. To help reach this state of fierce concentration there are several things that you must do.
Firstly, you need to be clear your mind of any possible distractions, distractions can come in many forms; these may be concerns about the pitch, fielder’s comments, being scared of the ball, fear of getting out etc. These matters need to be cleared out of the head prior to the start of the bowlers run up to allow for the stages of concentration that will soon follow, this is vital, if there are distractions floating around your mind, you are sure not to be focusing to your optimum level and are more likely to make a mistake.
Every ball requires you to concentrate at your highest possible levels, and in so you should have a strategy to help you concentrate. I was taught by a prominent cricketing figure this following method that I find extremely useful in exploiting my maximum concentration levels. Firstly, after clearing all distractions from your mind, as the bowler starts to run up, you should enter a state of fine focus, in this state, your mind should have no negative thoughts and be concentrating on the top half of the bowler, you vision should be like a television, only focussed in on the top half of the bowler as her approaches, in this period you should have constructive positive thoughts, for example I say to myself over and over “Focus, watch the ball, focus, watch the ball” etc… By doing this and saying positive statements, it stops negative thoughts entering the mind and also stops any possible distractions drifting into your thoughts.
As the bowler enters his final steps your focus level should increase to what is commonly known as a state of fierce focus, in this stage all mental powers should be focusing on the ball and the ball only, your mental screen should now just be the size of the ball. This allows your brain to compute and work out the line, length and flight of the ball and so gives you the maximum amount of time to help you get your feet and body into position as early as possible helping giving you the best possible chances of making a good decision and playing a good shot.
This should be applied to nets as well as matches as this will get you well trained and so it becomes second nature.
The square cut is another shot which you should try to add to your batting ‘armoury’, as it will allow you to play aggressively to balls delivered shot outside your off stump which you wouldn’t be able to drive.
It is an aggressive/attacking shot played off the back foot to a ball which has been pitched short of a good length (a short delivery) and is passing wide of off stump. You should aim to hit the ball square of the wicket ideally between point and gully, always aim to hit the ball between the fielders and into the gaps.
- To play the square cut start from your normal batting stance, stay nice and relaxed, with your head still and your eyes as level as possible.
- As the bowler is about to bowl take your backswing, and as you see the delivery is going to be suitable for a square cut move your back foot, back and across towards the off stump.
- Move your weight onto your back foot and establish your base of support over it. Bring your bat down and across the line of the ball towards the off side, increasing your bat speed into contact, from a high position to lower one. As you hit the ball ‘roll your wrists’ over the ball to keep it down.
- The most common problem is getting caught out at point or gully by not rolling the wrists or not playing from high to low. Like most shots, you need to isolate it in the nets and practice with throw downs hitting the ball down (low) and along the ground.
- Another problem is lacking the ability to hit the ball in the gaps and instead hitting it to fielders, the best way to improve your shot placement is to use targets in practice to hit the ball between.
- Try playing a 'late' cut. To do this you need excellent timing, as you need to wait a fraction of a second longer before hitting the ball. You should aim to hit the ball behind gully towards third man (be careful if there are slips in place).
As a batsman and cricketer you primary aim is to score as many runs. A great cover drive is the hallmark of a refined cricketer...
The cover drive is an aggressive and attacking shot which is played to a delivery which is pitched up or just a bit full of a good length, you are aiming to hit the ball along the ground between mid off and cover. To play the shot, watch the ball out of the hand and correctly judge that the ball is going to be slightly full of a good length. From your stance, lead with your front shoulder in towards the line of the ball and into the shot. If you lead with your shoulder first and get it inline it will help the rest of your body come into line naturally and more fluently.
Step with your front foot out to the pitch of the delivery and bring your bat down and through the line of the delivery, ensuring that you keep your front elbow high and bat straight (not a crossed batted shot). Aim to place the ball between mid of and cover, maintaining a firm base and follow through the shot in a relaxed manner.
- Watch the ball out of the hand all the way onto the bat
- Lead with your front shoulder into the shot
- Get your foot to the pitch of the ball
- Keep your elbow high and bat straight
- Hit the ball along the ground
- Keep a solid base of support
- Follow through naturally
A bowler who has the ability to bowl swing is an important asset in any cricket team as swing bowling is a great way to baffle a batman, add pressure and take wickets. The swing bowler has the ability to move the ball in the air either away from the batsman or in towards the batsmen. The swing is created by holding the cricket ball in a specific way so that when it is released from the hand the varying levels of air resistance combined with the position the seam is directed causes the ball to swing in the air. The swing is accentuated by polishing and shining one side of the ball so that is smooth relative to the other side, which should get roughened up through the natural course of play. Select a side to shine at the start of the match and ensure all the bowlers and fielders know which side to polish. You can polish it by rubbing sweat into it and then rubbing it on your cricket trousers.
There are three generally recognized swing delivery types, in swing, out swing and reverse swing.
The aim of the out swinger is to encourage the batsman into playing a drive and ideally the swing will increase the chance of getting an edge and getting the batsmen out caught behind. You want to pitch the ball quite full, aiming at or just outside off stump so that the batsman is forced to play at the ball.
The grip for the out swing delivery is quite simple and provided the seam is up right at the point of release it should swing. You need to hold the ball as normal for a medium paced delivery with the seam vertical, however for the out swinger the seam needs to be vertical and pointing towards first or second slip at about a 15° angle, so that your fingers will be running slight across the seam. The shiny side should face the leg side of the batsmen, thus the rough side faces the off side and the direction of swing. The increased air resistance on the rough side and seam position will cause it to swing through the air towards the offside. The run up should be slightly angled and bowled from close to the stumps.
The in swing delivery is basically the reverse of the away swing in that when bowled from a bowler it swings in towards a batsmen. Have a straighter run up and deliver the ball slightly wider on the crease. In contrast to the away swing bowler, the in swing bowler aims to get the batsmen out LBW or bowled by pitching it up. Aim to bowl it so that it swings from outside off stump and pitches in line with middle and off stumps, be careful though because if you start it too straight it will swing down leg side and be easy for the batsman to hit away.
Tip - If you find yourself swinging the ball uncontrollably, hold the ball across the seam so that the seam runs horizontally, this will help negate and reduce the amount of swing.
You need to make sure that your bowlers and fielders are aware of which side of the ball in polished and that is constantly shined between deliveries. Most bowlers will shine the ball themselves, but it is always useful to nominate one or two fielders to shine the ball as well while the bowler is walking back to his mark.
Changing weather conditions have an often noticeable effect on the amount that the cricket ball will swing. Dry hot sunny days don't favour swing bowling, whereas overcast, cloudy conditions are found to be most influential at generating more swing. So take this into consideration when deciding who to bowl if you are captain.
Practice in pairs just throwing the ball to each other ensuring that the seam remains in upright in a vertical position in flight to induce the swing. Keep your wrist upright and behind the ball and flick your fingers at the point of release. Watch the ball through the air so you can see if the seam stays upright. Vary the grip to practice the different types of swing. Another drill which can be used for most bowling activities is bowling at a target zone, which should be marked out on a good line and length. Aim to bowl the ball so that it swings through the air and then pitches in the target zone.
The straight drive is normally played when the ball is slightly over pitched on middle and off. The straight drive is on the most classical shots in a batsman's repertoire. The straight drive is usually played to an over pitched delivery on middle and off stump.
- Come on the front foot to the pitch of the ball.
- Lean forward, head looking down, eyes fixed on the ball. Bat close to pad.
- Front elbow raised and parallel to the body.
- Hit the ball towards the sight screen region. Even though the movement is backwards.
Wicket keeping is one of the most important positions in cricket, so much so that a specialist is usually enlisted. The only fielder allowed to wear gloves, a wicketkeeper must have superior stamina and concentration.
Following are the steps.
- Practice catching every day.
- Practice diving, this will come in handy for fast bowlers.
- Work out, you need to be very fit to be a wicketkeeper.
- Dance or jump rope, this will improve your stamina as well as footwork.
- Work on your reactions, especially if you plan to stand up to the stumps for fast bowlers.
- Never point your fingers at the ball, unless you want to break them. Always point down, up or to the side.
- Never just catch the ball, receive it to lessen the blow.
- When standing up to both fast bowlers and spinners wear a helmet.
- When crouching always make sure you catch the ball below your eye level.
- Only rise from the crouch as the ball bounces, this helps you to 'keep to balls that stay low without giving away byes.
- Keep your legs together, for the aforementioned reason.
- Keep your left foot at the base of the stumps when standing up to spinners. This allows you a base to take wide balls and still effect stumpings. (This is for a Right Handed batsman, reverse for a 'lefty').
Since wicket keeping is the most important job on the field, you should not let anything get you down even a dropped catch, fielders mostly take after the wicket keeper it's very important to always keep up your energy levels and always cheer the guys on.
Good swing bowling can literally be unplayable. Yet somehow great players manage to build epic innings when the ball swings.
How do they do it?
1. Watch the ball
A reaction time limitation means that it's impossible to watch the ball right onto the bat. What distinguishes the good players from the average ones is their ability to correctly predict where the ball will be and move into the correct position. It's all about watching the point of release from the bowler. If you see the ball released late it will be short, if you see it released early it will be full. Additionally, the bowler can give you subtle clues in their grip, run up and delivery stride that can help you. If you see an angles seam you know the bowler is at least trying to swing the ball. Those blessed without a great talent for this can improve their ability by practice. This is one reason why facing a bowling machine is less beneficial than facing real bowling: You don't get the clues from the bowler.
2. Get to the pitch of the ball
Swing bowlers are usually going to pitch the ball up to you. Without doing that they will not get the swing they need. This means you will usually be playing forward to them. If the ball swings later than you ability to react you will be more likely to miss it or edge it. To reduce this risk, it's important to get as close to the pitch of the ball as possible. This will reduce the amount of time the ball has to deviate. It might be enough to stop you catching the edge. The idea is not to over step. You still need to lead with your head and shoulder while having your weight over your front foot. You should be trying to get in as big a stride as possible though. The closer you are to the pitch, the safer you are.
3. Play with soft hands
If you are facing a good swing bowler there will be times you will be beaten. You can reduce the chances of getting out either nicking off to the slips or bowled through the gate by playing defensively with soft hands. In modern limited over cricket it is often beneficial to push the hands and bat towards the ball so you can hit the ball into a gap and steal a single. While this is an excellent tactic, against a late swinging ball edges will carry comfortably to the slips or gulley. Instead of trying to 'punch' the ball, play the defensive shot as intended: A way of killing the pace of the ball. If you do this correctly it is much harder for an edge to carry to the slips.
Step 1: Get in position
Anticipate where the ball is going and then stand with your feet wider than shoulder width apart. You should also have your knees bent.
Step 2: Hands readyYour hands should be together, palms out and fingers pointing upwards with your thumbs close together. You shouldn't have your hands down by your side or in your pockets!
You should be expecting the ball every time Arms and hands should be in front of the body with the head still and the eyes level.
Step 3: Make the catch
Watch the ball into the softest part of relaxed hands and wrap fingers around the ball catching the ball at chest height. Draw the hands towards the body. You should move in as the ball being bowled so that you are not starting to move from a static position.
As we have discussed before, players need to know their role in the team.
Without a doubt the number one role of spinners is to take wickets.
While some spinners will be more stock bowlers and some wicket buyers, all are the key to bowling sides out in most conditions. The quality of batsman is also a factor, with better players needing less flight and tail-enders unable to resist loopier bowling.Although all spinners are wicket takers, almost all spinners are different too. Each spinner will have a unique style which will make a difference to the way they get wickets. These include:
- Crease Position
- Variations (arm ball, googly, over or round the wicket)
While all these are vital factors to take into account, the key difference is whether they are off spin, slow left arm or leg spin.
Off spinners, have two classic ways of taking wickets. Firstly through bowling the right hander through the 'gate' of bat and pad, and secondly caught on the leg side (ideally short leg). The ball will tend to be with the spin onto the leg side or driven quite straight. Very little tends to go through the area of backward point to cover. This means that the key positions for off spin are
- short leg
- midwicket (or deep midwicket)
- short third man
- extra cover
Slow Left Arm
With left arm finger spinners the ball will be played far more onto the off side as right handers play with the spin.
The aim is to beat the outside edge to hit the stumps or be caught in the slips. Thick edges to short extra cover are also a classic left arm dismissal. Assuming the bowler is pitching the ball up on off stump, this normally dictates six or seven off side fielders. If the bowling is too straight the left armer could be swept or played off the legs which can mean expensive overs to this field, but as having four on the leg side leaves a gap against the stock ball, it's better to get more accurate bowling than more leg side fielders.
Leg spin is generally less accurate but sees more turn than finger spin makes large differences to the field. The aims for a leg spinner will be similar to the left armer with the added complexities of googlies. For this reason the important fielders are
- short third man
- extra cover
- square leg
The final key to getting more wickets with spin
If you remember these core elements you can use your own cricket sense to vary things and do what works for you. Remember that whatever your variety of spin, the key to getting wickets is a combination of intelligent captaincy and good bowling.
Food and cricket performance goes hand in hand. Studies have shown that eating and drinking right can make a significant difference to how well you train and how much endurance you have on the pitch. These aren't the newest techniques from the latest cutting-edge plan. Rather, they are simple, time-tested; no nonsense habits that you need to get into when designing a good eating program.
- Eat every 2-3 hours, no matter what. You should eat between 5-8 meals per day.
- Eat complete lean protein with each meal.
- Eat fruits and/or vegetables with each food meal.
- Ensure that your carbohydrate intake comes from fruits and vegetables (Exception: workout and post-workout drinks and meals).
- Ensure that 25-35% of your energy intake comes from fat, with your fat intake split equally between saturates (e.g. animal fat), monounsaturates (e.g., olive oil), and polyunsaturates (e.g. flax oil, salmon oil).
- Drink only non-calorie containing beverages, the best choices being water and green tea.
- Eat mostly whole foods (except workout and post-workout drinks).
Combined with a well planned fitness and skills based programme, these 7 rules are vital to follow if you want to be stronger, have more endurance and play better cricket. The last thing you want to do is waste all that great training by not eating right.
Runs are scored by batsmen. Batting requires coordination between eyes, hand, legs and the rest of the body. This how-to manual will hopefully help you to improve that coordination, especially the eye, hand and leg combination.
- Stand erect with hands on hips.
- Jump, spread legs wide apart landing with the feet apart.
- Jump again and return to start position, i.e. body erect and feet together.
- Jump again with right leg forward and left leg backward landing with one foot in front and the other behind, as though you took a step forward.
- Jump and return to the erect standing position.
- Repeat 2-5 ensuring at Step 4 you alternate left and right legs movements.
- Put your gloves on, grab your bat and take stance.
- Get the other person to under arm balls to an outside off-stump line, concentrate on your foot movement, stride forward as if playing an offside drive/ defensive shot and play at the ball
- Make sure you pay attention at getting you front foot to the line of the ball and play through it as you would on match day.
- Increase speed as you get fitter and are more comfortable with the exercises.
Watch the ball from the hand of the bowler and get your feet into position as quickly as you can.
Spend time thinking about how you should ideally be moving your feet to play certain shots. Don't premeditate your shots at the crease just know that to play a beefy cut shot you will need to:
- Move your front foot a half step towards off.
- Take a larger step in the same direction with your back foot and
- Lean back slightly and commence clouting the ball.
- Take a small step across with your back foot.
- Take another step down the line of the ball with your front foot and whip the ball off of your pads.
A. Batting is a matter of 'timing' rather than brute force. Timing a ball isn't a mystery, but a skill anyone can improve
Point your elbow at the bowler as he runs into bowl. This encourages you to play straight. You should aim to 'rock the baby' with your elbows as you drive the ball, rather than slogging across the line.
Pick your bat up high as the bowler prepares to bowl. A high, straight back lift allows you to generate bat speed as you hit the ball.
Begin the downswing of the bat much slower than you think you should. This stops you playing at the ball too early, makes you watch the ball longer and means that you're accelerating the bat through the ball as you hit it. Sloggers swing hard and early, meaning they hit the ball too early and too slowly, spooning catches in the air.
Lean into the ball as you hit it, so the whole weight of your body is transferred into the ball. Bend your front knee as you play the ball and point your toe in the direction that you want to hit it. Pointing your toe at the bowler, as 'golden age' batsmen did is still a good idea.
As the ball hits the bat, and not before, uncoil your wrists to add punch to the ball. This does not mean hitting everything to leg, you can throw your wrists to the off side as if you're playing a hockey shot.
When cutting or hooking the ball, make sure your arms are fully extended. A cramped shot creates a catch.
Hit every ball along the ground, except an attempted hook or straight drive for six.
A. Start the session with a discussion between players on best practice when running. This is up to the players to decide but could include:
- Early calls of yes, no or wait. Nothing else.
- Backing up from the non striker
- Talking about weak fielders to put pressure on
- Identifying which fielders are weak to right or left hand side and running harder if the ball goes to the weak side.
- Small sided games
Set up a practice game similar to the 360 degree fielding game but with batsmen padded up. Use this game to develop judgement of a run from various distances and throws. Adjust the position of fielders often.
From that progress to a game where the ball is underarm fed to the batsmen with a ring field.
The idea of the game is for the batsman to hit the ball into a gap and try and judge a run. The fielders are trying to run the batsmen out. Overthrows count to the batters score.
You can finish the session with a practice match like this one. The aim is to score as many possible runs in a given number of balls, boundaries count for one run.
You can repeat this session a number of times over the season. Each time a player will improve their judgement.
Good running is easy to learn and will make your team better at both setting and getting targets.
A. Throwing for distance is a combination of technique, timing, strength and power. It's something you need to practice a lot to make significant improvements.
Make sure you are throwing in practice as well as in games. You don't need to wait for formal sessions. Just take a ball and throw it around a field, or throw other things. The more you throw the better you will get. Generally speaking you need to coordinate your whole body so more power goes into the ball. Make sure you are transferring your weight forward and following through fully. The timing will come with practice. Power does not just come from timing though. If you have stronger muscles you will be able to propel the ball further. 2-3 times a week do some fitness training.
Focus on multi-joint movements that combine coordination with power. Simple options include clap press ups, squat jumps and inverted rows. If you have access to weights you could add in high pulls, cleans or medicine ball throws. It's also important to do mobility drills before training and to stretch every day. This will increase the range of motion around your joints which increase the distance you can throw.
If you are throwing a lot of balls, I would also strongly suggest you do some protective exercise to reduce the risk of injury. Put rotator cuff work in your warm up and make sure you are doing a variety of pulling exercises in your fitness training such as rows and chin ups.
Stay flexible, do plenty of strength and coordination work and most importantly, don't wait until match day to try out your distance.
When choosing a bat, don't pick the one with the pretty stickers on it. Pick the one that feels right in your hands (bats come in different handle lengths and thickness), is not too heavy (bats have different weights), and the best is from young wood.
Grip the bat with both hands but don't squeeze it. The right grip pressure is the pressure that does not allow the bat to slip out of your hands. Both hands should be together so they work together through the swing.
DO NOT SEPARATE YOUR HANDS ON THE GRIP AS THIS WILL FORCE YOUR HANDS TO WORK AGAINST EACH OTHER.
At set up, always grip your bat with the bottom hand first. Notice the "V" shape between the thumb and first finger. The "V" sits on the bat handle just forward of an imaginary line that runs along the handle that follows the back of the bat from the top of the handle to the splice (that's where the handle fits into the bat blade). The bottom hand is the KEY TO THE GRIP as it dictates the direction of the top hand.
Now place your top hand on the bat handle making sure the "TOP" hand "V" now lines up with the bottom hand "V". Fingers should be together and not spread apart
Both feet should be parallel to each other and lined up along the batting crease. Weight should be evenly distributed on both feet. DO NOT LEAN ON YOUR BAT.
Knees should be slightly bent, bat resting behind your back foot. Shoulders should be lined up and pointing to the bowlers end. Chin up and your eyes should be level (not on an angle).
GET THE BATTING BASICS RIGHT AND TAKE YOUR TIME TO CHECK YOUR GRIP AND STANCE BEFORE EVERY DELIVERY…. REMEMBER THE BOWLER CANNOT BOWL UNTILL YOU THE BATSMAN IS READY.
While these tips may be simple and basic, they are the backbone of what's required to play great cricket.
The wicket keeper is an essential and key part of the cricket team. Every team needs a reliable wicket keeper. As well as taking catches, stumping the batsmen and taking run outs, the wicket keeper is one of the team's most important players: motivating and inspiring the bowlers and fielders to raise their game and WIN. To be a wicket keeper you need fast reactions and precise judgment as you have very little time to react to such things as fast deliveries especially if there are changes and deviations in the balls line due to variations in swing, movement off the pitch and edges.
You need to be alert and have high levels of concentration. Like a top batsmen you want to be able to 'switch on and off' your concentration between deliveries and over's to avoid getting mentally tired, as it's impossible to fully concentrate non-stop for hours at a time. High levels of fitness and flexibility are also very important for a wicket keeper as it can be very tiring because you are effectively doing hundreds of squats and diving around the field. So stay fit, warm up and down and stretch thoroughly to remain in peak condition and avoid injury.
Basic technique: Wicket keeping stance
You can stand up to spin bowlers and slower paced bowlers. The wicket keepers stance is quite straight forward, you need to stand about one step behind the stumps, making sure no part of your body or equipment is in front of the line of the stumps. Crouch down with your left foot (reverse for left hand batsmen) in line with middle stump, therefore on you are crouched a little on off side. Try to keep your head still and eyes level during the delivery to help you judge the pace and line. You should be balanced and relaxed with your weight slightly forward on the balls of your feet. Be alert and ready to react to the delivery.
Catching the ball
When you are catching the ball, aim to get your head/eyes above the line of the ball and your body behind the line of the ball. As the ball rises from the pitch, rise from the crouching position with the ball, so you mirror the height of the ball. Watch the ball into your hands and catch it with your fingers pointing downwards. You'll need to cushion the impact of the ball hitting your gloves when catching by 'giving' with your hands. If the ball continues to rise as it reaches you, step with your outside foot backwards and across, rotating your body outwards, taking the ball on one side of the body. To catch a ball delivered on the off side or leg side, move your feet and body across immediately to get your head back into line with the delivery. (Move the outside foot first and follow with the inside.) Rise with the ball as discussed above and 'give' with hands to reduce the impact. If you are standing back which you should be to medium and fast bowlers take your stance as discussed above, however stand in a position so that the ball is taken once it begins to drop. Sometimes you may have to dive to take wide deliveries or thick edges, always try to take the ball in two hands if possible, roll after the dive if you can to reduce the impact of landing and changes of injury.
When fielding during cricket there are many things to think about and consider depending on where you are fielding. Where ever you are fielding you should always be on the balls of your feet so you can react and change direction quickly. If you are caught flat footed you'll be slower off the mark and potentially give away more runs. Try to anticipate where ball will go; you can do this by carefully watching the batters shape and movements. This may be a little difficult at first but after a bit of practice will become second nature and you'll react much quicker to any shots coming your way and field better as a result.
When you are fielding close to the boundary and have to throw from the deep, try to aim your throw just above the keepers head and the ball should drop nicely in to his gloves, provided you have a relatively strong throwing arm. When catching close to the wicket, such as in the slips, gulley or short leg, make sure you stance is correct with your feet shoulder width apart or slightly wider. Spread your weight evenly across both feet, resting lightly on the balls of your feet, with your knees flexed. Keep your hands together, close to the ground with your fingers pointing down. Keep your head up with your eyes level and stay alert.
When catching the ball in close, watch the ball all the way into your hands, allowing the ball to come to you; don't try to snatch at it. 'Give' with the ball as you catch, cushioning the impact. When catching in the deep, try and catch the ball at eye level and cushion the ball into your chest. The ball can come to you at any time so it is really important you stay alert and awake so you can stop that vital run or take a match winning catch.
These are just a few cricket fielding tips that you can incorporate into you game; there are many more cricket fielding tips for specific aspects of fielding. However these are the general cricket fielding tips I've found to be the most useful when fielding myself.
Stamina' in bowling terms is really your ability to repeat your bowling action many times without loss of technique, speed or accuracy. In short the more stamina you have the longer it takes to get tired and the less effect that tiredness has on your bowling speed and accuracy. Here are 8 ways you can develop this.
- Bowl as much as you can. Whenever you get the chance then bowl. You can head down the nets on your own with some old balls and something to use as a target if there is none around to train with you. Bowl in overs with a few minutes rest between, if you can to make things more realistic or play as many games as possible. Every time you hit the nets try and bowl a few more overs before you have a rest. Always bowl at top speed too, a shorter intensive burst is more beneficial than going through the motions for longer.
- Train while you are tired. Every now and again, do some bowling when you are physically tired, perhaps at the end of a training session or workout. This will teach you to bowl with intensity even when you feel the tiredness coming on. It's important not to do this too often or on your own. Train with another bowler or batter who can watch your technique and let you know when it starts to go. As soon as your action fails you, stop for the day.
- Run to build work capacity. Running is the next best thing to bowling for increasing your stamina. I'm not averse to rowing either, but running should be your number one method. Use interval training to build up your lung capacity and ability to hold off the build-up of lactic acid. Intervals are also better for reducing your body fat without causing loss of strength. Long, slow runs are not only a bit boring for most cricketers, but they reduce your ability to bowl quickly by turning fast powerful muscle fibers into slow fibers for, you guessed it, slow jogging.
- Use the winter wisely. Off-season training is the time when you can make the most improvements. If cricket is your main (or only sport) and you have a long winter ahead then use it to develop you endurance through lots of running and some cross training. Most winter sports will also get you fit so consider taking up a game you enjoy playing. If you play all year round consider taking a break of 2-3 months from cricket to really focus on developing your fitness. The short-term loss in games will turn into a long-term gain.
- Eat more lean protein and good fat. We tend to eat lots of protein but it's usually high in saturated fat. Go for lean options like tuna, chicken, turkey or lean cuts of beef and combine it with a balance of fats from sources like avocados, mixed nuts and olive oil. Research has found this fills you up quicker allowing you to lose weight while having a positive effect on your health.
- Eat more vegetables. Vegetables give you energy and contain essential nutrients for health. Eat at least a portion of veg with every meal, preferably every 2-3 hours. This will fill you up more meaning you will lose excess fat but still provide you with enough energy for everyday living.
- Eat less carbohydrate. Carbohydrate have always been associated with energy but generally we eat too much for playing cricket, after all it's a power sport not a marathon. High Carbohydrate food like crisps, chocolate, bread and pasta should really only be eaten once a day at most if you are trying to lose weight and build stamina. Carbohydrate are not the enemy though. Make sure you keep your energy levels up during and after hard training or playing with some Carbohydrate combined with protein. Hard training isn't 3 or 4 overs in the nets though. It's weight lifting or interval training at high intensity.
- Strength train. Combine your running and cricket sessions with strength training of some kind at least twice a week. This will keep your strength and power levels high and make sure you only lose fat, not muscle while building endurance. Lift with heavy weight and low reps if you can to counter balance the endurance training. Avoid high reps and low weights but bodyweight training is a good compromise if you are not keen on going to the gym.
A smooth rhythmic approach towards the stumps gaining momentum all the time. A 20 step run up is advisable and around 6 to 7 steps for a spinner. Ideal position to start the run up is shown here. Start the left foot with weight forward and eyes focused on the target. As you get into the last jump, transform your open chested approach into a side on action. The run up of all bowlers vary, but remember one thing the RHYTHM should be the goal. A good rhythmic run-up increases the pace of a fast bowler, and enhances slow bowler's ability to spin the ball. A well-balanced & good approach to the stumps helps the bowler to gain consistency in line & length for a longer period of time without getting tired. Balance and rhythm are the two important things to concentrate on.
A good cricket bat is made of willow. When you strike a ball on its sweet spot, it springs off the wood like a tennis ball that comes of a racket. However to maintain such a performance, you must look after the bat from the moment of the purchase. Even before you use it for the first time, it needs oiling and knocking in.
For oiling your cricket bat you have to use a cloth to wipe the film of oil across the face of the bat. Do not over oil and avoid oiling the splice. Stand the bat up and incase the oil runs off the face, it means that you have put on too much of oil. Always use your cloth to wipe away any excess oil. Once this is done you will have to lie the bat down and leave it overnight. Apply an even thinner layer of oil to the bat and allow 6 hours for it to soak in. You have to this routinely.
Once this is done you have to give a Knock in the cricket bat.
While giving a knock in the cricket bat you have to lay the bat across your lap. You can either bounce a ball of the face or hit it gently with a mallet. From the start you have to soften the impact of the mallet with a sock. After doing this hit the blade and the edges of the bat for 2 hours and then let the bat recover overnight. The next day begin the hitting process again. This time gradually increase the power and the blows. Occasionally test the bat's hardness by pressing your fingernail into the willow. When your nail stops leaving a mark then the bat is ready. Ultimately go outside and have a gentle hit around. Then go to the nets for the final phase of the knock in process. Make sure you face some good bowlers.
The main factors that go into the selection of the right cricket bat for a batsman are the quality of wood or willow, weight of the bat, size and the 'sweet' spot. In the Indian market, one can avail cricket bats made out of Kashmir or English willow, both of which should serve the purpose depending on the properties any particular batsman is looking for… as a ground rule, a measure of the quality of willow is the grains ('grain' of a cricket bat are the natural wood lines running up and down a bat that represent years of growth for that particular willow) on the face of the bat. On an average 8-12 grains bat is considered to be good.
Weight of the cricket bat is again subject to comfort level of the batsman in question for some batsmen prefer a heavier bat. However, it is advisable for top order batsman to use a lighter bat giving them ample time to adjust to new ball and a heavier bat for lower order batsman giving them full value for even the miss hits…
Size of the bat is subject to the batsman's physical height. It completely depends on his comfort level. As for the 'sweet' spot on the bat, it depends on two factors primarily: the natural game of the batsman and the pitch. On a bouncier pitch it's advisable to have a 'high sweet spot' bat as the batsman invariably ends up playing more square off the wicket. For batsman who's game is primarily drives and attuned to play on low bounce pitches, it's advisable to have a 'low sweet' spot bat.
There's no set pattern for a captain to follow while setting up a field for a particular batsman as every batsman's playing style is quite different… However, as a general guideline one can follow the following pointers:
- The faster the bowler, the faster the pitch, the finer the field is set
- The slower the bowler, the slower the pitch, the straighter and squarer the field is set
- Set the field so that good balls are played to the field
- If the bowler bowls a lot of bad balls, change the bowler not the field setting
A right-hand batsman normally faces a bit of a trouble with a left arm fast bowler bowling over-the-wicket and angling the ball away from the off-stump, especially if the bowler has the ability to bend the ball back into the batsman. This normally happens because as a batsman, more often than not, a player is used to face a right-arm bowler or a bowling machine throwing the ball along the same angle. Thus, the common errors that spring out when a right-hand batsman is facing a left-arm bowler are as follows:
- Not opening the stance whilst batting against a left arm fast bowler partially restricts one's vision, which in-turn causes the batsman to fall over on the off-side
- Keeping the bat swing too straight against a ball angled away from a right-hand batsman implies that the batsman is playing across the line and ends up too open-chested when he finishes the shot
- Too much bottom hand in the shot which implies that the batsman is playing across the line
- Too big a stride gives little chance for the batsman to adjust against the ball bending into him
- Hitting straight down the wicket with the front foot being across the back foot which makes the batsman vulnerable to LBW call
A cricketer should ideally include the following 7 food products for holistic nutrition: Cottage Cheese (great source of protein), Mixed Nuts (good source of healthy fat), Spinach (strengthens immune system), Tuna (rich in protein and good omega3 fats), Broccoli (rich in antioxidants), Bananas (instant source of energy and potassium on match day) and Green Tea (boosts metabolism).
One who's constantly aiming at improving one's batting skills should keep his guard for the following tens glitches in batting technique:
- Closing off in the stance (makes the batsman play around the front pad increasing chances of missing straight balls)
- Picking the bat up over middle stump (suggests that the batsman has a tendency to play around the front pad)
- Tucked in back elbow (suggests too dominant a bottom hand making it more likely to hit the ball in the air)
- Head behind the front foot (encourages the batsman to lean back and hit the ball in the air)
- Back foot heel down (disturbs the balance during the shot)
- Leaning with the shoulder (suggests that the batsman has a tendency to play around the front pad)
- Back foot too sideways (ends to finish up too turned in after the shot which causes the player to square up and the bat swings across the line)
- Too big a stride (opens the batsman up too much, playing across the ball aiming it too square on the leg side)
- Dropping the leading elbow (Dropping the leading elbow to early after striking the ball will close face of the bat on contact)
- Swinging too hard (timing is lost)
It is always advisable to consume proteins obtained from appropriate natural food sources consumed in your diet. Supplements should only be used if you are not getting enough proteins from your diet. Most experts recommend 1 g protein/kg body weight to meet general needs of an active person. The current protein recommendation for optimal muscle building in a strength athlete is 1.6 - 1.7 gm protein per kg of body weight. Soya bean is an excellent vegetarian source of protein besides black gram, red gram, nuts and other pulses. Consuming more protein than the body requires and can use is not appropriate and should be avoided.
Eat a larger meal 2-4 hours prior to when you are likely to play, to allow time for your stomach to empty. Top up on small, high carbohydrate snacks and fluids between sessions and whilst waiting to play. Eat enough food to feel comfortable - not overfull Keep fat intake low - fat slows food emptying from the stomach Make meals & snacks high in carbohydrate Include nutritious carbohydrate rich foods - some players may find it useful to include low glycaemic index foods for prolonged energy levels (e.g. baked beans, multigrain bread, pasta, porridge, oranges) Include plenty of fluids. (Water, sports drinks, juice)
One should watch one's head while standing in the stance, making sure that it's not falling over as it is the primary reason for the front leg going across increasing the chances of a fast bowler catching the batsman in front of the wicket
The trick is to learn to use the pace of the ball. The ideal way is to watch the ball right till the end and then working it around using the bowler's pace be it a fast bowler or a spinner
A simple trick and a lot of practice is the key to this. Putting half a rubber grip on the top half of the bat handle makes sure that the top hand grip is tighter and the bottom hand just plays the role of supporting the bat, ensuring there is a better bat control and lesser chances of airing the ball
Breaking the process of batting into smaller pieces helps the process of concentrating better. Every ball is to be taken as it comes, starting concentrating only when the bowler starts his run-up and then focusing on the ball at the time of the delivery
There is nothing called the 'Ideal Guard' for batsmen as it changes from the preference of the batsmen to batsmen. If the batsman has a strong off-side playing then he is always looking for more room on the off-side and hence it is advisable for him to take a leg stump guard. However, in this case, one has to be really sure of his off-stump
The ideal way of doing this is to break up the innings in smaller sets. Scoring in sets of 10 rather helps a lot. Keep moving from 10 to 20, 20 to 30, 30 to 40, 40 to 50 and so on. Also postponing one's thoughts of hitting a big shot by 10-15 minutes helps preserving his wicket.
The best way is to get a fitness testing done and drawing up a schedule with one's fitness trainer for increasing one's stamina. The problem of low stamina can be dealt with through proper fitness program and yoga. Aerobic fitness programs will help one develop one's stamina and yoga helps one in breathing technique.
Being a metropolitan and renowned for the 'Cricket Fanaticism', Kolkata houses ample number of Cricket Coaching Centers across the length and breadth of the city. You have many renowned cricketer's academies like Sourav Ganguly's Cricket Coaching Camp, Salt Lake and Arun Lal's Cricket Academy. Apart from these academies, you have well known coaches such as Mr. Manabendra Ghosh, Manoj Tiwary being one of his illustrious pupil. He's presently coaching at a make shift arrangement at Shyam Bazar, Kolkata and would be shifting at a permanent location shortly. You can get in touch with him on +91 9830052727