What To Do While Waiting To Bat?
By Peter Bryceson
I had a brief talk with some of the younger players who are playing in the father/son team that I am involved in. This came about on the weekend where the boys where not watching the game and sitting in the shade whilst being padded up waiting for there turn to bat. Of course some of these are very young playing open age cricket mainly 14 and 15 year old boys.
What do you watch whilst waiting to bat?
1) Once you have all your gear on (ex helmet) get a chair and sit in the same light as what you will be batting. I always try to sit at deep third man as you get a good view of what is happening out in the middle. Have your Bat, Gloves Helmet with you as you can enter the ground from this point.
2) Watch the bowler. Does he have a closed or open bowling technique (does he have the ability to change?). How long is his run up? Where does his front foot land on the crease?
3) The delivery stride: does he always take a long step or jump in the air every time he bowls, what does this do to the delivery. Sometimes if there is no leap in the delivery stride the trajectory changes or the bigger the leap sometimes the shorter the delivery. Sometimes it makes no difference at all. What you need to do is learn the bowler’s basic characteristics.
4) Every bowler has a stock delivery, try to pick it every time through the action where it lands and the particular movement of the pitch.
5) Does the bowler have a slow ball? If he does how does he achieve it, is it out of the back of the hand? Is it a slower run up? (No leap at the delivery stride) Does he just slow his arm swing down? Or is it that he just pushes the wrist through rather than a "Flick".
6) What other variety does the bowler have a bouncer, Yorker or the odd "inswing" (especially with the bowler who bowls constant outswing, always be ready for the straight ball or the inswinger).
7) Look at the field placements for each bowler, generally if there is more than 2 slips I expect a bit of pace with a ball moving away (i.e. to a right hand bat). How deep is the fielder at square? If he is fairly deep expect the odd bouncer.
8) Where can I get a quick single and put the pressure back on the field?
Always remember that the game is about running 1’s and 2’s, boundaries are always bonuses and you will eventually get an opportunity
Another good batting tip that I always use and have been successful at is to never display my strength to early or two regularly as this can sap your confidence quickly. I always feel that I’m on top when my batting forces a field change. Force them to bring a man up so you can put the ball over the top especially in the areas that you have strength in.
Early in your innings think about hitting the ball along the ground, there are 10 ways to be dismissed, more wickets fall from catches than anything else, if I hit the ball along the ground there are only nine others way to getting yourself out. "Batsmen get themselves out bowlers provide the opportunity"
Peter Bryceson is a cricket coach and passionate cricketer from Australia.
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