Think like a cricketer
Intro to CricketFree
Cricket is a striking game and does have similarities with baseball and softball. It is distinguished by the laws of the game. It is a dynamic game that is affected by the pitches upon which it is played. This leads to a wide variety of technical and tactical demands that are the focus of this course.Free
Decision making in cricketFreeWhat is decision making ? .
In sport, when an athlete decides to play/act in particular way.
It can be passing the ball to certain position, hitting the ball in certain area, bowling certain length, playing certain shots. All these act are based on three points below.
Decision making in cricket is based
1- game awareness
3- shot selection
- Game awareness –I believe it is not easy for a player to have game awareness at all the time, let alone every ball, and compared to other sport cricket is a mundane sport. Therefore it becomes interesting to see how much a player is aware of the game, and whether his awareness has led to successful execution at that particular moment. For me the key is the previous ball – how it was played or bowled, and compare that ball to the present one –as it would indicate whether he is aware of the game-- its important that a player understands the match situation. A point is point is given for game awareness, and it can be for all three field(batsmen, bowlers, and fielders)
- Skills/Technique – what is a skills?. An act that constitutes execution. It can be either with the bat or with a ball, either for a batsman, bowler or fielder. At a very early age one learns basics of all skills. As they climb the ladder of their profession they imbibe few more. E.g every cricketer knows how to play a defensive shot, or a cover drive, or bowl a off stump/middle stump line and as well length. They hone these skills as they progress. These skills need to be practiced on a regular basis. Cricket has variety of skills, and one can cannot stop learning. Encompasses bowlers, fielders and batsmen. E.g Tillakarantne Dilshan must not have learned how to play the scoop paddle when he started his first class career, but advent of T20 made him learn this skill.
- Technique: what is a technique ? -For me a technique is how good one is able to adapt a particular skill- e.g playing a cover drive is a skill, and if you are able to play it against various type of bowling, various type of surface, situation, than that becomes a technique. An perfect example would be –a) Ponting knows how to play a cover drive, but when he is facing a spinner at the beginning of his innings, than he is not easy playing this shot- although if he is facing a fast bowler, than he would not hesitate to play – b)similarly Tendulkar know how to play a cover drive, but when he is facing a swing/fast bowler at the beginning of his innings, than he is not comfortable playing this shot, but he would certainly play against spin first up. A player learns his technique through experience. This experience is gained by playing number of matches, against various opponents, various situations….and sometimes we see him develop a technique through an innings. A point is given when correct skill/technique is executed irrespective of result(runs or wickets)
Shot selection: It is based on your skill/technique, game awareness and how played his previous delivery!. I believe muscle memory would help him recollect most of non-playing deliveries and his best shot selection. Yet it is how he adapts to the ones he was weaker to, and whether he is able to adapt and covert into scoring shot. A point is given for scoring a run provided his technique/skill is >50.00% - otherwise no points for edges, top edges, miscued shots, under edges, and other shots that could have cost batsman his wicket. Various players have different technique-and tail enders need to be considered as batsmen with limited technique, yet if they are able to fulfill their skills as a batsman and keep all the above in mind, than a point is rewarded.
At the end of an innings these points are divided by number of balls faced or bowled. The points given for game awareness is slightly tricky as it gets subjective and debatable, especially when you are rewarding points to batsmen. Although first class cricketers are trained professional, yet it is very difficult for them to be aware of the game all the time. Therefore the preceding act is important for every player, their decision to act on the next ball will depend on that, their skills, their technique, shot selection and execution.
- Batsmen are always looking at their own game, which in turn helps them to have hind sight on what is happening on the team score (game awareness), .Eg a well-executed cover drive fetching no runs gets a point- but a top-edge hook that fetches 6 runs, is not given a point irrespective quality of batsman
- Bowlers on the other hand always need to worry about their accuracy, whether they are spinning the ball, or bowling fast, swinging or just bowling length and line.
- Fielders on the other hand have different act. They cannot err in catches, misfields, as they don’t know when they will get another opportunity to act.
Below is stats analysis of ongoing Ashes series. These indicators reflect some fascinating outcomes. The percentile is divided by number of balls faced – although I have only included the top performer in these tables, but the last row is the team's total(sum of all players).
I have attached a small video, as I thought it would give more clarity on how to analyse the game. courtesy Star Sports
Here is a video of the same explaining using writing board.https://youtu.be/ZO7pFEbfnjoFree
“Over-arm bowling” is the most unnatural and toughest skill for a player to learn. The bowling arm has to come from behind the body, over the shoulder and end up front of the body. Usually certain distance is ran to get momentum, its called ‘run-up”. The purpose of a bowler is to throw the ball from 22 yards. If he over steps the crease than he is penalized. He is also penalized if he is bowling too wide either side of batsman’s stumps. The penalty is a one bonus run added to batting team. There are two of bowlers, slow and fast. The slow ones usually are called the spinners, as they try to use their finger/wrist to part spin. they bowl slow through the air, and get spin from the surface. The fast bowlers use speed, swing, seam and bounce. A new ball is very helpful for fast bowler as turbulence plays great role in helping bowlers to swing the ball. Speed of the ball makes it difficult for batsman to react, and bounce makes it uncomfortable to execute their skill. Here the surface a very important role for bowlers.Free
Fielding: the purpose of a fielder is to restrict runs and help bowlers to pick wickets. There are catchers and throwers. The catchers are the close-in fielders and throwers are deep fielder or out fielder. A player can field anywhere depending on skill he has mastered.Free
How to Leave the BallFree
How should a batsman leave the ball?
This is one of the oldest, yet the most important skill for a batsman. In last few years lot of batsmen are getting out trying to leave the ball, either caught in slips, caught by keepers, or getting bowled, and this is happening in all formats. I believe this consistent error is due to indecision made by batsmen when they are leaving the ball.In today’s time players constantly are involved in various format, either at Int. level, or domestic. They have very little time to train/practice their basic batting skills. Here are certain facts and method on how to leave the ball.
- Once the ball is released from bowler's hand it will not go reverse, viz travel back towards the bowler, therefore we know which direction the bat and our hand should be going when we want to leave the ball, viz the opposite direction.
- The ball slows down after hitting the surface(the speed is at least %25 less than release speed which is recorded), but the bounce can vary, high or low, and it can swing either way, outside or inside. Therefore one should not be in line with axis of the ball.
- Timing of the leave is also important, as lately we have seen many batsmen due to lack of timing are either bowled, or caught at slips/keeper.
- The angle and the line of the ball is important for a batsman: He and his bat should not be in line of the axis of the ball that is traveling after it pitches.
Technique and method of leaving
- Length of the ball: Observe the length and the bounce carefully. The height of the bounce should be above the stump level. If one can mentally measure than one can decide to leave the ball.
- Think clear in making decision to leave the ball: Here i feel decision making skills has to be precise, and there should not be a last minute change of mind to either play or leave. One should back oneself to leave the ball. This would help the timing of the leave.
- One should develop many techniques to leave the ball.
- The best technique to leave is to go the opposite direction of the ball. More like a fencing when you push your sword towards the opponent. In batting one can move forward and push the bat underneath the line of the ball.
- Don’t be in line of the ball’s axis, either move towards leg to avoid the line.
- Although it is not easy to eradicate oldest habit of raising the bat, but sometimes it is easy not to have any trigger moment, viz stay still(after deciding to leave) and ground your bat without lifting.
Here are few graphics explaining the direction and angles. A) the bat goes in opposite direction and under the length of the ball.
B) The axis - The ball can go either way(in or out)
C) Trajectory and range: A Spinner get more bounce than fast bowlers, but the speed is 40 % less than a bowler bowling >135 kmp. Therefore batsmen have more time to leave the ball.
D) Leaving a ball on the front foot is much difficult. To be safe onne has to wait for the ball to go past the back leg, or need to have fast reflex to leave after it passes the front foot.Free