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Author Topic: Giving Myself More Scoring Options  (Read 828 times)

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NT50

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Giving Myself More Scoring Options
« on: May 17, 2018, 02:55:44 PM »

After yesterday's game for uni, i was left wondering how on earth i can up my strike rate, after a very slow scoring batting performance (despite getting 20, which is now my top score)

To provide some context, i started playing a cricket 2 years ago as a bowler, but after getting the yips i spent all of this winter trying to improve my batting. I was absolutely hopeless at the start, a true number 11 with absolutely no technique. But after tens of hours on the bowling machine, i have a much stronger defensive technique, finally am able to glance of my legs and am also getting my head and feet at the ball for the most part.

However, i came in at 4 in the game yesterday, chasing a ridiculous target that we were never chasing down so i was told to just try and bat myself into some form. The problem is that i have absolutely no attacking options to try and up my strike rate, so i ended up scoring 20 off about 15 overs. My game relies on the field being spread and me knocking it into the gaps for easy singles. I'm not very powerful and never try and hit over the top as i don't back myself to do it. I also got out to a spinner as i panicked at my lack of scoring and tried to sweep him every time.

The field was all in the ring barring fine leg so there were very few gaps, meaning i had to either go over the top, or glance to fine leg which is where the majority of my runs come from. The problem is i dont back myself to clear the field as i have such little power that i dont really know what to do. As a left hander i often get lots of balls on the line of the stumps, which i always tend to block as i'm a bit conscious of getting out. I also take an age to pick up length as i've obviously not been playing long enough that i can pre-empt the length.

I'm just wondering what i can do when there's no obvious gaps in the field to work through? At the end of this month i'll be able to train again (as i'm travelling all over at the minute so haven't been able to train) so i can work on giving myself more scoring options - but i'm obviously clueless as to what the best course of action is!

Apologies for the ramble but i think the main points i'm trying to make are:

How do i go about practicing clearing the infield and when should i do it in a game?
How do i score off balls on the stumps that would bowl me as a left-hander?
How do i score off spinners when the field is up and the ball is on a good length constantly and it's turning?

I know the answer to most of this questions is 'practice', but i'm after the best way to go about doing this, as ill-thought out practice is pretty pointless!

Thanks Lads!
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edge

Re: Giving Myself More Scoring Options
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2018, 03:32:33 PM »

Clearing the infield - firstly you don't always need to, even with a full ring field you're still far more likely to hit a gap than you are a fielder, so long as it's well hit you've a decent chance of getting it through. For when you do decide to go over, don't try and over hit it - if they're on the circle you've only got to get it 30ish yards to go over their head so a clean connection is far more important than power. In nets I'd try and practice staying still, keeping your head down and hitting cleanly through the ball, and build your confidence up before you try it in games. The usual big mistake is trying to hit it too hard and making poor contact, if you just learn to trust yourself and time it then you'll find it far easier. If you can find a willing mate to give you some throwdowns to practice giving it a smack then that'll be very helpful. The key to hitting a long ball is staying still and timing it, if it's in the middle of the bat it'll get over the infield the vast majority of the time.

Balls on the stumps - remember to respect the good balls when you need to! One thing as you're a leftie - from right arm over, unless it's swinging back into you then most balls on the stumps will be pitching outside leg, so make sure you get your pads in the way and it's a free hit. Otherwise, pick your shots on length - if it's too full or short then it should still be a low risk shot for you on a good pitch, respect the ball when it's on a good length. If they're always on a good length then well done to them, do your best to put them off it! Personally, if a seamer is hitting a length consistently I usually go down the track looking for a single - low risk if you cover your stumps as you're unlikely to be given out lbw if you miss it, and you don't have to do it much to put a bowler off their length.

Spinners - if they're on a good length all the time then you'll have to do something about it if you want to play it well, and that's footwork or sweeping. Right forward or right back to make the length fuller or shorter, or use the sweep to hit off length if you play that well, but pick your ball to do it - don't just run down the track to everything or sweep wildly. 99% of spinners will have men on the boundary somewhere, so look to hit the resulting gaps and run your singles/twos hard, and the poorer balls will always come. Don't be afraid to take a sensible risk if you need to put them off their length, going right back on your stumps or down the track (even if you then just block it) will give them more to think about. Try to make yourself unpleasant to bowl to - there's nothing better for a spinner than a batsman who just stands there and plods it back, if you can keep rotating the strike by just safely hitting gaps then they'll find bowling to you far less comfortable. For practice - concentrate on making length for yourself when facing spinners in the nets, either getting to the pitch of the ball or going right back to make it short. Once you're happy doing that then you should be creating scoring opportunities much more easily.

Bit of a splurge but hopefully that's helpful!
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horseman

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Re: Giving Myself More Scoring Options
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2018, 03:42:13 PM »

Well said
Know where your stumps are and use the angles created by being left handed.
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InternalTraining

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Re: Giving Myself More Scoring Options
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2018, 04:10:02 PM »

@NT50 ,

1. It'd help you to develop some physical strength. Hitting the gym will help you in more than one way. Hit they gym.
2. Find a coach or an online course that will teach you to score. If you can master a few techniques for scoring, you'll be miles ahead of your former self.
3. Make your practice as realistic as possible. Play practice games where you are required to score under tight situation and to a variety of bowling. The more you can practice/train under match conditions, better you'll get at managing the real match.
4. Start small. Baby steps will take you far.
5. Keep a training and game log. What worked? What needs to change? Write it down.
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JK Lewis

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Re: Giving Myself More Scoring Options
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2018, 05:35:25 PM »

Fully agree with what the others have said. The 3 'Ps' of cricket will help you develop more shots, time at the crease will build your self-confidence. You should be proud of having spent 15 overs out there, from your analysis that sounds like a huge progression already.

I would reiterate what Edge in particular has written, be sure to try and put pressure on the bowlers (by forcing them to adjust), and also on the fielders (particularly the slower ones, or the ones who throw weakly). If you're feeling under pressure to score, change things that will help you, and hinder the oppo. Bat out of your crease a little - by 'owning' the first 12-18 inches you force bowlers to adjust their length, which may mean they either over-pitch or bowl too short. Fake a step forward at the moment the bowler hits delivery stride, he will often panic and drag the ball down short. Step across your stumps to the off-side, and be ready to hit an off stump delivery over mid-wicket or backward-square. Hit straight balls straight, to both protect your wicket and try to hit the gap between mid-on and mid-off which is often unprotected if you get past the bowler. Talk with your batting partner between overs, agree a strategy for where you might pinch a single if you both know it's coming. Learn and remember which hand each fielder throws with. Practice all this stuff in the nets, so that you are ready to try things out in the middle, not just having a bash for the first time.

The opposition don't know you've only been playing for 2 years. The more controlled and practiced aggression you offer, the more the scoreboard will tick over, and the more adjustments the opposing captain will make.
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Buzz

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Re: Giving Myself More Scoring Options
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2018, 07:19:43 PM »

My thoughts are read the above and choose two or three things you like and work on them.

As for practice. Drop feeds with a tennis ball will help.
Throw the ball up move your feet and hit the ball in a set area. And repeat. A lot!
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NT50

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Re: Giving Myself More Scoring Options
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2018, 10:53:11 PM »

Thanks for the advice guys, given me a lot to think about and to go away and try to practice in the coming weeks and months!

A lot of my problems stem from failing to pick the length up early i feel, and i also seem to lose my shape if im trying to go over the top on the leg side!

All things i'll be working on once i can get to training!
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blindowl

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Re: Giving Myself More Scoring Options
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2018, 01:51:47 PM »

One little thing to consider regarding picking up length might be to practice many full deliveries in a row then many shorter deliveries in a row etc rather than the mish mash of random stuff that tends to happen at a net session. Access to a bowling machine or a mate skilled at bowling consistently would be necessary for this.
My thinking is that this will allow your brain, mostly on the subconcious level, to begin to recognize what a fuller ball looks like out of the hand and so on.  You can then apply that at open nets and in games.

Oh and make sure you are using a nice light bat so you can swing with confidence and control.

good luck
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DorsetDan

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Re: Giving Myself More Scoring Options
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2018, 02:56:11 PM »

It is a very interesting thread.

I guess the simple answer is practice to build instinct and (probably more crucially) confidence and stick to what you are good at in a game situation. It is probably best not complicate it any more than that yet many of us do. In a match you can't do any more than you practice so stick to your strength, even if it is batting time.

The vast majority of good (read successful, not technically good) players I've played with or watched only have a few decent shots but are disciplined to not stray outside these and stick to their strengths so it isn't like you need to practice a 360 hitting masterclass each net. It also isn't as though you necessarily need good technique either. The majority of regular run scorers I've come across just know there game inside out and run on instinct and confidence without complicating things. Easy to do when you have many years and many runs behind you but I guess in the early stages it is a case of tinkering to find a few strengths

The complicating factor in say "average" level UK cricket is the variety of bowling and outfields which tends to see the big hitter do well. Even if you smash the ball in to a gap you'll still often only grab a single on some of the pitches I've played on!

I am in a similar position where I feel I can either survive well and feel comfortable against any bowling or smash an occasional ball followed by being out soon after. I struggle to find a balance between surviving or scoring at all.

It would be interesting to hear from the guys here who make regular runs and how they score. I suspect they are either very strong on the leg side and find gaps there or are good at giving the ball a proper belt!
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 02:59:30 PM by DorsetDan »
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mattdawson

Re: Giving Myself More Scoring Options
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2018, 03:35:26 PM »

One thing I always find is a strong forward defence is a good base to start. That is almost the exact same position for a drive mainly just the extension of the arms gets you to playing a drive. once you get that you can work on placement and manipulating the ball from mid off to cover point with the ball pitching in similar spots just by making slight alterations. then to straighter deliveries you can go from straight past the bowler win mid on with an on drive.

I like your self used to find scoring hard (still do when out of nick and go searching for a drive) but my method was to always try and slightly open my wrists when defending which would open 3rd man region, even if theres slips and gully in place as long as the ball is going down its not going to get you out and if its a quick thats bowling the chance of it being stopped every time is slim.

Thats 3 areas opened up just from playing on the front foot and either opening the bat face or slightly extending your shot. If I feel like struggling I go into nets and set up cones to replicate a field and get a feel for how well and where your hitting the ball. set a target and always be harsh on yourself to make the work harder, resulting in a tougher but more rewarding session.
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edge

Re: Giving Myself More Scoring Options
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2018, 04:07:09 PM »

I am in a similar position where I feel I can either survive well and feel comfortable against any bowling or smash an occasional ball followed by being out soon after. I struggle to find a balance between surviving or scoring at all.

It would be interesting to hear from the guys here who make regular runs and how they score. I suspect they are either very strong on the leg side and find gaps there or are good at giving the ball a proper belt!
One thing I did that made the difference from being a no8 bat who just blocked or hit to someone who scores regular occasional runs was learning the middle gears - I noticed the better batsmen at my club, guys who I didn't think were noticeably better at hitting a ball than me but scored many more runs, hit a lot of ones and twos where I hardly hit any. Couldn't for the life of me figure out how to combine this with my natural hitting instincts, so I just tried sacrificing some of the big shots for deliberate singles - every time I hit a boundary I deliberately blocked the next ball if it was even half good, and the next hittable ball I aimed to take for one rather than a big shot. Batting by numbers, as one teammate at the time called it! After a little while batting like that I found the middle gears of hitting ones and twos became habit and my runscoring got way more consistent as a result. Hope that makes sense, glad I typed this out as it's made me think I need to go over it again and try return to that batting form!
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NT50

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Re: Giving Myself More Scoring Options
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2018, 12:05:27 PM »

Batted ok for 13 at the top of the order yesterday (top score in a 50 all out)

The pitch really didn't help (i literally had one move into me, pitch on leg and end up about a foot outside off)
But crucially i did finally play and attacking shot! The opening bowlers were giving me nothing to hit so for a good length ball i rocked onto my back foot and slapped him over mid-wicket for 4!

It's given me the confidence that i can definitely clear the in-field with cross-batted shots, i guess the next step is to start trying to go straighter and to identify bad balls earlier so that i can give myself more opportunity to score.
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CasualSpinner

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Re: Giving Myself More Scoring Options
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2018, 02:59:18 PM »

How you getting on with this? I'm having a similar issue and there's some great advice in this thread but i'm a few weeks behind you I reckon!

What of the above did you find easiest to work on?
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NT50

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Re: Giving Myself More Scoring Options
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2018, 10:52:48 PM »

Had few opportunities to test this in game to be honest! Early signs are positive however.

First try i made 23 (my new high score) hit a couple over the top before being caught in the last over trying to clear the man on the boundary at long on. Then i made a brisk 5 (my one boundary was one i picked up over midwicket, never timed one so well, before running myself out when i felt like i could have batted all day!)

Then i received a 2 week ban for comments made on social media!

However, i have since had a few training sessions and i've found the biggest thing has been a change of mentality. I was previously stood in my stance thinking of blocking the ball, whereas now my first thought is 'can i attack this' and then defend as a last resort/ if it's a good ball. Next weekend will be my first game back so i shall test it out!
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jjelricksmith

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Re: Giving Myself More Scoring Options
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2018, 11:51:08 AM »

Haven't seen this thread before but suffer from a similar issue.

I open the batting in a decent standard of cricket where an opening bowler tends to bowl 70 ish mph and has the ability to swing the ball. I find myself more this season than before being stuck in the 60-70 strike rate kind of zone where i want to be pushing a run a ball. Just from comparing against other players in my league it tends to be that my boundary % is lower than other people in the sides. So for example got 47 at the weekend off 80 balls with 5 4s. Other opener got 80 off 90 with 13 4s. He is lets just say a big unit though and if its even slightly off length or line with the form he is in itll go. But does anyone have any tips to increase a boundary %? I find my main scoring areas are off my pads, straight down the ground and third man for boundaries. Im struggling to hit the pull shot cleanly this season and tend to nick off with a cover drive early on or hit the fielder so its almost completely been removed from the arsenal.

Any tips for increasing the boundary %? Id guess its just adding those 2 back into the shot selection but im open to other suggestions.

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