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Straight balls

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cobweb1510:
Hi all,

As the non cricketing father of a 12 year old, things are getting challenging for me now! I'm trying to help, but often don't have the technical knowledge needed to give him good advice.

He currently has a bit of an issue of trying to hit everything. This isn't his fault. I was thinking about this during the ashes series. He's about to play U15s next year, but has only ever played 2 matches that weren't pairs cricket. If you have (on average) 2 overs to score your runs, you don't get the chance to "play yourself in" or be especially selective. We really do school them for T20 from an early age!

Anyway, he has been bowled twice in the nets recently to the same bowl- straight and pitched up. This isn't a huge issue, but he's not thinking about it critically and looking to see if this shows a weakness in his technique. He's just putting it down to a couple of balls that were "unplayable". I watched both balls, and to me it looks like he tried to play a straight drive at both and mis-timed them. Not the worst crime in the world- but is there something else he could have done? Should he have played a defensive shot? The added wrinkle is that with so much paired cricket- score runs when you get the chance- he hasn't ever really needed a forward defensive shot, and his straight drive is a stronger choice of shot for him.

Where I can't really help him is how should he decide to play the straight drive, or a forward defensive shot? I don't really understand what the decision should be based on, since to my mind they could both be played to a similar ball.

Thanks in advance.

Buzz:
He is young and it will be a learning curve for him.

Now is the time to work on stuff, so check his grip. Make sure the vs ar going down the outside half of the bat. That will help the bat come through straight.

Then spend some time with under arming straight balls at him.

Also work on his guard to ensure he is standing in the right place.

Other than that it is a numbers game he just needs to hit a lot of balls.
Plus a new bat. Always a new bat.

Jimbo:
For something as simple as a straight ball, bowling machine sessions never hurt!

KettonJake:

--- Quote from: cobweb1510 on February 01, 2022, 04:37:07 PM ---
Where I can't really help him is how should he decide to play the straight drive, or a forward defensive shot? I don't really understand what the decision should be based on, since to my mind they could both be played to a similar ball.


--- End quote ---

The question we ask ourselves every week. Do I block this or do I play it?

There is no definitive answer. It depends on amongst many other things; the situation, the pitch, the condition of the ball, how the batter is feeling (new to the crease or settled and seeing it like a football?) etc.

I would imagine something full and straight in an artificial surface net was not unplayable. Most unplayable balls i've seen rely on a significant degree of movement off the seam which doesn't happen in nets generally.

A good rule of thumb to begin with is to block literally everything that is straight. Once seeing it nicely and having scored a few runs from bad balls that weren't straight/on the stumps, then instinctive decisions will start to be made naturally, straight balls on certain lengths will be played more aggressively. It is very difficult to advise a player on when this moment should come in their innings. That is why temperament and mentality are crucial skills to being a good bat.

Plenty of players far more talented than me keep it as simple as block anything on the stumps regardless of length, and try to whack literally everything else. This is the other end of the scale of course but it works for some.

InternalTraining:
There one thing that I have done in my own practice that helped me a lot against "magic" balls.

I dedicate one session (15-30) to only one thing: "magic" ball.

Setup a Bola machine and test it for that particular line and length at a fixed (low, not exceeding 60 mph) speed. Once the machine is throwing and landing the ball in the desired spot, don't move or touch the machine and its controls. Then, practice playing that "magic" ball over and over again.

After 15/30 minute session is up, go home and let my muscles build that memory.

Rinse. Repeat.

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