Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Stance and trigger movements

There's no doubt in my mind that my batting's improved by an order of magnitude since I had my first net session back in late January. That's not to say that it's what I would consider good, but it's massively improved.

Back when I was at school I was taught with a rigorous orthodoxy, but now that I'm older, wiser, more aware of my own body's limitations and have a better understanding of cricket I'm more confident in changing the way I do things to suit my own style. To be honest, at school I simply hadn't the knowledge to think about my batting, so it's only now that I'm beginning to understand how I play and adjust things to suit.

First things first, I've been playing around with my stance. I started off a few months back just thinking about my knees not being bent as the ball is delivered, and I've cured that, but I've had a bigger problem which I've also cured. The "Eureka!" moment came when I read a passage in Bob Woolmer's Art and Science of Cricket where he evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of various stances. Here's what he has to say about the Open stance:
"This stance is based on the principle that standing slightly more front-on to the bowler gives the batsman a better view of the ball. The explanation for this it that just as you have a dominant hand, you also have a dominant eye, one that transmits visual signals to the brain more quickly and effectively than the other. This means that if you bat right-handed, and your right eye is dominant, a side-on stance means that your dominant eye is having to squint away to the left over the bridge of your nose, or at least look down a line that is slightly outside that of the ball. Opening up the stance, so that there is a more direct line of sight from your right eye to the bowler's hand, can give you a better picture of the delivery."
EUREKA! I am a right-eye, right-hand dominant person, and further to that my left eye needs a contact lens, and even with one the focus isn't quite perfect, so I adapted my stance so that I had a good view out of my right eye and IMMEDIATELY saw an improvement.

As for trigger movements, I'm aware that I probably need one as I'm still having real problems getting my feet moving. Several people in the team have told me the movement I need is to move my back foot back and out a few inches, but I've tried this and it simply doesn't feel right. I have a feeling that I'm a predominantly front-footed player, so this movement just confuses me, and fundamentally it doesn't seem to work. I've been swinging the bat in the garden working on coordinating my backlift and trigger, and the action I've hit upon is to move my front foot forward about six inches as I lift my bat up, lean forward, bend my knee and press onto the toes of my front foot. From here it's a simple matter of pressure to determine forward and back: pick my foot up and I naturally move (or rather, fall) forwards, while since I'm already putting pressure on my toe I've also got a better platform to push back. I haven't had a chance to try this out against a bowler yet, but it feels right.

As for shot selection, it's become apparent that I'm predominantly an on-side player. My favourite shot to watch is the pull shot (especially if the batsman is Ricky Ponting) and it's a shot I'd love to be able to properly execute myself, and in nets my go-to shot seems to be the on-drive. It would seem that I need to work on all my on-side shots, and also work on a plan if I'm cut off on that side by field placements. Also I need to work on my vulnerability against off-spinners. My shots in general need some work to get them just so, and I need to watch the videos, read the books, try them in the garden and then execute them in the nets - time after time after time - and work on matching my shots to the delivery. I also need to do a lot of work on my defensive shots, as they're pretty weak and I don't tend to use them much.

So that should be plenty to be getting on with then. Stance? Check. Trigger, shot execution, shot selection? Watch this space...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very nice everyone should have a passion for cricket .I think you are a right kind of batsman for my team.i am the couch of deedo cricket club austrailia .

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