Saturday, December 15, 2018
Updated: Thursday, November 04, 2004
Rotating the strike

Richard McInnes

Didn't quite have time to read all the posts but one caught my eye in relation to the number of boundaries scored in relation to total score. This highlights one particular issue that our players (not just the senior players either, right across our cricket) have.

One of the key differences between first grade cricket then first class cricket then test cricket is the number of error balls bowled, i.e the number of potential boundary balls.

The higher the standard the fewer bad balls you get as a batsman. Our bowlers have improved to the point where we are bowling reasonably well and forcing the batting team to take plenty of singles in between boundaries. Our batsmen however have not yet developed the ability to work the ball around and put the pressure back to the bowlers. There is nothing more frustrating for a bowler to bowl a good over and still go for 2 or 3 singles in an over. This frustration leads to errors and then balls are bowled where boundaries can be scored.

Given our inability to consistently (we do it sporadically) work the ball for one's and two's we do not apply enough pressure on the bowlers to force mistakes. They are human and crack under pressure, like anyone else. Instead we are currently in a mentality of survive, survive by blocking or leaving, and then it all become too much and we lash out at a good ball and sometimes it goes to the boundary and sometimes we get out.

By increasing the focus on rotating the strike and not allowing a bowler to pin a batsmen down for too many balls in succession, we increase the chance of the bowler erring and actually presenting balls to hit.

How do you work on strike rotation? Players need to develop the ability to manipulate theirr hands, to change the angle of shots, to adjust tension in the grip to vary the pace of shots, to be looking to score rather than hitting and then looking if there is a run there.

A target we set with the U19's is the per cent of scoring shots in an innings, doesn't matter the value of the shot, by balls scored off is important, as are the dot balls bowled when in the field. If we can score of about 42% of balls when we bat and our bowlers achieve their target, we win the game.

In the world cup (U19) final against Australia, I was confident at lunch, because it was the first time our batsmen had achieved that target (reached 44%) and I was confident our bowlers could reach their target as they had in nearly every game. It does not always work perfectly, but more often then not if you achieve that you will win the game.

Bushido tiger, you also made some very good comments, about shifting blame. You are spot on and that is part of the culture that needs to be changed sooner rather than later.

The author is the High Performance Manager and National Development coach who is also a distinguished member of banglacricket forum and goes by the nick "observer". Above article appeared as a post in the banglacricket forum thread The irresponsible BD style of playing cricket - editors