How to win at cricket

Preparation:

  • Practice – Technique: Quality not quantity.
    • Practice how you mean to play.
    • Set targets within drills to measure achievement.
    • Team goal and objective setting.
  • Mental: Positive thinking.
    • Visualisation. Remember success.
  • Fitness -  Agility: Improves all-round performance.
    • Stamina: Aids concentration in sustained effort.
    • Strength/speed: Allows prolonged activity under pressure.

Pre-match:

Good habits create familiarity, create confidence.

  • Positive practice sessions including planning and strategy.
  • Positive thinking and visualization processes.
  • Sufficient sleep.
  • Proper nutrition/pre-hydration.
  • Early arrival at ground with kit prepared and packed.
  • Personal pre-match routine.
  • Squad pre-match routine.
  • Team warm-up.
  • Team talk – Discuss conditions (goals and strategies)
    • Review opposition through past scorebooks/stats
    • Focus. Re-enforce team ethic.
    • Confirm individual roles within team strategy.
  • Bowlers mark out run-ups and visualize good bowling areas.
  • Agree match conditions before the toss.
  • Observe the opposition. What do they give away in their approach?

During the match:

  • Maximise teamwork/team spirit. Will to win. Determination.
  • Support each other verbally and with performance.
  • Review tactics and strategies where necessary.
  • Match situation. Tactical awareness.
  • Conditions.
  • Observing and reacting to opponents’ tactics.
  • Manipulating the game.
Captain and senior players’ roles:
  • Motivation/support.
  • Communicate tactics/evolving strategies/changing roles.
  • Watch individuals for “signs” to maintain optimism, body language, concentration, fighting spirit, etc.
  • Trust your judgement/hunch. Eg observation of batsman etc.
  • Set fields for individual batsmen (especially when set)
  • Be subtle: If trying to keep main batsman off strike, don’t be obvious.
Fielding:
  • WIN EVERY BALL – Fight for every run. Never over.
  • Make yourselves hard to beat. Pride/passion.
  • Don’t go quiet – Keep supporting. Communicate tactics. Build pressure.
  • Wicketkeeper should be central and eyes for captain.
  • Keep the ball up and get it back quickly.
  • Manipulate pace of game. Slow down if opponents have momentum. Quick changeovers if you are on top.
Batting:
  • Control the controllables. Crease Management.
  • Keep it simple: Build. Manageable targets/review constantly.
  • Keep the good ball out, put away the bad ball, rotate the strike.
  • Work in partnerships. Know and discuss your roles within these.
  • Know your partner – e.g running speed, calling ability. Work out tactics around these.
  • Find your “areas”. Build pressure on the opposition.
Improvong team run rates:

Don’t panic if the bowlers get on top. Tough it out/try to rotate strike or take certain bowlers for certain batsmen.

  • Aim for a solid start. Wickets slow run rates.
  • Get the batting order and their roles right. Try to avoid changing these but be adaptable if the team needs it.
  • Bat to number 11. Each batsman should be able to at least occupy and support, rotate the strike and put away a bad ball.
  • Maximise every run. Look for quick singles, turn 1s into 2s, 2s into 3s, pressure the fielders. This can improve run rates by at least one per over if done correctly. This also undermines the other team and puts pressure on the captain and the bowlers.
  • Keep talking and reviewing your partnership. Focus/support/look for areas/discuss bowlers strengths and weaknesses.
  • Pass on information to your colleagues. Batsmen crossing should provide info on pitch/bowler etc to the new batsman and then the rest of the team.
  • Watch the fielders before you bat. Know the weak fielders, weak arms, left handers etc. Use this knowledge to improve your running/calling.
Bowling:
  • Plans – pressure – roles.
  • Field placings – be happy before you start to bowl.
  • Bowl in partnerships. Know your roles.
  • Observe the batsmen – strengths/weaknesses.
  • Build pressure on weaknesses with controlled aggression and mind games.
Spinners:
  • Mindset; attack 1st, defend 2nd (unless match situation does not permit this)
  • Know your ideal field for each batsman. Have best fielders in correct positions.
  • Use Flight/Pace/Turn/Bounce/the crease/variations/bluff.
  • Respond to individual batsmen. Bowl to a plan (ideally 6 ball set-up)
  • Watch the batsman. Walk back to your mark facing batsman. Observe triggers, batsman “eyeing areas”, etc.

After Match:

  • Discuss +’s and –‘s of the game. Take positives areas to improve to plan next practice.
  • Analyse match stats and data.
  • Build team spirit.

 

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