May 4, 2014

New Zealand news

'Throwdowns dumb down preparation' - Crowe

Ahead of their tour to the West Indies, New Zealand are on the lookout for a batting coach. Martin Crowe, speaking the New Zealand Herald, says that the new coach should look to take batsmen out of their comfort zones and simulate match situations at the nets, moving the emphasis of coaching away from 'hitting the ball' and towards footwork and 'moving into line'.

The difficulty comes when players are spread around the world playing all forms. It's vital Mike Hesson and the temporary batting coach quickly set up simulated practice in the West Indies that doesn't dumb down to easy hitting.

An example was countering the bounce in the West Indies [in 1985]. We simulated practice so the ball was bouncing around our shoulders, throat and chest to a point where we got hurt at times. Likewise if you're going to India, find a pitch which turns square, or in England, practise with movement off the pitch and in the air. That's what a batting coach's job is: help players rise to the challenge before the game.

Throwdowns are fine to warm-up for five minutes but while middling full tosses and half volleys might make batsmen feel in form, they dumb down the preparation for taking on the world's best bowlers.

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