Technique

APRIL 01, 2014

'The mental aspect and the way you train are critical to coaching'

Interview by Subash Jayaraman: Former India coach Greg Chappell talks about the challenges he faced with the side, his relationship with Rahul Dravid, the role of specialist coaches, and developing youngsters
MARCH 31, 2014

Technique

The need to simplify batting

In his column for the Hindu, Greg Chappell lists the factors that have changed the style and character of batting in modern cricket. Stressing on the need for simplicity, especially in coaching at the junior level, Chappell suggests that the role of a coach could be limited to creating an environment and observing the action.

Coaches should be seen and not heard. Their role should be to set the environment and observe the action. If refinement to a player's method is required, the parameters of the training session should be adjusted to encourage the desired outcome. This, in my view is what real coaching should look like. No other sport trains in an environment that is as far removed from the real game as cricket does. Good players don't learn to play and compete in nets. They have to learn from playing and competing in environments that replicate the real thing or they will not develop sufficiently to be able to make a difference and to attract spectators to the longer game.

MARCH 20, 2014

India's need for bowling variety

V Ramnarayan: Why their traditional strength, spin, ought not to be forskaen in favour of pace
MARCH 16, 2014

What can speed guns tell us?

Kartikeya Date: They may provide objective information about the pace of the bowling, but the complete picture is provided by also considering the way batsmen respond to pace
MARCH 04, 2014

Can Flower bring art to the science of coaching?

Jon Hotten: Great coaches understand the fluidity of technique, the role of imagination, the constant forward momentum of the game
MARCH 02, 2014

There's something about cricket's artists

Janaka Malwatta: In the heat of battle, with the outcome in the balance, many fans will clap an opponent's shot if it is sufficiently beauteous
FEBRUARY 17, 2014

Australia in South Africa 2013-14

The Johnson show

Could Mitchell Johnson carry his Ashes form to South Africa. Damn right he could. At Centurion Park he ended with a career-best 12 wickets and inflicted some potentially serious scars on the South Africans. Writing for the Guardian website, Russell Jackson says that Johnson is now a must-view event, one where you stop what you are doing and race back to the TV set. It's a remarkable tale with, you sense, more to come.

He's also now an event himself, which is an astounding thing to achieve over the course of six Tests. It's Mitch as appointment television. It's Mitch as default headliner and Mitch as TV news bulletin place-setter. You find yourself rushing back with a drink in time for the first ball of his over. It's a cage fight and we're all clamoring for a better look. For opponents it's more about endurance and survival than winning or losing. In those six Tests he's taken 49 wickets at 13.14 with a strike rate of 27.1, a rare case of numbers doing justice to what you're seeing with your own eyes.

JANUARY 14, 2014

Time to make leg slip a regular fielding position?

V Ramnarayan: Too often batsmen get away with playing loose shots behind square on the leg side. Maybe a change in the laws will help
DECEMBER 27, 2013

Have India buried the pace hoodoo?

Krishna Kumar: Dravid, Tendulkar and Co set the template, and their successors seem to have been emboldened by their example
DECEMBER 12, 2013

England need to embrace being dull

Dave Hawksworth: When they were successful, they were called conservative and boring. That's better than losing, isn't it?
NOVEMBER 02, 2013

Is George Bailey a Test No. 6?

Matt Cleary: He has had a fine run in India, but swatting full tosses out of Nagpur is no indication of a batsman's ability to see off James Anderson's outswingers in Brisbane
OCTOBER 29, 2013

A yorker state of mind

Krishna Kumar: Your early cricketing experience hugely influences your ability to consistently pitch it in the blockhole as an adult
OCTOBER 28, 2013

What's the right age to start wearing helmets?

Michael Jeh: Do kids as young as eight need the protection, or do helmets just hamper their batting technique?
OCTOBER 24, 2013

Time for a declaration treaty (and, no, I wasn't asleep on TV)

Andy Zaltzman: South Africa's remorseless progress towards complete domination, and the lack of a contest, made for tough viewing but I managed to stay awake
OCTOBER 15, 2013

The man who was concrete

Jon Hotten: No one who saw Chris Tavaré bat - or set at the crease, rather - will forget it in a hurry, even if the detail is blurred by its endless repetition
OCTOBER 14, 2013

'I tried to model my one-day game on Michael Bevan'

Interview by Subash Jayaraman: Mike Hussey talks about developing his limited-overs skills, his relationship with Cricket Australia, the need for better pitches in domestic cricket, and the Gurunath Meiyappan controversy
OCTOBER 14, 2013

Practice makes perfect?

Nicholas Hogg: Does a technical, complex sport like cricket contain new tricks that can't be taught to old dogs?
SEPTEMBER 26, 2013

The hook: cricket's bravest shot

Samir Chopra: Other strokes may be more elegant, but there's nothing to quite match the elemental thrill of the hook
SEPTEMBER 24, 2013

Fast bowling

Fast bowling in a time of tortoises

In a piece for the Guardian's weekly segment The Spin, Andy Bull questions whether fast bowling in Test cricket is actually losing its pace. Bull cites a study of baseball pitchers conducted by Glenn Fleisig of the American Sports Medicine Institute, and the latter has suggested that fast bowlers might also be reaching their physical limit. The important question is whether the trend may be depriving fans of one of the most exciting elements of Test cricket.

That mindset has been passed down by coaches, who see the perfect action as being the one that bears the most repetition while minimising the risk of injury and maximising the degree of control. As Brearley says, Test cricket is poorer for it, stripped as it is of the physical threat to the batsman and robbed of one its most exciting elements. But bowlers have longer careers as a consequence. Fans and players love to argue about who was the fastest. That's a debate that can't be settled. But it is clear that you won't find many contenders in this day and age. We are in a time of tortoises, not hares. The perfectly fast action, like the perfect game of draughts, is a thing of the past, a target players have long since stopped pursuing
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SEPTEMBER 19, 2013

The Atlas who doesn't shrug

Krishna Kumar: From a thrill-a-minute swashbuckler to a captain whose trademark is his calm, Dhoni has come a long way
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