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Batting Tips: 6 keys to improving your game

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Last Updated on 5 years by Charbel Coorey

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Batting is a beautiful thing. The sound of bat crunching the ball, either in solid defence or in a stroke that has the ball whistling away to the fence, is one to behold.

However, batting takes lots of practice, and it can get easy to get caught up in things that impact performance. Do check out my six key things to keep in mind to build, improve and maintain batting skills.

Batting Tip #1: What do I watch?

Watching the ball seems such a simple tip, but it’s one players can often forget, especially when short on runs. You can end up focusing instead on every single technical thing while the bowler is delivering the ball, instead of watching it.
My father used to tell me as a kid to always watch the bowler’s hand, focusing intently on what the bowler is trying to do. Is the pace bowler you are up against trying for an outswinger, inswinger, slower ball or cross seam delivery to try get extra bounce? Is the spinner trying to bowl a googly or genuine leg spinning delivery?
As the bowler gets to their final few strides, watch their hand and the ball intently.
This provides two key benefits:
  • You are able to pick the ball earlier, which enables you to get into position quicker and give you more time. Note: the best players in the world always have time!
  • You can read what the bowler is trying to do out of their hand, rather than off the pitch. Even international players are getting caught trying to read the ball off the pitch, which is a dangerous move.

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Batting Tip #2: Your head position

When batting, it can be very easy to get caught up in seeing where the ball goes after you hit it. In terms of your head position, there are three key tips to keep in mind:
  • Make sure your head is perfectly still at point of impact. If your head is moving, your balance will suffer, and so will performance.
  • Head over the ball. Kevin Pietersen in his masterclass talks about the importance of your head being over the ball, with your weight going forward if the ball is full. When the ball is short, keeping your eyes on the ball is critical. Even if your foot movement is limited, your head being over the ball enables you to get in line.
  • Don’t lift your head too early to see where the ball goes. Keep your eyes on the ball right through to even after impact! Martin Guptill is a player who does this well in limited overs cricket.

Batting Tip #3: Your footwork and body position

This tip goes hand in hand with the first two.
If you are seeing the ball earlier, you’re in a better position to judge whether to go forward or back. If your head position is still, your balance will benefit.
One thing to keep in mind is the position of your back shoulder. For a right hander, this is your right shoulder, and the opposite for the left hander. If your back shoulder is ending up facing the bowler, it is a sign of squaring up, which will eventually give your outside edge a serious workout.

Aim to always stay as side on as possible!

Batting Tip #4: Showcase the bat maker’s logo proudly

Whether you are playing in a T20 or longer format, playing straight is so important.
Be proud of showcasing the bat maker’s logo! A great way of practicing to play as straight as possible is to place a ball on a cone, and have your bat come through nice and straight when hitting the ball. 
  • Ensure your bat doesn’t come down on an angle, which puts you at risk of getting out LBW, bowled and even caught behind the wicket.
  • Focus on getting your head over the ball.
  • Ensure your front doesn’t get too far across to the off side when the ball has just left the bowlers’ arm. Shane Watson is a player who struggled with this. Again, watching the ball early will enable you to get into position based on the merit of the delivery.

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Batting Tip #5: Play the ball late

Lots of international players, on a dose of flat pitches, can get caught out pushing out too far in front of their body.
A nightmare innings that comes to mind is Australia’s 60 all-out capitulation in the 2015 Ashes. Notice how many batsmen are pushed at the ball with hard hards, well in front of their body. 
Soft hands and playing the ball under your eyes is a great way to improve your batting. Kane Williamson is one player who does this exceptionally well, and so too Matt Renshaw from Australia, who simply must be in the Test side!

Batting Tip #6: Your mindset

Practice the way you would play in the game.
What separates Virat Kohli, for example, from others, is his commitment and determination to always improve his game. This is derived from his practice.
I’ve had friends tell me “what? You’re leaving the ball in the nets?” 
Yes. Practice the way you aim to play! It’s the way you will constantly evolve and improve as a batsman.
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So, there are my six simple tips to batting. Do you have anything else to add? Leave a comment!
Thanks for reading!
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Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: https://www.youtube.com/@cricblogtv For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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