(Dehradun, Uttranchal, India)
Jacques Kallis: The Great All Rounder Goes Back To The Drawing Board
Hi Coach, I’m coaching in an academy and one of my boys has a problem getting out bowled by a yorker.
I have checked his bat lift and balance and they seem fine. Do you have any suggestions or tips for me?
Hi Mohan, it’s the most dangerous of balls and we have seen with Lasith Malinga, that if a bowler has good control of it, how devastating it can be.
So how you can you help your young batter counter it?
Well, he is not alone, it was only a few years ago that the great Jacques Kallis had a similar problem against England.
What was the problem and how did he correct it?
England had noticed that Kallis’s bat lift was out of alignment and was coming from the gully-point region, this was because in his trigger movement he was losing his side-on position in his movement into the ball.
England targeted him with full balls on off stump, he got out bowled and caught at gully in the series, as he played across the line of the ball.
So what did Jacques do and how can it help your young players?
Jacques had to go back to the drawing board and find out where the error was and correct it.
The beginning was to check his position in his stance in the crease and then look at the position when he finished his trigger movement.
Was he side ways on? If he wasn’t it would mean that his bat would be coming down across the line of a straight ball. Which means the batter only has his bat on the flight of the ball at one point in its flight, which increases dramatically the chances of getting bowled or caught behind.
Now I don’t think your young batters need to worry about trigger movements, which are more advanced skills.
So check to make sure they are side ways on, in their set up in their stance.
Then you need to check that they are still side ways on when they move into the shot when playing all straight bat shots, defensive and offensive.
Secondly, check to make sure their bat swing is straight, from the top of its downswing.
Some batters loop the bat out to 2nd or 3rd slip during the bat lift, this isn’t a problem so long as they loop the bat at the top of its down swing into the ball.
1. Assessment and Practice Drill For Straight Bat Swing Through Ball.
Put a stationary ball down in front of your batter who is standing in their normal position in the crease. Ask them to step forward and drive the ball straight up the wicket.
Look for and check the body position, side ways on, bat swing coming down through the ball … or across the line of the ball.
2. Assessment and Practice Drill For Straight Bat Swing Through Ball.
Roll the ball to the batter, straight at their stumps and ask them to hit the ball back straight. Watch the bat swing, check to see it is coming down straight, through the line of the ball.
3. Practice Drill For Straight Bat Swing Through Ball.
Repeat the drill, but this time throw over arm to the batter, again asking the batter to hit back straight. They will begin to self correct now, you can’t hit the ball straight consistently without swinging through a straight line.
Give the batter a target zone, put some markers or cones down from mid off to mid on, or the back of the net can be the goal.
Repetition is the key here, hitting enough shots for the brain to learn to hold body shape and position in the shot, without having to consciously think about it.
Batting Tip: Trevor Goddard, the former South African opening bat and all rounder gave me this batting tip for exactly this batting problem.
Shadow Batting Drill:
Get the batter to feel the inside of their arm (Bottom Hand ) against their shirt when they play their straight drive. Playing shadow shots to get the feel of this, they’ll notice the inside of their forearm brushing against their shirt.
Hands close to the body, brings the bat closer to the body and helps to play through the line of the ball.
I hope these drills help, best wishes Coach
About Richard Pybus
I'm Richard Pybus, I've coached Pakistan, Bangladesh, Middlesex, Titans and the Cape Cobras in South Africa and the goal of this site is to help you to play winning cricket.