Serious cricketers will continuously seek opportunities to practice, whether in the nets with their teammates, at home alone, or with their families. It’s simple to practice your batting in the nets with your cricket club because you’re more likely to have good cricket equipment and plenty of other players to bowl at. Batting during club practices will undoubtedly help you develop, but if you want to enhance your batting skills, you should be practicing at home as much as possible! This is the section that many players struggle with. There will be times when you have no one to bowl with, and many of you will lack the necessary equipment.
Here Are Some of My Tips for Practicing Your Batting At Home
Visualization & Shadow Batting
This is one of the essential sorts of practice you can do, and it has shown to be beneficial to my technique. It’s also fantastic because you don’t need any special equipment to perform it! Shadow hitting and visualization can help you think more deeply about your batting and construct game plans and strategies to use during a game. This, in my opinion, is a critical component of moving your game to the next level. Instead of walking up to bat with no plan in mind and hoping for the best, you’ll stride out to the middle with a game plan in mind. This is a great way to clear your mind and loosen up!
You might be wondering, “What is shadow batting?” at this point. or ‘How can you make visualization work for you?’ Allow yourself to elaborate!
Most batsmen will practice shadow batting before starting their innings. They will rehearse the motion of a specific shot without hitting a ball. For example, when shadow batting a cover drive, the batter should step forward, bend his front leg, and bring the bat through in an arc with the face angled towards the cover region. This kind of motion will help you become more comfortable with how different shots feel to perform them more fluently in a game!
Shadow bat in front of a mirror or with someone watching you can assist a lot. This allows you to check your body position to ensure that you are in the correct technical position for a particular shot. When practicing the forward defensive shot, for example, your head should be leaned forwards over your bent front knee, and your bat should be tucked neatly up against your front pad. When you get these technical details right during shadow hitting, you’ll be able to eliminate errors throughout games!
Shadow batting can be used to practice any cricket shot. However, it’s essential for unconventional shots like the sweep and reverses sweep, which takes a long time to master. You can practice these shots on your own for a long time before trying them out in the nets and it took a lot of practice against net bowlers before you felt comfortable using them in a game.
Visualization is similar to shadow batting in that it helps you mentally rather than technically prepare for your upcoming innings. It enables you to build your game strategy and visualize executing it once you reach the crease.
Visualization aids with brain organization. You can understand that it may appear to some of you that it will never improve your batting average, but give it a shot before you dismiss. Many professional players use this strategy, and they know what works and what doesn’t. Use it to map out your strategy for the first ten balls of your innings and see where it takes you.
Drilling on the Wall
This was a drill you could use a lot when you were younger, partially because you didn’t have someone to assist yourself in practicing your batting and partly because you were bored! All you need for this practice is a bat and a ball, and you may do it with or without a partner. Depending on the type of wall you’ll be bouncing it against; the ball should be either a tennis ball or a wind ball. If you’re completing this practice by yourself, make sure to follow these instructions:
- Choose a level wall and stand opposite it at a distance of about 2-3 meters.
- Put yourself in a batting stance now. With your top hand, grip your bat (left hand for right-handed hitters, right hand for left-handed batsmen) and the ball in your other hand.
- Prepare to toss the ball at the wall with force after you’ve reached this position. This can be done with either an underarm or overarm toss.
- You can test yourself against different types of deliveries by bouncing the ball off the wall in specific areas.
Throwing the ball underarm and high up the wall, for example, can force the ball to bounce up and towards your upper body. This toss style can be used to imitate a bouncer and then play the appropriate shot in response. You can even strike lower-level positions on the wall, causing the ball to bounce somewhere in front of you. You’ll be able to launch into a front foot shot like a straight drive as a result of this!
Place the ball on your bat and play your shot as soon as you’ve thrown it with your bottom hand. Before the ball reaches you, you should have enough time to accomplish this!
This makes things a little simpler if you’re completing the drill with a buddy! This time, while your partner stands behind you, you can take your batting position. They should be standing somewhat to the left or right of you, as well as behind you, to give you enough distance to throw the ball beyond you and against the wall. Instead of worrying about throwing the ball, you may now focus entirely on playing your strokes.
Drills with a Short Ball
All batsmen should practice on this from time to time, and if you have a partner who is ready to throw the ball to you, you’re in the ideal position to do so! This drill will help you get used to getting out of the way of the short ball while also allowing you to practice hook and pull shots if you want to.
Follow These Instructions to Complete the Drill
- Prepare to watch and react to the ball by getting into your batting stance.
- Request that your spouse kneel about 5 meters in front of you.
- Ask them to toss the ball underarm towards your upper body once they’re in place.
- Your mission is to react to the ball being thrown at you. You have the option of ducking beneath it, swaying out of the way, or taking an aggressive shot.
- You can take as many deliveries as you like until you’re confident in your ability to respond to the ball. If you’re just getting started with this activity, have your partner throw the ball slowly at first. You can ask them to throw the ball faster towards you as you go to simulate a fast bowler!
The Stump & Ball Drill
This is a drill that involves a stump and a ball. This workout can help you improve your hand-eye coordination, which is the most crucial ability in batting. The drill is based on what Sir Donald Bradman regularly did when he was a young cricketer! Many cricket experts believe that this form of preparation contributed significantly to Bradman’s outstanding batting ability; therefore, it’s worth a shot! Bradman would hold a cricket stump in one hand and a golf ball in the other before bouncing the golf ball off a wall, much like the wall bounce practice! Then, he’d try to whack the golf ball with the stump when it rebounded back at him.
You can execute the drill with a stump or a cricket technique bat if you don’t have a partner, just like Bradman did! However, if you have a willing partner, you can have them throw or bowl the ball towards you while you attempt to strike it with the stump or cricket technique bat.
Cone Drills for Footwork
This practice is relatively easy, and it can be used to ensure that you’re playing front foot strokes like the drive in the ideal technical positions.
When setting up this drill, you should arrange your cones in a specific pattern. In my diagram below, you can see an example of this. A ball should be positioned on top of each cone. You should have one cone where you can take a step forward and play a cover drive, one where you can take a step back and play a straight drive, and one where you can take a step forward and play an on drive.
After the balls are in place, get into your batting stance before taking a step forward and playing a technically accurate shot. Next, you should strike one of the balls with the bat as it passes through, knocking it off the top of the cone. After that, repeat the process with the next cone. You can do this as many times as you want until you’re familiar with how these strokes feel.
As you play your shot, keep in mind the driving concepts. Your front foot should travel forward as much as possible to get as close to the ball as feasible. It’s crucial not to overextend yourself, though! Get as near as you can while remaining balanced and comfortable!
Sessions for Throwdowns
This is a style of practice in which you have a partner throw the ball to you rather than having it bowled at you. The benefit of this practice is that your partner does not need to be a skilled cricketer to toss the ball to you, and they can throw it at different speeds. If you’re not used to hitting quick deliveries, they can ease you in by sending the ball underarm at you. After you’ve become used to confronting those deliveries, ask them to try throwing the ball overarm to add some speed and bounce. They can use equipment like the sidearm thrower (listed here) to propel the ball at you at even faster speeds if you want to put yourself to the test!
The purpose of throwdown sessions is straightforward. However, it would help if you strived to improve several parts of your batting technique. You can make your throw-down sessions more efficient, enjoyable, and productive by obtaining items like a set of cricket stumps and a batting net.
Drills With a Lot of Force
Batsmen in modern cricket are under even more pressure to score rapidly. As a result, batsmen have had to learn to hit the ball harder to get the ball over the fielders’ heads consistently! International batsmen such as Jos Buttler and Glenn Maxwell have mastered the art of boundary hitting by putting in a lot of practice time on their power strokes. In reality, all players who participate in the shorter forms of cricket currently use this type of practice. The good news is that you can easily imitate this form of training at home.
Follow These Methods to Practise Your Power Striking at Home if You Don’t Have a Partner to Help You
- Locate a level, open place and equip yourself with a cricket bat and a few balls.
- Place your feet in your standard batting stance. Then, with your top hand, grip your bat (right hand for right-handed batsmen, left hand for left-handed batsmen) and one of the balls in your other.
- Toss the ball into the air and watch it bounce a few feet away. It would help if you threw the ball underarm to avoid flying too high.
- Quickly return your hand to your bat and hold the handle as the ball leaves your hand. Then, prepare to swat the ball.
- Keep an eye on the ball as it falls to the ground and wait for it to bounce. When it bounces, take a stride forward with your front foot toward the ball’s pitch.
- All you have to do now is strike the ball hard. After that, you can play any style of shot you choose, including lofted flicks over the leg side, lofted straight drives, slog sweeps, and even strong ground shots.
- Investing in a batting net can make this practice much more efficient. When you practice hitting the ball hard inside a batting net, there’s a good chance it’ll stay inside the net. This makes retrieving the ball much more accessible. You’ll have to perform a lot of fielding after you’ve played a few vast shots if you’re practicing this power-hitting drill on an open field!
Purchase a Bowling Machine for Yourself
If you have the funds to purchase a bowling machine for yourself or your children, they can be a great way to practice batting at home. Bowling machines can be set up to target specific areas of our technique while simulating the speed and bounce of a fast bowler without effort. For example, the bowling machine may be set up to regularly bowl full-length balls if a batter wants to concentrate on his technique against decent length deliveries. We can even adjust the bowling machine to pound the ball in short if a batsman wishes to improve his technique against the short ball!
Drill Your Way Down The Wicket Drills
Follow These Steps if You Want to Complete This Drill:
- Get into your typical batting stance and keep your feet light so you can rapidly travel down the pitch and play a shot.
- Place your companion 2-4 meters away from you. They should be holding a tennis ball with their arm outstretched.
- Your partner should drop the ball on the count of three before going to the side where they won’t be hit.
- When the ball starts to descend, your goal is to get close to it as quickly as possible and perform a fair shot once it has bounced.
- Maintain your head and eyes level as you walk forward, and keep your gaze fixed on the ball.
- Your feet should be moving in a skipping motion. Your front foot should first extend towards the ball, then your back foot moves forward towards your front foot, bringing them both together. The front foot should then extend forwards again, and the action should be repeated.
- Once you’ve become used to moving down the wicket when your partner drops the ball, try doing the same thing when they’re bowling the ball at full speed or giving you throw downs! You’ll know you’re ready to proceed down the wicket during a match if you’ve mastered that technique.
Exercises to Increase Strength
Many cricketers would convince themselves that going to the gym and lifting weights is the only way to improve their fitness or strength. However, there are numerous basic little workouts that you may practice at home to help you gain strength and power. If you want to learn more about any of these, look them up on Google or watch a video on YouTube to discover how they’re done! Maintaining your power throughout an innings will be easier if you have a good basic level of fitness and strength.