Top Ten Cricket Batting Tips With Owais Shah
Top Ten Cricket Batting Tips
I have had the pleasure of working with Owais both at Middlesex where I first met him and most recently with Cape Cobras when he came over to be the teams overseas professional.
Owais was the South African Twenty 20 cricket player of the year for 2010-11 and helped the Cobras to win the Standard Bank Pro20 with some outstanding performances.
An England International who is as talented as any batsman I have worked with, he has always impressed me with his sharp, analytical mind and thoughtful preparation.
He contributed on and off the field and helped with offering his own unique brand of cricket batting tips to the Cobras players.
The batting tips are insightful and are as applicable to a test player as they are to a schoolboy or girl.
Cricket Batting Tip No.1 - Specific Training
I have found found that cricketers like to practice the same way everyone else practices.
I believe you should look at your cricket game and work out your own individual strengths and weaknesses and then find a way to improve your weak points.
There are tried and tested methods that work, but if you can come up with a unique, specific training method which improves your game ( especially under pressure) then you must stick with it.
Cricket Batting Tip No. 2 - Training Under Pressure
You must practice your batting as if you are playing in a game.
This can be done in different ways, set up the game specific scenarios in practice.
Put your self under pressure to complete the goal you have set for yourself, whether it is seeing off the new ball or closing the game out under pressure.
You need to have a balance of being hard on your self, but also being able to achieve what you were trying to get out of your training. Create pressure and intensity when you train.
One way is when you are having a net against bowlers, you bat against them till one of them gets you out.
Once you are out, then thats the end of your net.
Cricket Batting Tip No. 3 - Be Open To New Ideas
In first class cricket we spend a long time grooving our techniques against fast and slow bowling.
Because we train for so long, it's some times hard to accept that there is a better method of doing things.
This is a very important point if you are to improve.
You should be honest enough to say if someone plays a particular shot better than you, you should then work out the reasons for the other persons success and look to introduce the key reason in to your game.
You can learn from them and improve your game.
Cricket Batting Tip No.4. Mental Training
We as cricketers don't spend enough time working the game out in our heads.
The way we think conducts the way we play, if we think negatively, we will play defensively.
If we are positive in our thinking, we will play aggressively.
In my view the game is 85% in our heads and the rest is techinque and luck.
It is evident when a guy going through a bad run of form only gets out of this bad form after he gets a mind set of ..."what have I got to loose now, I might as well play my shots".
The mind set during the bad run of form is likely to be, " I dont want to get out".
The batsman is concentrating on not getting out, instead of thinking where can I score runs.
Finally when the batsman says, " I might as well play a few shots", he is starting to think about scoring runs and not worrying about getting out.
This sort of positive thinking and intent should be practiced so it becomes the batters dominant mindset.
Its also important for a batter to realize when they starting to become negative in their thinking.
This awareness should be the trigger for them to change the way they think and start to think positively again.
Cricket Batting Tip No. 5 - Love the Game
Ever since i can remember, I have absolutely loved playing cricket.
Born and raised in Pakistan, meant that playing cricket was just part and parcel of growing up.
We played anywhere and everywhere - on the streets, the corridor outside our flat, corridor in our flat, in the class room ... you name it and I probably played cricket there.
I would watch cricket on tv and watch my cricketing heroes perform and then I would go out on the street and copy them.
Cricket Batting Tip No. 6 - Play To Win
Of all the teams I played for as a child, it was really important to win.
Winning and success made me want to play more and more.
I really believe that my love for cricket grew stronger because of having success as a child in the teams I participated in.
You obviously can't win everytime you play, but the desire to win must be there.
Cricket Batting Tip No. 7 - Learn To Sacrifice
I moved to England because I was offered a contract with Middlesex County Cricket Club.
This meant leaving Pakistan and moving to a new country, I left all my friends and family behind and moved to England.
It was tough early on as I would miss my friends and family.
I guess I had to sacrifice all that if I was to become a professional cricketer.
As a young professional cricketer I had to give up my school summer holidays for cricket. I would go and practice instead of going out with friends and doing the normal teenage stuff.
Cricket Batting Tip No.8 - Talent Only Gets You So Far
I was a very talented young cricketer but i wasn't coming up with the goods. I guess, when I was a teenager, I played on my talent and did really well. I would go and play, not worry about consequences as I was very successful and hardly failed.
Later as I became a day in, day out professional, I had to work hard to perform on a regular basis.
You can't get by on talent alone, you have to practice hard and address any weak points in your game.
Cricket Batting Tips No.9 - Get To The Top
I have a motto in life, if you are going to do something, then do it properly.
I wanted to be a professional cricketer, so if i was going to play cricket then i want to play at the highest standard achievable.
Cricket Batting Tip No.10 - Find A Way, Your Way
When I started to produce the goods in county cricket on a regular basis through regular performances for Middlesex, it was good, but not good enough for me.
I just did not want to be solid batsman,I wanted to be a serious contender for England.
How am I going to achieve it I asked myself ?
I decided to get in touch with Mohammed Azharrudin ( Indian Test Captain) and change my game, in search of my goal.
I booked myself a plane ticket to India and went for 7 days of nets with him, he changed my game and I came back to England and started scoring heavily.
I paid for my own flight and accomodation, I saw it as an investment in my career.
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