No sooner had we finished our last games of the summer season than we started into the indoor cricket season. Two senior teams and 6 Colts’ teams have been entered into various competitions over the winter.
With so much indoor cricket in prospect, it seems sensible for the coaches to run a few sessions around the specifics of the indoor game, at least until we start to work on pre-season drills for the new summer season.
What follows are my initial thoughts on the skills needed for the indoor game. In almost every instance, there is nothing that we would not be coaching at some point, anyway, but with a changed emphasis on the specific skills for indoors.
- batsmen need to drive straight (or to the on side) to get boundaries indoors
- work on the drive(s), especially hitting targets straight past the bowler;
- manipulating the ball into space/into the corners, especially against slower bowlers
- perhaps only for the seniors and older Colts…some of the open- and closed-face shots that work very well indoors are perhaps best not taught too early;
- pacing an innings
- games-based learning scenarios – 20 off two overs with one wicket left. Or 10 off one over with no wickets in hand. Set the challenge, play it out a few times with different batsmen and bowlers, then talk through the tactics for both sides.
- running between the wickets.
Bowlers (much like T20, only even more so)
- yorkers (hard to hit anywhere, indoors or out) and back-of-a-length (difficult to hit straight – indoors, a shot square of the wicket generally brings only a single as it cannons back off the side walls)
- definitely no half volleys, and no “length” bowling (for the seniors, at least, where the better opposition batters will look to hit back over the bowler’s head “on-the-up”;
- variations, and changes of pace and flight;
- composure under pressure (again, for the older Colts, perhaps).
- move quickly to the ball, pick up and release (under-arm)
- backing up.
All legitimate skills in any form of the game. And by providing an opportunity for more games-based learning, the focus on indoor cricket hopefully makes the sessions more immediately relevant, and more fun than winter nets.