I do like a bit of one hand, one bounce. I use it as a gamified drill, to get the players used to playing with soft hands.
Yes, I do think there is a place for a little batting subtlety, even in T20 — a couple of drop-and-run singles just might make the oppo change their field, opening up space for bigger hits. In the recent T20 World Cup, batters were even stealing twos on the huge Aussie outfields, with shots that didn’t leave the fielding circle!
I tried this at the weekend, with a group of u11s, then played a short game to test out the new “strokes”. It nearly worked (most got the idea, but still preferred trying to hit the cover off the ball). but on reflection the game wasn’t quite right (not “representative” enough; not enough reward for playing the drop-and-run).
A game for careful batting
I use “pairs carousel cricket” †, as it keeps all the batters involved (so long as the carousel isn’t too long) and gives the batters a chance to see how others succeed (and fail).
To test out the drop-and-run, we offered bonus runs for playing the ball and keeping it within 10m of the batter’s wicket (so only really tested the “drop” element).
But not many took the “easy” runs, when they could whack the ball and try to score more. The reward wasn’t tempting enough. And we didn’t properly test the full skill.
- On a 3-strike carousel (hit & run, and batter has to run on the third (legal) delivery), offer “get another go” after a successful “drop”; maybe allow this up to 3 times per at-bat.
- Have the batters run, but offer x2 for a successful drop-and-run
- Build in field manipulation (which would probably require longer “innings”)
- fielders stand wherever they like, but with a drop-and-run scoring double every ball they need to move closer, freeing space for the more expansive stroke
All to be tested at a follow-up session. Possibly not this term, as I have already promised a bowling (and keeping) week, an introduction to power hitting (camán & sliotars to hand!), and we normally finish with some form of end-of-term “big match” week.
† Batter & non-striker; line of waiting batters. On completing a run, the non-striker goes to the back of the line (rejoins the carousel), as also does any batter who is dismissed; batter at the front of the line faces the next delivery. Each team bats for an agreed length of time or number of deliveries, or until an agreed number of wickets have fallen.
I tend to use indoor cricket scoring rules — 1 for the (batted) ball hitting the net, 2 for completing a run, boundaries only for the straight hit behind the bowler.