Cricket training technology has evolved since the days when it was simply a game for gentlemen to enjoy. It is now a highly competitive sport, with teams and individuals vying to be the first to cross the finish line. The cricket business has also grown significantly since the turn of the century.
Cricket was once a part-time job for many players, but it is now their primary or sole source of income. As a result, celebrities and superstars who are more renowned than many others in the entertainment industry have emerged. As a result, players have a lot to do and must perform. Therefore, the cricket coaching ecosystem is constantly coming up with novel methods to train and drill their players because there is a smaller room for mistakes in a player’s performance.
Coaching is currently limited to making plans according to instinct and experience to keep up with the changing needs of cricket. Today, top coaches combine their gut instincts with data from digital technology to create results-driven plans. Here are some of the tools and technologies used to enhance a player’s performance in addition to the mental and physical components of coaching.
Cricket Training Technology & Equipment
Many coaches utilize cones and tees to assist their players in improving their batting technique. It assists bowlers in improving their stance and changing the direction of their shots for various lengths. Hanging balls and rebound machines help batsmen improve hand-eye coordination while discovering how hard they hit the ball. Some coaches also use smaller or thinner training bats to assist their players in hitting the ball with greater precision.
Bowling machines are frequently utilized in cricket academies to launch balls at the batsman in various ways and at varying speeds. There are also mechanical, pneumatic, and programmable bowling machines.
Some coaches prefer to use ball throwers rather than bowling machines to make bowling feel more like a human sport. Coaches also place Cones and additional markers on the bowling lanes to ensure proper lengths. Ravichandran Ashwin helped Indian batters prepare for short-pitch bowling in the 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy test against Australia by slamming a series of soft tennis balls to the ground.
Fielding and wicket-keeping equipment
Coaches sometimes use rebound nets to assist players in enhancing their hand-eye coordination. This allows them to catch more fish. Baseball gloves are also worn by the coaches to easily retrieve the ball from the fielders. Catch bats are used in catch practice drills to simulate shots being hit. Fielding throws are frequently practiced in a single stump or a spring-based rebound stump. Cones and catching slip boards are occasionally used to deflect the ball during wicket-keeping and slip-catching drills.
Data and Numbers
Because there are so many scoring apps, match data for practice games and tournaments is simple to find and analyze. Individual stats can be aggregated and displayed as averages, wagon wheels, percentages, lines of trend, or comparisons to other players.
This allows you to determine how the player is doing and their abilities and shortcomings. It also allows you to compare a player’s performance to a period, a time, an opponent, game conditions, etc. “Slice and dice” has become a usual method to talk about looking at match data during in-game analysis. Coaches often employ this information to create customized training drills and game plans for each opponent.
Because of video-based technologies, people’s perceptions of cricket have shifted. It has also become a great method for coaches to back up their mental intuition with match video footage and show the training plan to the players, thanks to the ability to add observers to the video feeds. It also assists coaches and players in not only evaluating their game plans but also determining the tactics and strategies of the opposing team.
In batting, coaches frequently use video recordings to identify and correct technical flaws in the batsman’s stance, backlift, execution, footwork, follow-through, etc. Observing the bowler’s run-up line, run-up speed, grip, release position, swing, and spin is beneficial when bowling. On the receiving side, it informs coaches about a player’s readiness, reaction time, body alignment, injuries, etc.
Technology that can monitor the ball can help improve bowling strategies. A bowler pitch map assists coaches in determining the most effective game plans and matchups for their players by displaying the exact lengths at which a bowler throws at a batter. This technology also gauges the ball’s speed when it is released by the bowler, when it strikes the pitch, and when it strikes the bat.
Speed guns have existed for quite some time. They assist coaches in determining how fast the ball shifts when a bowler throws it. Bright cricket balls have sensor boards built into them to gauge their speed in the air over multiple revolutions, swings, spins, and so on in real time. This might assist us in understanding how bowling works.
It will allow coaches to compare and contrast various bowlers to determine how the pitch is and which players’ abilities are lacking. Smart batting sensors, such as the Spektacom PowerBat, aid in quickly decoding shot parameters. This includes swing profiles such as backlift angle, downswing angle, bat speed, keep a grade, and so on, as well as impact profiles such as bat twist-on effect, affect point, ball impact location, etc. This allows coaches to measure, analyze, and monitor the player’s batting advances easily.
What will happen next?
Digital technology is becoming more accessible to everyone thanks to the Internet, mobile devices, and cloud computing. Players will get better prepared and perform better in games as cutting-edge technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) create their way into sports.
A player in Bangalore can use VR and haptic sensors to play and practice with the same bouncers. A ball hit Cheteshwar Pujara Pat Cummins threw at the Gabba in Australia during the Border-Gavaskar 2020-21 test series. Welcome to the fifth stage of discovering how to use cricket!