Handbook of Indian Cricketing Exercises - A Peek
We will be bringing you excerpts from the batting section of the fully revised classic Handbook of Indian Cricketing Exercises. A long line of illustrious Indian batsmen learnt the great art from this book and are now history.
Exercise #232 - Stretch and Touch, Stretch and Touch
Stand, bat in hand at the batsman's end, facing the bowler. If there's no bowler, stop what you are doing and try to get one. As soon as the bowler bowls a short pitched delivery, stretch on your toes, raise the bat and try to lightly touch the ball with the bat or failing that, the gloves so that it carries to the wicket keeper.
Did you succeed?
If not, keep practicing until you get it right. For tips on the fine art of doing this to perfection, contact Sourav da who may have time on his hands now, since he decided not to campaign for the CPM (Bhadralok faction).
If yes, congratulations. You may now be ready to join the Indian team as soon as Sehwag gets a back spasm, Tendulkar a shoulder injury or Dhoni, the hair-blowing-in-face syndrome.
Exercise #54 - Slash, Slash, Slash
Stand, as earlier specified. When bowler bowls a ball pitched wide of the off stump, slash and slash hard. Try to get a thick edge that carries at face height to third slip. If you cannot manage a thick edge, try to get a thin edge that carries to first slip.
To know how to do this properly, buy the VCD of Gautam Gambhir's batting, available at all video piracy outlets. There's only one VCD so study it well. Observe the classic stance, feet firmly esconced in the crease, body leaning way forward, bat towards silly point and head towards the dressing room. Keep the head perfectly still and your eye on the coach.
If you miss getting the edge, shake your head ruefully, walk a few steps down the pitch, pat the bat on the pitch a few times as if that was to blame and try, try again.
Remember, practice makes perfect. Robert Bruce of Scotland would not have been defeated so many times if he had not kept trying.
Exercise #666 - For Batsmen: Cricket de la France
Stand in the batting crease. Keep both feet together at right angles to the pitch. Get the wicket keeper to draw a box figure just outside your feet to mark their outline. Your task now is that irrespective of where the bowler bowls, your feet must not move. Repeat, wherever the bowler bowls. Wide outside the off stump, yorker, down the leg side, bouncer, good length on middle, cutting in from off.
Playing on flat tracks requires you to conserve your energy so that you can play long, long innings. Moving your feet consumes energy so avoid it whenever possible. The continued success of Rahul Dravid who violates this cardinal principle is a mystery to all true cricket afficianados. So don't look at videos of Dravid. What does he know? Instead, watch the true Indian masters, Sourav, Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, the Great Gambhir and Dhoni.
Once you have mastered these initial exercises, you will be ready for the more advanced exercises:
- Thick inside edge that crashes into the stumps;
- Head before wicket; and
- Running your partner out.
the very difficult
We'll cover that and more in our next bulletin.
For now, keep practicing. Kiran More is watching you.