Development of junior batsmen

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There's guys who are clearly prepared to guts it out; Renshaw is there, Burns is there, Harris has the right model but struggles to go on with it, Bancroft was stringing consistent numbers together before Joburg. Smith and Warner are freaks, but also proof that T20 doesn't automatically kill your ability to play First Class Cricket.

The issue is that Cricket Australia have now structured the home summer to make it impossible for any player to build first class form, or the selectors to realistically assess any player's first class form.

The glaring difference between us, New Zealand, England, South Africa and India is they don't butcher the scheduling of their first class competition's to accomodate their T20 tournaments. We're unique in that regard.
New Zealand's Plunket Shield is halfway complete. It is currently on break until February for the Super Smash. That's right, NZ has the exact same domestic structure as we do (except their OD tournament is longer).

South Africa's 4-Day Franchise Series has just re-started, after taking a break in December for the Mzansi Super League.

England's T20 Blast interrupted the County Championship season during the group stage.

So no, I don't buy that for a second. The reason has to be deeper.
 

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Freo Big Fella

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This is, I suspect, what most of us would say. Participation is not a bad thing, but there's no reason it shouldn't come with some basic coaching.
This is ultimately (in my experience) what every junior competition tries to do - but you're ignoring the fact these are largely volunteers, not professional coaches trying to find time around work, family and every other commitment under the sun. Some might have bowling backgrounds, some might have their own technical flaws they're inadvertently passing on and some might mean well, but not know what they're doing.

You're also ignoring the fact that kids aren't robots and you're effectively competing with an enormous amount of other factors to instill the basics at that level.

Again, I'd be interested to see how many of the people in this thread are actually putting their hat in the ring and volunteering at their clubs?

There is no better explanation for the paucity of batting talent than that there is a failure at junior level onwards. If you have one, let's hear it.
Great, but you're ultimately letting the whole superstructure of analysts, coaches tasked with addressing these problems off the hook, not to mention the players themselves.
 

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Yeah I have to agree with Speaker re season structure. We are possibly the worst at butchering it, but we certainly aren’t alone in our butchery.

To harp on NZ for a minute, they have actually gone further than us in the wrong direction in another respect, namely the truncating of their Test-playing schedule full stop. It’s a great shame because they are denying us seeing more of their best ever outfit; yet in spite of all these wrongs, look where they are now.

So you have to ask, what are they doing that’s different to us?
 

Freo Big Fella

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New Zealand's Plunket Shield is halfway complete. It is currently on break until February for the Super Smash. That's right, NZ has the exact same domestic structure as we do (except their OD tournament is longer).

South Africa's 4-Day Franchise Series has just re-started, after taking a break in December for the Mzansi Super League.

England's T20 Blast interrupted the County Championship season during the group stage.
There's at least one round of County Championship matches scheduled to run concurrently with the blast, while South Africans also have the benefit of their three-day challenge at provincial level - obviously not perfect but there's long-form cricket available.

So no, I don't buy that for a second. The reason has to be deeper.
Great - I look forward to these secret methods community clubs in New Zealand, South Africa and England have been hiding all this time.
 
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This is ultimately (in my experience) what every junior competition tries to do - but you're ignoring the fact these are largely volunteers, not professional coaches trying to find time around work, family and every other commitment under the sun. Some might have bowling backgrounds, some might have their own technical flaws they're inadvertently passing on and some might mean well, but not know what they're doing.

You're also ignoring the fact that kids aren't robots and you're effectively competing with an enormous amount of other factors to instill the basics at that level.

Again, I'd be interested to see how many of the people in this thread are actually putting their hat in the ring and volunteering at their clubs?
Sure, which means CA should be doing what it can to help the volunteers get whatever they can through to the kids. CA introduced it, it's CA's responsibility to make sure it's working in every aspect.

Ultimately, Milo cricket isn't being fingered as the problem like you seem to be suggesting. It's that the whole pyramid structure is failing to develop young players, so that we end up with players like Travis Head not performing anywhere near their true potential, yet ending up being the best batsman for Australia anyway.

Great, but you're ultimately letting the whole superstructure of analysts, coaches tasked with addressing these problems off the hook, not to mention the players themselves.
I'm still not seeing an alternative explanation, aside from the one above that is demonstrably untrue.

All the analysts in the world aren't going to help you reset years, even decades of bad habits.
 
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Slightly off topic - MILO cricket got replaced this year.

Now it's Woolworths Cricket Blast. I think the program is much the same though.

Anyway... I heard that there was a massive stuff up with the gear this season and kids had huge delays getting their tshirts, bats, balls etc.

Cricket Australia kicking goals at all levels!
 

Freo Big Fella

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I'm still not seeing an alternative explanation, aside from the one above that is demonstrably untrue.
Right - and the idea that there's no coaching of good techniques going on at all is?

I look forward to hearing about your future contributions at the junior coaching level.

All the analysts in the world aren't going to help you reset years, even decades of bad habits.
Sorry you're right - every player of note has arrived at Under 11s perfectly formed and generally requires no further coaching. I'll see myself out.
 
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Freo Big Fella

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So you have to ask, what are they doing that’s different to us?
The actual work ethic and attitude of their batsmen seems substantively higher than ours.

The discrepancy in attitude between our bowlers and our batsmen continually amazes me. Cummins and Lyon in particular seem to epitomise the ability to guts it out, work on your deficiencies and improve yourself as a player.

Compare them to someone like Handscomb publicly potting critics of his technique and saying he's not going to change anything, despite being largely found out at international level. Where's the internal pressure on him (and someone like Hick whose job it is to fix these issues)?
 

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Kram

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Is this Milo cricket the modern equivalent of Kanga cricket back in the day?
 
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Is this Milo cricket the modern equivalent of Kanga cricket back in the day?
All states had slightly different variations. What was 'Kanga Cricket' in Western Australia back in the day might have been different to Victoria for instance.

Basically now there's two levels and it's standardised nation-wide:
One for 5-6 year olds that is very basic
Then one for 7-8 year olds where they play 8-a-side matches and bat in pairs (this was Kanga Cricket when I was a kid (1980s)).
 

Kram

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Kanga cricket I did play at a couple school clinics and thought it was the absolute lamest thing ever. Learn more just playing with your mates in the backyard and school nets.
 

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Great post!

Less nets, more games is important. Practice batting with fielders and running between wickets. Learn to place the ball, defend with soft hands, pinch ones inside the circle.

When do players get to train that skill? Club game finishes, we lose and everyone agrees that 'we need to score more singles.' Everyone nods and we have our two net sessions during the week where there's no chance to practice it.

Most clubs at a decent level are turf so it's nigh on impossible to get centre wickets to train on during the week.

Your point on strike rates is an interesting one and made me think about some of the better players I played club cricket with (guys who played state & international cricket). Between 20-100 they didn't really vary their approach or accelerate much. Got into a rhythym and just batted the same.

Had the skill to go harder but rarely did. Had this balance between being watchful/staying in and ticking things along. Could stay there risk free for long periods but still tick things along.

Players who didn't reach the same level tended to either be dogged defenders, who dug themselves a hole and couldn't get out of it. Dot balls piled up, pressure placed on their partners. High price placed on their wicket but limited players.

Or at the other end of the spectrum the talented ball strikers who kept taking more and more risks the longer they were in. Confidence grew. Play more shots. Take on the spinners etc. Good for 20s and 30s usually except for the blue moon day. Over-reliant on boundaries.
Your second paragraph really resonates with me for club cricket , spot on.

Rotating strike really is an art form and it’s not so easy against very good bowling .
When I was 15 we were playing against a guy who had played state cricket and made around 7000 premier grade runs .
The thing that got me about his innings was the amount of 1’s and 2’s he got early just finding gaps and manipulating the field . It looked so easy and before we knew it he was 50.

I asked him how he did it because I used to get tied down easily and hit the field . He told me to relax my hands and look at gaps ( not fielders ) and spend 20 mins each training session dropping the ball at the feet rather then trying to smash the back net .
Was an invaluable lesson in batting.
 

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Small grounds, flat decks.

Give me juniors who've had to fight for every run, give me men who know what struggle is, give me talent and let me bloody their nose a little, and I'll show you a bat likely to make runs at test level. What we should be looking for in Australia is the next Graham Smith rather than the next Mark Waugh, Ricky Ponting; we don't need the runs to be pretty, we just need them in the book. I want to be looking back and thinking, "How the **** is he still out there? That's the shittest 89 I've ever seen!", instead of thinking (ala Marcus Harris) "Well, that 26 was good and promising. Hopefully he goes on and makes something of himself!"

We've got the wrong attitude here. We take talent at face value, glorify attractive strokes rather than the genuine runmakers. Need to approach the situation differently, look at the actual combinations of players that work better (right hand vs left hand, front foot player as in Matthew Hayden-esque punisher down the ground versus back foot player like Handscomb) and we need to try and approach the sport with the appropriate level of respect, both for ourselves and our opposition.
Bancroft was doing this to some extent in the Ashes and then in South Africa (leading run scorer prior to the debacle) and the moaning and bitching that resulted was immense.
 
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I mentioned a little above that junior development has probably affected spinners (particularly wrist spinners, and any that aren't darting it in) and swing bowlers. A large number of those caps have gone to players trying to replace Warne/MacGill, and it took until we debuted a spinner out of the Big Bash and stuck with him under a captain who knew what to do with him that we got a decent replacement.

And he's an off-spinner. Unlike the Benaud generation, when every Shield team had a leggie that deserved their spot, the Warne/MacGill generation is pretty bare.
 

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I'd be interested to know what the equivalent figure of new baggy greens was in the decade preceding 2000. Let's call it 1989 to 1999. 2000 is 2007 was an uncommonly strong era for Australian cricket, so possibly any other era looks large by comparison in terms of debutants.

58 in 11 years is still extraordinary though.
 

big_e

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2010s: 44 (so far)
2000s: 29
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1970s: 60
1960s: 32
1950s: 32
1940s: 20
1930s: 30
1920s: 28
1910s: 10
1900s: 16
1890s: 25
1880s: 37
1870s: 18

From Wikipedia list, may have a few errors here and there but the trend is there for all to see.
 

Doss

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Good work big_e. The 1970s are a serious outlier for an obvious reason (WSC), and next up you have the 1980s and 2010s as the worst.

Even in the 1980s they had the excuse of some making themselves unavailable through the South African rebel tours.
 

big_e

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Good work big_e. The 1970s are a serious outlier for an obvious reason (WSC), and next up you have the 1980s and 2010s as the worst.

Even in the 1980s they had the excuse of some making themselves unavailable through the South African rebel tours.
You know what else the 80s and 2010s have in common? Simultaneous retirements of some of the all-time greats. In both cases, we went into a hole and struggled to find replacements. The next generation haven't come through yet but as with the 80s, hopefully the extended period away from the top will force some changes, some players take their opportunities and we get back up the rankings soon.
 

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I asked him how he did it because I used to get tied down easily and hit the field . He told me to relax my hands and look at gaps ( not fielders ) and spend 20 mins each training session dropping the ball at the feet rather then trying to smash the back net .
Was an invaluable lesson in batting.
For some reason when you are coached, you are told to take notice of where the fielders are. I attended a coaching class with the great Barry Richards, and he said not to worry too much about where the fielders are, take more notice of where the gaps are. Made sense to me :)
 

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Do we think the improvement of bat technology has impacted the development of junior batsmen at all?

I ask as I haven't seen it mentioned in this (quite excellent) thread.

Old bats had a sweet spot the size of a threepenny bit. Play a big shot and miss the centre and you'd probably be caught in the infield. Modern bat means rubbish shots might clear the infield so there's inherently less risk until you go up levels.

I struggled to play a cut shot as a young bloke because my wrists weren't strong enough. Modern bats are so balanced and pick up so nice, I wonder if I could have with one?
If you can learn to dominate and hit properly with a **** bat, then imagine what you can do with a better bat - the same thing.
 
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