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One year on

Posted in ECB Coaches Association

I had a good talk with Troy (Cooley) before I took the job last October. I needed to know what it was like over here and how the system worked, because it was a big decision to move.

It’s not just me – it’s my fiancée Alex and my two year old son Lucas. Troy had only positive things to say, and he was right. It’s a great challenge and we’re really enjoying it.

My main role is to make sure that the next generation of English batsmen are progressing as they should be. I’m a pro coach and I’m working for the ECB now, so one aspect of my job is assisting with the national team if required.

I’m setting up a development programme for the country’s best young batters. I was involved in the England Lions against Australia at Worcester before the start of the Ashes series.

{error}It was an unusual situation being up against a man I know well and still consider to be the best in the business, Ricky Ponting. I had to make sure I walked into the right dressing room.

We’re trying to make sure this group are ready to make the step up to full international level when required. There’s no shortage of talent. It’s a matter of making sure these guys maximise their potential.

There’s a balance to be struck between learning and playing. The more game situations we can get batters involved in the better. In short I want to see batters have a positive approach to playing spin (move back and forwards, use their feet, sweep both ways), and against pace have an intention to get forward (pull off the front foot).

Batters need to make good decisions and they can only do that by experiencing as many match situations as possible.

When we are working inside or in a net environment I try and make it that bit more realistic by getting the batters working in pairs so we can introduce running between the wickets. I want to see the non-striker in a power position when the ball is released, ready to go for that quick single. I also like to see batters turning between runs sharply. This involves getting in and out the crease effectively.

As coaches we need to pay more attention to running between the wickets, particularly with the emergence of Twenty20 cricket in the last few years. Running between the wickets is more likely to determine the outcome of a match than ever before.

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