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  • England 3 min read

    England ready to power up during ODIs

    England's batsmen have embraced the science behind power hitting

    England’s big-hitting batsmen will head into the Royal London One-Day Series knowing they are regularly striking the ball more than 100m.

    A group of England ODI stars took part in a recent power hitting test at the National Cricket Performance Centre which through Hawkeye technology provided real-time results.

    Distance, trajectory and launch speed were all fed back within seconds to allow batsmen to process and consider a different approach for the next delivery.

    The test - the first of its kind and a collaboration between the NCPC and Loughborough University - was commissioned to give Eoin Morgan’s team the edge at the 2019 World Cup held in England.

    Can science help batsmen hit more sixes?

    England's batsmen took part in a power hitting test that measured launch angles, bat speed and distance

    “We’ve identified a few key areas in which we can innovate and one of those is power hitting in batting and boundary count which is a key indicator of your probability of winning,” said Raph Brandon, ECB Head of Science, Medicine and Innovation.

    “There are potential improvements to be made in that space but this also allowed us to collect data from some of the world’s best players, to see ball and bat speeds that they generate.

    “We have only just started – it will take another year to get the performance benefits from it.”

    “We have only just started – it will take another year to get the performance benefits from it."

    Raph Brandon, ECB Head of Science, Medicine and Innovation

    Joe Root, who averages 49 in ODI cricket, said being able to regularly clear the ropes would make him an even better player.

    “It’s about getting better at hitting more consistently,” he said.

    “It’s good to practise it and make sure we are doing everything we can to better ourselves.

    “It was interesting to see how far guys can hit it. A few surprised themselves, a few didn’t surprise us, people like Jos Buttler hitting it nearly 110m – that’s phenomenal hitting.”

    "I try and get my trajectory right – that’s something I work on."

    Jos Buttler

    Buttler, whose 109m hit was the largest on the day, said the results are a confidence booster.

    “Power hitting is something I think I’m quite good at and practise a lot,” said the 27-year-old whose eight sixes during his unbeaten 116 against Pakistan in November 2015 is an England record.

    “It was good to know through the numbers that what I’ve been practising is working.

    “I try and get my trajectory right – that’s something I work on. When you start trying to elevate the ball then you lose distance.

    “Mentally, understanding that you can hit sixes. Knowing wherever the fielders are, if you get it right then it doesn’t matter where they are.”

    Sam Billings’ longest hit on the day measured just three metres short of Buttler’s colossal strike.

    “The feedback is there with the stats – ball speed off the ball, how far you hit it and the trajectory - it was very interesting,” he said.

    “You can mishit one but at the right trajectory and it can still go 90m. You can smack one at a lower trajectory and be caught on the boundary. It’s a great thing which you can practise with.

    "The feedback is there with the stats – ball speed off the ball, how far you hit it and the trajectory - it was very interesting."

    Sam Billings

    “For that second set of balls I was hitting it 90-100m the whole time because I got my technique a lot smoother. It’s about practising and becoming better at it. You have to keep improving.

    “Batting has really kicked on in the last couple of years and that’s why we are here today. You need to keep evolving.

    “T20 has revolutionised this change and scoring rates have gone up even in Test cricket. It’s about hitting the ball cleanly and consistently.”

    Behind the scenes at England fitness testing day

    Why do England have a fitness testing day? Who are the fittest players? Watch part one of the Toyota's Always a Better Way Series to find out.

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