The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Googly demands practice
When you walk out to bat, keep it simple

I am a left-handed batsman and am often beaten when playing of the backfoot. Please advice.

(Nabi Hassan, 14, Darjeeling)

The problem you are having is that you are not moving your backfoot into line. You must try and get across if the line is off stump.

I am a left-handed batsman. I end up giving a catch close to the wicket every time I attempt a pull, hook or a shot square of the wicket. Please help.

(Saurabh Jhunjhunwala, 15, Howrah)

You are obviously struggling for time. Use the depth of the crease to get that extra bit of time.

What should be the right state of a batsmanís mind when he walks out to bat' What sort of mental preparation is needed when he awaits his turn to bat'

(Nilu Dey, 17, Bokaro)

To keep it simple ó just concentrate on your strengths. Watch the ball coming out of the bowlers hand closely.

I am a middle-order batsman. I have problems tackling short-pitched deliveries aimed at the chest' Please help.

(Kangkan Kalita, 18, Kamrup-25)

Footwork, watching the ball and not taking the eyes off the ball will help. Again using the depth of the crease will help.

I am a left-handed opener. I have problems playing the in-swinging deliveries. Please help.

(Arkajyoti Dhar, 19, Calcutta-75)

Watch your front foot. Donít follow-on or get your foot too far across.

I am a fast bowler. Constant practice at nets to bowl the slower delivery has not been fruitful. Please help.

(Bhupal Sarkar, 20, Barpeta, Assam)

Watch your grip and keep practising. Itís not something you can master overnight. Also keep eyeing the spot where you want the ball to land.

I am a medium pacer. Whenever I want to increase my pace, I end up bowling a wide or a full toss. Why does this happen'

(Raunak Ramuka, 14, Calcutta-64)

Your head is obviously not still at the time of delivery. In striving for that bit extra your head is moving all over the place.

I am a right-handed batsman. I am comfortable with short-pitched stuff but I face difficulties when tackling good/full length balls. Please help.

(Rahul Shastri, 20, Bokaro Steel City)

Get your front foot in motion towards the line or pitch of the ball. This will help immensely.

I am a medium pacer. I have problems with my run up and end up conceding too many no balls. Please advice.

(Raj Kumar, 14, Jamshedpur)

Itís a common problem. Work hard at the nets. Make sure you donít no ball at the nets.

I wish to be a leg-spinner. How does one bowl the googly'

(Samir Pal, 13, Calcutta-14)

This demands a lot of practice. It is supposed to be bowled from the back of your hand. Itís important though that you first concentrate on your leg-break.

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