My batting plan as an opening batsman is to minimise risk while maximising scoring options. To do this, I'm looking for the single, I'm looking to ensure that anything on my pads has bat on it and that shots that involve me playing away from my body or with a cross bat are taken out of the calculations
Here is a batting plan I used for the last two dayer we played.
Phase 1: Building phase
Time: 0 – 20 overs
Mantra: Get forward, watch the ball
Strong defensive platform
- Play with soft hands
- Get forward
- Play late
- Leave well
- Punch into off side for singles
- Drives in the V
- Work off the legs
- Bat until drinks
- 30 runs on the board
That's one phase, the second phase was about sustaining the strong defensive platform, keeping the footwork moving, looking to open up other areas to score (developing the cut shot, looking to sweep/loft the spinners. The third phase was about attacking but sensible cricket shots - looking to use my feet against bowlers.
The mantra is what you say to yourself when going through your pre-ball ritual. For me, I'll take centre guard, put my back foot toes on the centre line and survey the field, then get into the batting stance, check my backlift is straight and that my bottom hand is in the correct position and then watch the bowler take his run in.
Depending on the pace of the bowler, I'll alternate between either watching the ball in his hand the entire time he runs in ( Anyone up to 130kmh) or draw a mental square around the area the ball will be delivered and focus on that, as he enters the delivery stride, I'll say "Watch the ball, get forward" to myself and start my trigger movement which is generally transferring the weight to the front foot, look to watch the ball onto the bat and make a quick assertive call as to whether there are runs or not.
Then I reset, generally by walking towards square leg, have a look around and take my concerntration off cricket while the bowler goes back to his run in.
I find this helps, especially when you're playing to a plan - it's more about the ritual that will develop consistent thoughts and actions to deliveries, rather than just having the plan in place. The plan is to ensure your ritual suits purpose.