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Thread: How to emulate grass surface

  1. #1
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    How to emulate grass surface

    Playing cricket in wet English conditions has always challenged me. However to top it, we practice on plastic and play on grass. Why oh why do we do this?
    Our groundsman will never allow anyone to practice batting out on the grass, so we always practice in nets on matting. But this gives problems to youngsters who struggle when going out to play for real on grass; badly damp grass wickets.

    Is there anyway, any matting, any trick, to emulate grass so that youngsters can learn to deal with real grass wickets and unpredectibale balls?

  2. #2
    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    I think they just have to accept that at a certain age all balls become unpredictable. To overcome this, I used to line the inside of my underpants with bulletproof tissues.
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    International Captain Maximas's Avatar
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    mow the lawn and play on that.

    Seriously I've not ever known a decent way to emulate it, just tell the kids to play late and keep mainly on the backfoot if you keep getting caught on stickies
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    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    To be honest, from my experience playing in the UK, if it's really damp then you're better off coming forward most of the time if the ball is pitching on the stumps. It generally doesn't get up much. It depends how often the wicket is covered though. If the bowler pitches it short on a really damp wicket then it's only going to pop. I'm guessing most kids in the age group you're talking about won't be bowling fast enough to worry about bounce anyway.

    When I played over that way I was shocked how many batsmen's first movement was back on low-bouncing English wickets. Didn't take long to work out if you went forward, unless it was ridiculously short, then you'd be ok.


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    It is one of the dumbest things about lower level cricket that the training conditions are so much different to the real thing. I used to open and found nets practice pretty much pointless as you'd be batting on concrete with an old ball most of the time. I'm sorry I can't answer your question, perhaps encourage ball tampering at training!
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    I was thinking if a rubber mat could be made that was soft, malleable and rough. That could emulate the 'ball not coming on' and unpredictable bounce and turn. Is there such a mat or material out there?

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    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    I've never heard of anything that would be a suitable replacement, maybe just drill it into them that they need to spend a couple of overs getting used to the change in pace and bounce before they try to put one over square leg.

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    lol surely I didn't read advice to play on the back foot on a turf wicket.

    Best thing to do is what SOC suggests. Get forward and be tight so if the ball skids on or jags in you give yourself every chance of a) keeping it out and then b) getting hit outside the line or far enough forward it gives the umpire a tough decision.
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    International Captain Maximas's Avatar
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    if the pitches are damp as the OP said then backfoot play is probably preferable as the ball does all kinds of crap and tends to hold up, otherwise play on the front foot

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    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    In the UK it's really not better to go back. Generally over there, when the wicket is damp...it's really damp. Unless they've had a prolonged dry period you won't get the ball nipping around like you do here. The wicket's damp all the way through, so it just pops. By teaching them to go back on turf to full-pitched deliveries, all you're doing is setting them up for failure when they get on a drier pitch with quicker bowlers.

    We actually ended up batting first most of the time on damp decks when I was in the UK, as we got together and had a discussion and it was pointed out that the wickets were generally so wet underneath that you were better off bowling second when they'd (hopefully) dried out a bit. The ball would just go through the surface early on. In all cases though, going forward was the best option. The only thing that saved guys playing back was the fact the umpires were generally hopeless and wouldn't give a guy out LBW when he'd been hit halfway up while he was playing back in front of middle stump.

  11. #11
    International Captain Maximas's Avatar
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    ah ok, now that I've thought about it I realised I was talking more about strokeplay rather than defence and I was talking about wickets than weren't damp all the way through as you are. From my experience of damp wickets the moisture has always been under the surface, where the ball holds up and driving is hard - so I meant to say if you're gonna play shots do it off the backfoot, but I agree that if the wickets are so wet that the ball skids on you gotta get forward.



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