In the first of a series of articles concentrating on the psychology of cricket, a closer look at choking. In all sports, a player’s performance will fluctuate. Sometimes we perform a bit better than normal, and sometimes a bit worse.
Does it sometimes feel like you are cursed to make no progess with your cricket?
Take heart from the recent turnaround seen by India. Post-2011 World Cup, the side were in a slump of Test hammerings and World Twenty20 failure.
Cricket has advanced in so many ways in the last 60 years. So why do we still hold onto the same ideas when it comes to classical batting technique? Coaches and players have always called batting a side on game. But I have learned that batting is more front on than side on.
Whatever level of cricket you play, you will recognise the pressure faced by cricketers playing professionally.
Tournaments are typified by many games wedged into a short period, but as a player you are expected to be at your peak the whole time.
Good cricketers are strong.
They may not look like big chested hulks (although some like Kallis, Flintoff and Irfan Pathan come close) but to bowl quick, put revs on the ball or hit the ball hard you need to have strength.
If you had to put cricket into one word, what would you choose? Some say it's about angles. Others talk about hand-eye coordination, or athleticism. All those things are important but I would choose a different word.
I got this email from a reader recently: "I have read your articles on staying calm and relaxed at the crease but they don't seem to work. I have the ability but completely lack confidence in the middle. Please help!"