The second in our batting vs spin constraint drills that we deploy alongside the amazing functionality of BatSense is the 2 up:2 Down drill.
The capacity to hit the ball straight is one of the key skills when facing Spinners and we see the best white ball players hitting the ball over the top of the inner circle to force fielders back onto the fence and then ease the ball along the ground, past the bowler to rotate the strike and keep the scoreboard ticking.
Many players can hit the ball over the top but then not hit the ball along the ground to take advantage of the singles or two on offer after the fielders head out to defend the boundary. This was common in one of my professional sides back in the early 2000’s so I developed the “2 Up:2 Down Drill” to Facilitate the development of these linked skills.
Equipment: Thrower, Bowlers or bowling machine (set up to spin mode)
Picture a tall fielder at both mid-off and mid-on and also the bowler too. Hit 2 balls over the top of the straight inner circle on a trajectory that would reach the boundary for a 4.
Then, visualise both of the bowlers in deep positions and manipulate your body to hit the ball out to the straight deep fielders twice before starting the drill again.
Surface: change the surface to make it harder
Increase the spin or pace of the bowling machine and increase the variety of lengths delivered so the ball isn’t always in the same place.
Set a number of balls that you need to complete the full set of 2 Up:2 Down. I started with a completion number of 7 and eventually got down to 5.
Obviously, the aim is to hit a perfect/complete set in 4 balls every time
My BatSense findings:
My shot intention impacted upon my Back Lift Angle. When I was aiming to hit the ball over the top, my Back Lift Angle range was 172 to 176 degrees.
When I was looking to beat the bowler along the ground, my Back Lift Angle was still high (as that’s my preference to have a high back lift) yet typically, my grounded shots in this drill achieved back lift levels in a range between 161 to 163 degrees.
Adaptable Follow Through:
Throughout my drills, Smart Video Mode demonstrated that I could either hit a “check” drive follow through or a full follow-through (see below) when hitting over the top. Here are examples of my follow through finish positions taken from Smart Video Mode.
The check finish on the left registered a Follow Through Angle range of 104 to 108 and the full finish shot registered a follow through angle of 270 – 276.
I noticed that the 108 degree version was played consistently to a ball which arrived fuller following my movement down the pitch and the 276 degree version was played when the ball bounced slightly further in front of me.
When I struck the ball over the top of the inner ring, my Impact Angle range recorded was between 42 and 56 degrees.
Whereas, my grounded shots recorded a consistent Impact Angle of 30-31 degrees.
So the “2 Up:2 Down BatSense Drill” clearly demonstrated that I need to be able to manipulate my Batswing in different ways to overcome different challenges.
My successful “2 Up” shots required a higher back lift range approaching 176 degrees and a Impact Angle range between 42 and 56 degrees.
My best “2 down” shots required a slightly shallower back lift range around 163 degrees and a Impact Angle range between 30 and 31 degrees for me to control the ball along the ground to the deep fielders.
Use the drill with you BatSense and see if you can replicate my metrics on Back Lift Angle, Follow Through Angle and Impact Angle or develop your own “Super-set” of batting metrics to complete this classic spin constraints task!