The last years have seen a lot of sporadic cricket, with not a lot of us getting a lot of game time. Before the season kicks off, here’s our list of training essentials for cricketers, suited for weekend warriors to grade cricketers.
Here is a general overview of key training aids and their purposes:
1. BALL THROWERS
A key aid for batting training is a reliable ball thrower, more popularly referred to as “Sidearms”. Based on the skill level, you can get a variety of slingers ranging in speeds and arm lengths. The most popular slingers around are:
- Sidearm- Having been the first slinger on the market, Sidearm is the most popular bunch on the market, however, they have been rapidly losing their market share with the advent of new slingers as they don’t offer the durability or the versatility which he more modern slingers do. Sidearms are available in 2 variants:
- Club: Meant for junior cricketers, bowls up to 105 kph and are ideal for use with 142g balls. The biggest drawback of the Club is that they are quite fragile and snap very easily
- Elite: The most popular slinger, it takes both 142g and 156g balls, bowling up to 130kph
- RoboArm- These slingers have taken the market by storm over the last 3 years, with all major national sides using them. They come in 3 variants-
- RoboArm: The quickest slinger on the market, it bowls up to 160 kph and has an adjustable cup to change the length of your deliveries, without changing your action
- SpeedArm: The rival to the Sidearm Club, this bowls up to 120 kph and with a short stem, you get better control and accuracy. These are also ideal to bowl to junior cricketers or anyone in general who isn’t quite tall for realistic bounce
- RoboArm Mini: Sitting in the middle of the SpeedArm and the RoboArm, this is bowls up to 140 kph with a shorter stem for better control. You also get the adjustable cup for different lengths
2. MIDDLER BAT
As the name suggests, a middling bat is a must have batting aid for every serious batter. It trains a batter to hit from the middle of the blade. Mostly available in half a bat blade’s width, hitting with these bats gets your eye-in and see yourself timing the ball better. A simple 5-minute throwdown prior to a game with one of these can do wonders out in the middle
Building up your batting skills? Check out our batting bundles here
3. BACKYARD BOWLING MACHINE
A reliable backyard cricket bowling machine can aid in doing wonders for your batting side of things.
For more beginner level cricketers, you can go for something like the Feed Buddy, which is an underarm ball feeder to get the technique right for certain shots.
If you want to go for something more advanced, you can go for the Speed Buddy, which is a proper bowling machine, offering speeds up to 90 kph whilst still being backyard safe since it uses light machine balls which don’t do much damage.
Looking to bundle it up? Check out our backyard bowling machine bundles here
4. BATTING NETS
Another helpful solo batting aid is a batting net. The V Pro Nets are the best versions available wherein you set up a V shaped net in the home or backyard, tie a ball and get hitting away. Available in two variants, the V Pro Net is a smaller form factor and takes up less place. The V Pro Elite on the other hand, is bigger and only has netting on the bottom half to encourage you hit down the ground.
Shaped like the V, these nets encourage you to hit the coveted straight area, but you aren’t limited to just hitting straight. You can check out other drills here
5. BASEBALL MITT
A very underrated training accessory is a good quality baseball mitt.
For coaches who give heaps of throwdowns, these are useful to collect the balls more easily off the ground and protect your palms from the pain of catching hundreds of balls.
As a fielder, these are a must for high intensity throwing session as your focus is exclusively on throwing and you are not worried about bruising your hands while catching.
Available in two material options, they are starkly different. Whilst PU mitts are a more affordable alternative, they don’t offer a lot of protection and fall apart relatively quickly. Leather mitts will cost you more but it’s money well spent since these are significantly more durable and the protection is second to none. If you are a serious cricketer or a coaching at a higher level, leather mitts are definitely the way to go.
6. TECHNIQUE TRAINING BALLS
A cheap investment which reaps heaps of returns is a bunch of technique training balls. Designed to hone specific skills, rocking an array of these will surely get your skills up. Here are a few of our recommendations:
- Aggott- A flat ball, the aggott is in effect, the seam of the ball which is a bowling aid. This assists seam bowlers to practice bowling with the right seam and wrist position, adding more discipline
- Swing Balls- Available in multiple styles, these batting training balls are effective in developing skills to play swinging deliveries. The most popular styles are a tennis swing ball, a single-side dotted swing ball and a slightly different variant called the wobble ball to emulate wobble-seamed deliveries
- Sping Ball- A ball which we have jokingly touted as Shane Warne in a ball, the Sping Ball is a batting aid designed to train you to play against spin. Simply bowl with a straight seam and this will turn square without any effort
- Two-Toned Balls- Great for bowlers, the two-toned/coloured balls aid both seamers and spinners to gauge their bowling. Seamers can easily check for the seam position upon delivery release. Spinners can gauge the degree of revolutions in the air with great ease and work on the skill accordingly
- Reflex Balls- These humped training balls are great fielding/keeping aids which, as the name suggests, are great for developing reflexes for close-in catches. With humps along the surface, these shoot off in a random direction the moment they hit the deck
Looking to sort yourself out with the best of these? Click here for our curated training ball bundles
7. CATCHING GLOVES
Perfect for your morning fielding drills, the catching gloves are a brilliant aid to protect your palms. Designed to take the sting away of the ball hitting the sensitive areas of the palm, these are ideal to build confidence in junior cricketers and for catching drills in the winters where the ball stings you hard. This allows you to yet again, focus on catching the ball and nothing else.
8. SLIPS CRADLE
A great multi-purpose fielding/wicket-keeping training aid is a handy slips cradle. The most popular version on the market is the Katchet ramp, which has grooves to deflect the ball in a random direction, emulating nicks off the edge.
To make the sessions more advanced, you can buy the KatchetMax attachment which sits on top of the Katchet ramp, offering higher and more unpredictable deviation Building a slips/keeper’s training kit? Check out our specially curated bundle here
9. REFLEX NETS
Ramp up your fielding/keeping drills with a reflex/catching net. Constructed with nylon netting, a catching net is a worthwhile investment to sharpen reflexes for keepers or close in fielders. Easy to use, all you need to do is set these up in the backyard or any space you can find, and throw the ball at it, wherein the net then bounces the ball back in a random direction for you to catch.
While the traditional style nets are just a standard pyramid style setup, you can also go for a hand-held rebound net for more variation.
Shop our reflex nets here
10. TARGET STUMP
Available in a wide variety, cricket target stumps can help take your bowling and fielding sessions to the next level. You can go for something as simple as a full or half-length target stump with a spring base to dig into the ground and bowl to, or you can go the next level up with the Fusion stumps. For bowlers, these can also be used to mark the 4th stump line, which is the dangerous batting line
Ideally designed for keeping and slips catching drills- the Fusion stumps are a wobbly foam-based stump which deflect the ball when hit. However, this isn’t just what you are limited to with the Fusion stumps. You can still use this to target a particular line for bowlers and fielding drills.
11. OFF STUMP TARGET
Taking the dream wicket made easier! A brilliant bowling aid, the off-stump target gives you a concentrated area to aim for. This helps build skill in consistently hitting the right line and length to get the top of off wicket
12. LINE/LENGTH MARKERS
Another key bowling aid is a set of line and length markers. A simple yet effective tool, these flat-rubber discs will help you build discipline in hitting the right areas to hone a specific kind of delivery
Now that you know of the essentials to build your training kits, check out our list of training bundles to get out there and dominate the fields!