Shadow Batting


A movement without thought.


A small step forward, a bend of the front knee, weight easing onto the left foot, the left elbow  pointed at the ball- text book style


I’m walking down the hallway in our house.


Then the stroke. A  quick stiffening of the body and then relax.


A moment of reflection,  then a glance to see if anyone saw it.


The stroke an involuntary action. A technique taught by my father, refined by an endless array of coaches  and perfected by hours in front of a mirror.


A  repeated practice for years.


There is variation.


Some days it will be a few steps, legs moving like a ballroom dancer, left arm reaches up, right foot swivels, right hand comes through as if turning a door knob.


Always a full follow through much more than when I bowled the occasional off spinner that barely turned.


Next morning my five year old bowl an imaginary delivery down the hall way.  An action more like a swimmer with flaying arms.


It has begun.



  1. i feel you – glad to hear it not an uncommon affliction

  2. Peter Baulderstone says

    Confession time. Never been a shadow batter, but bowler is a different matter.
    As a kid I aspired to be the next Richie Benaud, and spent many school holidays in the backyard with the pages of Don Bradman’s ‘Art of Cricket’ opened to the leg spin pages. Could never land the wrongun with a tennis ball over 15 yards, so don’t know how I expected to do it with a leather 6 stitcher over 22 yards.
    When we went into town shopping I would disappear to the newsagent to check out what exotica (like Eagle magazine) had arrived. My mum would look for me up and down the street. She said she always looked for the flailing right arm attempting to flick the imaginary ball out of the back of the hand. Old ladies were in danger from my follow through – but never batsman.
    By my late teens the reality of a lack of talent (and geeky embarassment) kicked in, and the shadow bowling phase disappeared. However if forced to stand still alone for more than a minute, the hands automatically assume the Vardon grip and the wristy 20 metre lob wedge is enacted. Unlike on the golf course, it is never bladed 30 metres over the green at the bus stop.
    Thanks for the confessions, Barry.

  3. What sort of arm action would Murili’s five year old have?

  4. Steve daniels says

    shadow batting is batting while watching your own shadow or else by using the mirror. It’s a way of improving your batting technique and increasing your shot skill.

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