The position of the head and centre of mass during the front foot off-drive in skilled and less-skilled cricket batsmen
The aim of this study was to compare selected kinematic variables of the front foot off-drive in skilled and less-skilled cricket batsmen. High-speed digital cameras were used to record the three-dimensional kinematics of 10 skilled and 10 less-skilled right-handed batsmen when playing a shadow front foot off-drive to realistic projected video footage. Skilled batsmen were more likely to identify the type of delivery bowled. Seventy percent of skilled batsmen had preparatory feet or foot movement before committing to play forward, while only 20% of the less-skilled batsmen utilized this trigger movement. Throughout the drive, the head of the skilled batsmen was further forward of the centre base point than that of the less-skilled batsmen. This forward head position was associated with the tendency for the skilled batsmen's centre of mass to be further forward during the predicted bat-ball contact. There were no significant differences between groups in the shoulder angle, bat angle or bat speed during the different phases of the stroke. There was a tendency for the less-skilled batsmen to have a larger hip angle at contact. This study provides further understanding of the factors associated with skilled performance in cricket batting, which coaches should consider when training less-skilled performers.