Ponting goes hi-tech to overcome batting slump

May 9th, 2008 - 12:54 pm ICT by admin  

Brisbane, May 9 (IANS) Skipper Ricky Ponting, who is going through an unusually long form slump, has taken recourse to hi-tech plasma screen gadgetry in a private batting tutorial to help overcome the misery before he leaves with the Australian squad for the tour of the Caribbean Friday. At Brisbane’s Allan Border Field Thursday, an enormous plasma screen television was hauled into the practice net next to Ponting as he was filmed facing deliveries from a bowling machine.

The video footage was fed through the plasma screen, on a five-second delay, enabling Ponting to play a stroke and then watch it replayed immediately on TV.

Ponting, who endured a run of low scores in the summer’s one-day series and failed to fire for Kolkata in the Indian Premier League, emerged from the net session delighted, reports Herald Sun.

“It’s the first time I’ve used that. It is the best little coaching session you can have,” said Ponting.

“It’s good to have a coach or someone standing by that knows your game. To have it explained to you is one thing; to see it for yourself and be able to identify yourself what you are doing during a shot is fantastic.”

Ponting said he was not worried by his form slump — most recently he scored just 39 runs in the IPL at 9.75 — but the plasma session was a “priceless” tool that could help him back to his devastating best.

“Sometimes you know yourself what you are doing but to put your finger right on it is a little more difficult,” Ponting said.

“With this set-up, you hit one and you give yourself time to have a look at the replay and digest it.

“It can pick up everything, head position, backlift and whatever it is you want to work on.

“I have used game footage over the years but to have it at training, especially when you are trying to get everything ticking over again, is priceless.”

While he would not admit it, Ponting’s batting was clearly affected by some of the dramas of a hostile summer against India, in which he was tested both on and off the field.

It may have been Ponting’s toughest time in cricket — possibly even tougher than the 2005 Ashes loss — and he even endured calls for him to be sacked as skipper.

The first of three Tests against the West Indies starts on May 23 in Kingston, Jamaica.

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