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Now an Englishman demystifies Bradman's average

Last updated on: December 23, 2011 13:50 IST

Former English cricketer Tony Shillinglaw claims he has demystified Don Bradman's technique which helped him achieve the unmatched average of 99.

An expert on Bradman, Shillinglaw believes Don's unique technique was the main reason behind his peerless Test average of 99.94, and argues that, as a result, it should be taught to all aspiring cricketers.

He is trying to get the DVD footage of Bradman in the hands of former England coach Peter Moores in an effort to get a formal endorsement from him and maybe even a place in the coaching manual.

"I've just received archive footage from 1930 to 1947 which covers a lot of Bradman's career," Shillinglaw was quoted as Sydney Morning Herald.

"The only way this is going to be done is if someone of that authority, with the cricket experience and today's technology, can look at Bradman in the respect of the batsman. I'm just hoping that he will take on board and maybe put into practice the theory," he added.

Don BradmanA long-time student of Bradman, Shillinglaw's principal argument is that the Don had a mechanical advantage over other batsmen due to what he calls a rotary method of batting.

The 74-year-old has also sent the results of his biomechanical study into Bradman's technique to Gordon Lord, the head of elite coaching development with the England and Wales Cricket Board, and Graham Thorpe, the former England batsman who is now national head batting coach.

"Over the history of cricket the proof is that of batsmen from any part of the world who adopt what is coached, none of them have gone past an average of, what, 60?" Shillinglaw said.

"That indicates that an average of 60 is the upper limits of what is coached, whereas Bradman averaged 99. How can a little fellow my size, with below-average eyesight, be 66 per cent better than anybody else? I feel I've worked it out.

"It was his method that allowed him to do that. Bradman, in his writings, made it very clear that even he could not have scored the runs he did had he batted in orthodox fashion. It's not some idea we've come up with. The runs are in the book," he added.

Shillinglaw, however, is convinced that Bradman benefited from his upbringing, hitting a golf ball against a tank stand with a cricket stump.

"The secret of Bradman's batting was once the movement had started it never stopped, which produces a rhythm. He didn't bat with his hands, his whole body moved. He'd start the circle before the ball was bowled.

"He was well through every stroke even before the ball had come out of the hand and his style and every ball he received he had the same commencement to it.

"Once the ball came out of the hand, he adjusted the movement of the bat to whichever ball came out of the hand."

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