England’s secret ’simulated’ Ashes weapon no recipe for ‘real stage’ success : Nielsen

Friday, October 22, 2010

SYDNEY - Australian coach Tim Nielsen reckons that the England team’s new secret weapon for preparing for the upcoming Ashes series, the ProBatter, may create as many problems as it solves.

The ProBatter, a true-to-life bowling simulator, was made for baseball, but has been adapted for the Ashes.

The system includes a video component that permits a batsman to observe the life-size image of an actual bowler running in and delivering a ball, which is thrown through the video screen by a computer controlled module.

“The baseball thing has the ability, because you can get right behind the catcher, to get the vision almost like a batter’s. Cricket’s a little bit different because that’s our hardest challenge - to find the perfect perspective from a batsman’s point of view, so that’s the biggest challenge,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Nielsen, as saying.

“I noticed on the footage you have the video with the ball being released and then the ball came out (of the machine as well), so it was confusing. It is going to have its benefits, but it’s going to be a tool rather than a fixer of all issues,” he added.

Nielsen further said that the search to replicate match scenarios had reached an extreme with the technology, but questioned its value compared to the challenges of a Test.

“As we know, you can practice against that stuff as much as you like, but you can’t replicate the feeling of success or failure or fear of failure and the crowd,” Nielsen said.

“In 2005 they had Merlin (bowling machine) and that was the big answer to Shane Warne and he still took 40 wickets,” he added. (ANI)

Filed under: Baseball, Cricket

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