The eyes have it

They sure do things different in Queensland.

The Bulls have experimented with glasses that have had their bottom half blacked out and others that have been blurred in a bid to sharpen batsmen’s focus and concentration skills.

“I felt they were quite useful,” experienced batsman Martin Love said. “With the blacked-out glasses you lose sight of the ball three or four metres before it gets to you, so you start reaching for the ball and hitting it in the air. Eventually you adjust and start waiting for the ball to come to you and hit it later.

“When you give the glasses away you tend to hit the ball later. That is what we are trying to achieve (on seaming wickets) at the Gabba where you can get into a lot of trouble by playing too early.”

Bulls coach Terry Oliver sanctioned the experiment with partially blacked out glasses after it was suggested by optometrist Pat Gerry while Love, a physiotherapist, suggested the blurred glasses after seeing them at a sports medicine conference.

“Research showed because vision was so poor with the blurred glasses on, batsmen tended to concentrate better and ended up timing the ball better,” Love said.

The Bulls have also experimented batting in the blacked-out glasses with a bat half the width of a normal sized blade in an extreme test of their batting skills.

The experiment took old-timers back to the days when South African great Barry Richards used to turn his bat sideways and point its edge to the bowler to challenge himself against bowlers he considered mediocre.

I’d never thought about batting practice in this way. I wonder if any readers have been involved in similar schemes in their net sessions?

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