Screening for cricket players has become a regular part of the program for elite and sub-elite cricketers alike. The purpose of the screen is to identify any factors that may reduce the risk of injury and improve the players performance.

The important parts of a good screening include:

  • Reliable testing equipment
  • Reliable and relevant testing protocol
  • Be targeted to the sport and skill
  • Be individualised to suit the player
  • Be comparable to normal data
  • Able to be understood and used

P360 has developed screens that use the latest in sport science and sport medicine research in combination with the most up to date technologies for simple execution and understanding to improve your performance. P360 clinicians have vast experience in providing performance screens for elite first class cricketers, premier level cricketers, rep players and youth cricketers. The screens can be customised to suit and benefit:

  • Fast and spin bowlers
  • Batting
  • Fielding and throwing
  • Wicket keeping
  • Youth cricketers
  • Pre-adolescent cricketers
  • Previous injuries
3D kinetisense
3D Kinetisense video showing counter-rotation measures at Back foot contact of 43.9° and 3.8° at front foot contact. The hips are represented by the red bar and the shoulders by the green bar. The difference between the numbers in the transverse plane for shoulder and hip plane are used.

Some of the technology that P360 has at its disposal include:

Vald ForceFrame

  • Used to measure maximal isometric strength
  • Fixed frame or handheld testing
  • Used by many elite cricket associations and sports worldwide
  • Standardised assessments and normative data for
    • the lower limb including hips, knee and hamstrings
    • the upper limb including shoulder, elbow and shoulder blade

Vald ForceDecks

  • Force plates used to measure ground reaction forces, power generation, imbalances/favouritisms and contact time
  • A must in sports performance testing
  • Standardised assessments including
    • Jump and hop tests
    • Upper limb and lower limb balance tests
    • Isoetmric strength tests for squats, calves and thigh strength
Using the vald forcedecks in a club fast bowler screening
Using the Vald Forcedecks in a club fast bowler screening

Vald Nordbord

  • Hamstring testing device credited with revolutionising hamstring injuries and performance by measuring imbalances in eccentric (lengthening) hamstring strength
  • Standardised tests help differentiate the impact of trunk on hamstring function

DorsaVi ViMove Wearable sensors

  • Sensors that use gyroscopes and accelerometers to analyse movement quality
  • Can provide live feedback on things like back extension and lateral flexion (linked with low back injury) in the bowling action and other movements
  • Customised for
    • knee control during landing tasks
    • quality of running gait
    • low back movement
    • hamstring speed of contraction and movement
    • Neck movement and control

Kinetisense 3D motion Cameras

  • 3D video camera that captures body movements with no markers
  • Uses to see trunk, pelvis and shoulder adaptations during jumping and landing movements
  • Can be used to assess bowling actions including counter rotations

Ultrasound Tissue Characterisation (UTC)

  • Used to measure the quality of Achilles and Patellar tendons
  • Can be used to diagnose tendon injuries and play a role in predicting injuries

Jawku Speed

  • Measures speed and reaction time
  • Useful for repeated sprint testing and agility testing

What information is gathered and can be used in a P360 High Performance Cricket Screens?

Each test provides information on the quality of movement and strength a person must complete their skills. No one test in isolation can predict injury or performance so it is important to look at how all the results interact and target what we think will help the cricketer perform at the necessary level. For example, a strength imbalance might be adequately compensated for by altering the technique or strengthening some other component.

Maximal Voluntary Isometric Contractions (MVIC)

MVIC testing measures a series of hip, knee, trunk, shoulder, and elbow movements and provides information on isolated movement strength. The tests are standardised to provide some indications for how cricketers may perform or be vulnerable to injury. Specifically, we would look at the following:

Vald force frame assists in providing strength assessments for cricketers
Vald Force Frame has assisted in providing reliable and meaningful strength assessments for cricketers
  • Maximal Strength. Certain movements require more strength for specific sports.  In cricketers strong hip extensors are correlated with improved performance.  Being able to achieve 50% of your bodyweight has been shown to reduce the risk of injury and improve performance in fast bowlers
  • Side to side imbalances.  We expect that most movements should have less than a 10% difference from side to side. If there is an imbalance, then it is important to understand why it exists and is it useful to the task.  We are particularly interested if a there is an imbalance in a movement requiring relatively equal demand such as knee flexion (hamstrings).  If one hamstring is weaker than the other, it may cause an imbalance in running and place higher demand on the other one or be at risk of tearing itself 
  • Antagonist Movement Ratios.  Some movements require the opposite movement to be strong to counter the main movement.  This is true in the shoulder where our testing can look at the ability to generate force to throw but we also measure the muscles that need to resist and control the throw.  Shoulder internal rotation is correlated to faster bowling speeds and throwing distances but if external rotation is not as strong then there is risk of injury and reduced bowling or throwing performance. 
  • Rate of Force Development. It is important to look at how fast you can generate the maximal forces.  There is no point basing your maximal knee extension strength at 30 ° as the measure if it takes over one second to reach that level.  The knees extensors are used heavily on the front landing leg and will need to develop the necessary force in the first 300-400 milliseconds to be effective in allowing the bowler to bowl over their front leg and generate more height and speed.
  • Painful movement. Some movements might be painful so we can see if you have strength to the level of pain or if you are weaker potentially because of pain and target this.  If you are avoiding generating force in your calf because of pain then there is a high likelihood you will avoid using your calf when running.  As such you may place higher demand on your Achilles tendon, knee or other leg
  • Patterns. Some useful relationships and patterns we see that affect performance and injury.  Hip internal rotation at 0° of hip flexion (straight hip) has been shown to effect control of the trunk on the back foot landing phase.  This can predispose to lumbar spine stress fractures and loss of control of front foot contact and loss of speed and accuracy.   Often we may see a reduced hip IR0 score associated with loss of trunk endurance as an example.

Trunk Endurance Tests

Trunk endurance tests include long holds in static positions and can indicate poor control. Some tests include the single leg bridge, side plank and Biering-Sorenson back extension test. These give us an idea on how much durability the cricketer must perform their tasks. They may be strong on isometric or functional testing but quickly fatigue. Imbalances here are crucial as they will tell us about favouritisms as well.

As a goal we like side planks at 80 seconds each side, single leg bridges up to 120 seconds and back extension at 3 minutes for bowlers!!

Balance Tests

Balance tests include upper body and lower body balance and demonstrate the ability of the body to maintain its stability. Balance is highly correlated with performance.  Common tests we include in the screen are

  • Y-Balance test
  • Upper limb quadrant test
  • Closed eye standing balance
Balance – cricket performance and injury prevention
Balance – one of the key foundation requirements of all parts of cricket performance and injury prevention

We then use these results to see where a person may be lacking balance and control and correlate with strength, mobility and movement assessments. We can then target exercise to improve these and aim to improve aspects of their game. A useful example of imbalances can see when a batsmen has poor balance on their back leg and falls on to their front leg during a stroke.

Movement analysis

With movement analysis we specifically look at how people control specific movements including

  • Overhead squat
  • Single leg overhead squat
  • Countermovement Jump
  • Single leg vertical hop
  • Single Leg Drop Jump
Single leg drop jump scores
Single leg drop jump scores. A great test which looks peak power but also gives us information about their ground contract time and peak forces which on the back leg are key contributors to bowling speed.

Some important findings we see include the following:

  • Absolute force/power.  We measure how high and powerful these movements are and can compare to standards of other athletes
  • Imbalances. We can identify if one side is being favoured over the other through the forces measured in the force plates as well as any differences in power or height
  • Trunk and limb compensations. We can see if there is significant use of trunk rotations or shifts to maintain balance or generate force.  We can also see if the hip is moving more than the knee and if it is a method of avoiding loading a joint. This can be important as it may impact how people bowl and how they generate control and power.
  • Inefficiencies. Some movement patterns might be slow and place other areas in less efficient positions.  For example, if landing on the left leg results in increased trunk rotation of the right shoulder forward there is less ability for the right shoulder to generate force as it is in an inefficient position.  This could affect bowling and throwing quality as well as predispose the shoulder to injury.
  • Inconsistencies. Some movements may have different patterns every time.  One squat the knee may go inward and forward and then the next outward and stay straighter.  Building consistency into movement is a key part of being efficient in performing a skill repeatedly and is also associated with acute instability injuries such as ACL tears and ankle sprains.

Mobility analysis

Mobility testing includes measuring the trunk, shoulder, hips, knee and ankle. Some important components on a movement analysis include

  • Restricted mobility. It is important to make sure there is enough mobility to perform certain skills.  For example it is ideal for 165 to 180° of shoulder rotation to perform a throw properly.
  • Hypermobility. Some joint have increased amount of movement and will require extra strength to control.  This is true of the hip where if we have too much mobility, specifically hip internal rotation at 0° then the body can start to compensate to protect the area from moving too much and it becomes harder to control.  This is one of the contributors to fast bowler injuries
  • Injury Risk. Altered ankle mobility in the front foot is heavily associated with increased injury risk for fast bowlers. If a bowler has between 5 and 14cm of the knee to wall test they are at a higher risk of injury, especially if the other leg has a different amount of movement.   
  • Imbalance. Comparing one side to the other can give indications on a problem or understanding a movement pattern.  If the upper back mobility is different from side to side, there may be a favouritism to moving a particular way.  It also provides a good comparison for how much mobility someone should have.
  • Performance. Elbow hyperextension is heavily associated with bowling speed and is one of the key contributors to fast bowling.
  •  Fatigue / injury. Loss of mobility may be one sign that an area of the body can not handle the demand being placed on it.  For example hip flexors may lose movement as a protective mechanism due to a longer bowling session.   This may settle over time but left alone or insufficient recovery may see an injury develop.

Functional Strength and Power Testing

Cricketers are now routinely exposed to strength and power testing as markers for their ability to perform.  Strength and power tests can include.

  • 1RM Bench Press
  • 1RM Bench Pull
  • 1RM Squat
  • 1RM Deadlift
  • Isometric Mid-Thigh Pull
  • Jump Height
  • Broad Jump distance
  • Reactive strength index
  • Medicine ball throw
  • Push-up tests

In these tests we are comparing to similar athletes and looking to establish a baseline for improvement.  We are also monitoring for form and ways to improve the ability to generate fast strength.

Speed and Speed-fatigue

Sprinting tests are great for determining maximal speed which is great for fielding, running between the wickets and crucial for fast bowling.  Tests will include 30 m sprint tests and repeated 30 metres sprint tests to look for variations and fatigue.

Maximal Aerobic Capacity (VO2 Max)

Testing for aerobic capacity is done through either a 2km time trial or a VIFT test (like the beep test) and can estimate the necessary fitness required.    Aerobic capacity is a key component of bowling longer spells more effectively and efficiently but also improves mental fatigue and performance while batting and in the field.

Peak Height Velocity and Maturation Status

We can estimate maturation status which refers to the stage of development of a young cricketer.   Peak height velocity is the age of maximal growth spurt and the onset of adolescence.  This has implications for the type of training they should be doing and the type of injuries they are at increased risk for.  We also use these measures for predicting their adult height and bone strength.

Skill based analysis

P360 can perform video analysis for bowling, batting and throwing to specifically look at and identify risk of injury and performance metrics.  This can be used along with your club or individual coaches or with our team to assist in what is required to perform and remain injury free.  For bowlers we can look at counter rotation between the hips and shoulders at back foot and front foot contact and for throwing we can see shoulder positions and pelvis / trunk angles.  Batting alignment can be done as well.  Each player is an individual an this can help us in understanding your necessary movement patterns and strength requirements.

Understanding the necessary skills required is crucial to rehabilitation
Understanding the necessary skills required and getting immediate feedback is crucial to rehabilitation

How will I know what P360 High Performance Cricket Screen is right for me?

P360 can assist in determining the appropriate screening to meet your cricketing needs and goals as well as your budget.  Some examples include

  • Fast Bowler Injury Prevention Screen
    • MVIC testing – upper and lower body
    • Movement Analysis
    • Mobility Analysis
    • Balance and Trunk Endurance Tests
    • Performance Report
    • 2 x testing sessions
    • 1 x Outdoor 3D Video Bowling and Throwing analysis
    • Suited for all fast bowlers 14 years and over, looking to minimise their risk of injury and maximise performance.
  • Fast Bowler Performance Screen
    • As per the Injury Prevention Screen
    • Speed testing
    • VOMax / aerobic capacity
    • Functional strength and power testing
    • Bowling and throwing video analysis
    • 1 x additional clinic testing session
    • 1 x additional field testing session
    • Suited for Rep level fast bowlers aged 14 and above or sub-elite bowlers looking to get ahead of the pack
  • Customised individual High Performance Cricket Screen
    • Targeted towards batsmen, spin bowlers and wicket keepers
    • Costs can vary between $245 and $720
  • Youth Testing
    • Maturation status
    • General Movement Screen
    • Selected strength and mobility tests
    • Individual report
    • $174.85
  • Group, Association or Club Screens
    • Customized to suit needs.
      • injury prevention
      • fitness
      • strength

Enquire here