Former English domestic cricketer Julian Ross Wood is ready to don the role of Punjab Kings’ batting consultant, the team management announced today. He is specifically known for training players to improve their power-hitting, a skill much needed in the T20 format of the game.
Wood has formerly worked with players in intense workshops before entering T20 leagues like the Big Bash League, the Caribbean Premier League, the Indian Premier League and other T20 tournaments. The players he has worked with include the likes of Ben Stokes, Prithvi Shaw, Carlos Brathwaite and Sam Billings among many others.
In an earlier interview with The Indian Express, Wood had opened up about playing the big game. “I saw where the game was going before anybody else. I am confident in saying that after speaking to a lot of players over the years.”
Wood started to explore power-hitting after a stint with basketball on a holiday to the United States about 13 years ago. Since this coincided with the time T20 cricket started coming to the fore, he deep-dived into the art of power-hitting, and helped many cricketers excel in it.
A preacher of the power-hitting technique
He also had emphasised on the technique behind big hitting and the importance of using a player’s wrist.
“White-ball batting is hand-eye coordination with power and skill. When you bat, you lead with your head. When you hit, you lead with your hip more. It’s about generating power ground-up, from the hip to the hands. Cricket has been traditionally too hand-reliant. That has to change. Power comes from the torso and hips. A kinetic chain of energy happens when you hit the ball explosively: it comes up from your back leg to your hip, to your back, goes to your shoulder, elbow, and finally to your wrists,” he said in that same interview.
“What I try to do is to join the dots up. You need to separate your hands from your body. You need to do that separation to improve explosiveness. You see that in baseball, the back leg goes back, hands are separated from the body so to say, and then the explosion kicks in,” Wood explained.
With players like Liam Livingston, Jonny Bairstow, Shahrukh Khan and Raj Angad Bawa, who are big hitters themselves, in the PBKS outfit now, it will be interesting to see how his efforts are replicated on field.