Red-ball prep readies Lynn for white-ball carnage
Heat captain set to explode against Thunder as Big Bash season kicks off at the Gabba on Tuesday night
16 December 2019, 09:29 AM AEST
Chris Lynn no longer busies himself with longer-format cricket but the Brisbane Heat blaster has revealed a traditional red-ball preparation has him primed to make a serious impact when the KFC Big Bash gets underway from Tuesday night at the Gabba.
The Heat will host the Thunder to open the T20 tournament and as ever, Lynn will be a major drawcard; the six-hitting sensation has 123 maximums in eight Big Bash seasons, with Aaron Finch's 67 the next best on the list.
But the 29-year-old said some in-depth practice sessions with his long-time mentor and Heat assistant Gavin Fitness in the weeks leading into this year's campaign has been valuable to restoring the fundamentals of his technique.
"I actually went back and did a lot of the work that I do when I play with a red ball; getting back to some basic stuff on the pro-batter (a bowling machine that also displays video of the bowler running in and delivering the ball), having 'Fatty' (Fitness) working closely with me," Lynn told cricket.com.au.
"We went back to what's worked for me in the past, because playing Twenty20 cricket you can get caught up in a couple of things and lose a bit of your base.
"Anyone can go out and slog the ball with no technique and get found out very quickly, but I wanted to make sure I had a good foundation there, and I feel like that's worked for me.
"I'm still hitting a lot of white balls but it's just getting into a mindset of hitting balls back down past the bowler along the ground – traditional cricket shots.
"That keeps my head still and means I don't open up too early when I'm slogging."
💥 There were some BIG balls hit at the Gabba last night! 💥#BringTheHeat #BBL09 pic.twitter.com/GmOjxU4Oiz— Brisbane Heat (@HeatBBL) December 14, 2019
Lynn could have been forgiven for getting carried away with slogging; in the recent T10 series in the United Arab Emirates, he was player of the tournament for his remarkable return of 371 runs at an average of 53 and strike-rate of 236.
There were 60 boundaries (31x6s, 29x4s) in those eight innings and while he only faced 157 balls for the series, the right-hander treasured the time at the crease after he had two T20 tournaments cancelled in the months prior. It meant his success in the T10 series had a dual benefit.
"With the Big Bash coming up, I wanted to make sure I got some time in the middle," he said. "Yes, it's 10 overs, but you can still lay a foundation and get back into your match-day routines, playing under lights, that kind of thing.
"So in the end, having 10 weeks off was kind of a blessing. I was able to get really strong and set myself up for the next 12-18 months.
"Gav's been able to give me a kick up the backside when I need it because it's so easy to go away from your routine when you're not playing cricket.
"It's important for me because I'm playing Twenty20 cricket around the world, when I come back to Brisbane I'm not necessarily part of a team."
Lynn, who smashed 76 (33) and 44 (17) for Premier Cricket side Toombul on the weekend, has also experienced his longest injury-free run in more than five years.
"It's a good sign," he says. "Every day you get to know your body better. I'm obviously restricted in the field but I try to contribute in other ways out there, and the longer you play, the smarter you get.
"I know my body is in good shape to handle anything that comes my way now.
"The priority now is to score a million runs; when you do that all those little issues have a way of disappearing."