After watching two recent test series between Sri Lanka v Australia, and India v New Zealand, i thought batsmen from all 4 teams had problem judging the length of the ball. Here is my view on batting.
When learning to bat, one is told to bat side-on, so that the stance is horizontal to stumps -not sure whether it is the correct method/teaching, perhaps it has to do with showing and not covering the stumps, or evading the bounce!.
However with side-on stance it is not ease to judge the length of the ball.
Judging the length of the ball is key to batting and when you are batting side-on, the distance seems either too far or too close. There are cricketers who bat open chested but they basically have learned to bat side-on. However they balance their technique to adapt to various bowling. Balance is a degree of control a person has over their body.
During these two series I was amazed to see bowlers (Indian and Sri Lankan)bowl a lower trajectory(fast bowlers included). This made batting difficult for tourist, and most got trapped LBW(32.00%) or bowled (24.00%). Balance is never evenly distributed if you are constantly changing your footwork, either off the front foot or back foot.
Side-on and open open-chested : When batting side-on you need to turn your top half of your body to judge the length of the ball. With regular training batsmen do adapt, however if the surface is having low bounce than they find it difficult to make assumption of the length.
When you are open chested your footwork is more balanced as the weight of your leg is evenly distributed without much effort. Here a batsman has more time to judge the length and deviation of the ball. It is much easier to play the horizontal shot(cut and sweep shot in particular) and also the vertical shots(flick and on-drive in particular)if you are open-chested.
Having said, batsmen avoid batting open-chested(to avoid getting hit) against pace, unless he is a left-arm quick. Therefore it is better to train under an customised constrained net, where adjustable low-roof can be placed around 10/12 feet height, across 30-yards length. Here even the bowlers have to bowl(both spin and pace) from inside the roof, so they are used to bowling lower trajectory. Initially one can practice with rubber/tennis balls for batsmen to get comfortable with the vision.
This concept can be used by all batsmen(including Asian) in training and practice. During both series i saw few Asian batsmen(having side-on stance) struggling to judge the length of the ball. Their footwork was very slow facing both spin or pace.
Here is small video explaining this concept.
Here are links to other batting post