JOHN Pratt has a pretty simple theory when it comes to batting.
The harder you hit it, the less you have to run.
The New City star is the first to admit his strategy can often backfire, but it’s a chance he’s happy to take.
After all, it usually works pretty well for the hard-hitting opener, who also plays Ovens and Murray football at Wodonga.
“For me, it’s a good tactic,” Pratt said.
“Whether it’s footy or cricket, I’ve only really got one speed, which is to go hard.
“Sometimes it backfires, but if you get a few out of the middle early it gives you confidence.
“I’ve pretty much played like that my whole career.
“It saves you from running.”
If you think Pratt is a reckless cavalier with the bat, then think again.
He’s got runs on the board, literally, having played grade cricket in South Australia and even represented his home state at second XI level.
“I used to play a fair bit but went with footy because I wasn’t really enjoying my cricket,” he said.
“That was pretty much the reason I quit.
“When I decided to play here, it was only really as a favour for (New City president) Anthony Baker, who I work for, but I’ve ended up loving it.
“I’m enjoying cricket again.”
And with scores of 71, 72 and 89 next to his name this summer, it’s certainly showing.
Pratt is certainly pulling his weight, with 338 runs at an average of just over 48 for the season.
But he admits his helter-skelter style may have brought him undone at times.
“I’ve probably let myself down a bit and I need to start going on with things,” Pratt said.
“I’ve got some decent scores but probably should have made a couple of hundreds.”
And he’d love nothing more than to do just that against St Patrick’s this weekend.
The Phoenix sit just outside the top six with a handful of games remaining, and Pratt said he hadn’t given up on playing finals.
“It’s a pretty big game for us,” he said.
“It’s make or break, in some respects.
“We’re feeling pretty confident.
“We can knock off any side on our day, I think.
“We’re not really talking about finals at the moment but we’re definitely looking to win every week.”