Tuesday, 26 January 2010

The divine art of the wrist spinner

Since my Girlfriend planted the idea in my head of playing cricket it's been at or close to the the forefront of my mind, and the more I think about it the more I want to be able to bowl a bit. After all, declarations aside no Test Match in history has ever been won by a team that didn't get 10 wickets in an innings, so I've never subscribed to the view that cricket is a batsman's game. In fact, I usually find that I enjoy following a match more during the opposition's innings than during my own team's - and wickets are much more exciting and important events than boundaries. Also, If I've got the ability to bowl an over or two and maybe pick up the odd wicket it will help me stay in the team when my batting takes a dip.

So I've been thinking about what type of bowling would suit me and would sum up my observations as follows: Fast seam bowling - I'm neither tall enough, nor fast enough, nor sadistic enough. Fast-medium/medium-fast swing bowling - as a former undergraduate studying aeronautics this seems a good choice, but I still don't think I'd have enough pace. Medium-pace - No thanks, I'm not an accountant. So having ruled all that out, it seems spin bowling is for me, and the more I think about leg spin, well, the more I think about leg spin...

I'm becoming rather obsessed with the idea. I've been searching the internet for any information I can get my hands on. I've watched videos on YouTube, read reams of stuff on various blogs and websites, and now I've really got my heart set on learning how to bowl a really ripping leg break. I know, I know, it's the most difficult skill in cricket... So much for setting modest, achievable goals!

Anyway, I've snapped up a copy of Peter Philpott's "The Art of Wrist Spin Bowling" (see photo) and bought a dozen balls so that's a start. My girlfriend's also volunteered for wicketkeeping duties which will be very useful as she can give me good tips on my action. I'm not expecting too much in the short term, I'm very much setting my horizons in years rather than months and anticipating hours of back-breaking practice before I go anywhere near bowling at a batsman. Wish me luck - I'll need it!

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