Saturday, 6 February 2010

A little gentle practise at home

This morning I felt like giving my bowling a go to see how suitable or otherwise it would be for nets tomorrow. I set up a wicket diagonally across the back garden, which didn't quite allow for the full 22 yards plus run-up, but needs must.

So here came my first attempt at leg spin. I was pretty nervous really, as I'd got a fair amount of emotional investment in eventually developing into a decent leg spinner, but at the same time I talked myself out of expecting too much. The way I bowled at school, just getting it in the right garden would be a bonus! After a deep breath I paced up, cocked my wrist, rolled my shoulder over and gave the ball a flick...

To my great surprise, it arced beautifully and landed pretty much at the imaginary batsman's feet! Beginner's luck I suppose, and sure enough as I went on I got a bit wayward. I had problems not lifting my bowling arm high enough, and not aiming with my left shoulder, and time and again I kept trying to remind myself to do these two things, but at least every time I managed to bowl properly it seemed to be pretty good. In the end I bowled for about an hour and by the end I had decent set of components of a bowling action, and it was just a case of putting all these components together at the same time.

Sadly the ground in the garden doesn't help - it's horribly uneven, with the stumps I was aiming at lying at least half a metre above the level of the other end, and the thick damp grass led to a pretty random bounce which made it hard to judge how well I was managing to spin the ball. Added to that I only had three balls I was prepared to use on such a damp pitch, and through wayward deliveries and a foliage-heavy garden this dwindled to just one pretty quickly! (Well there's a simple solution to that last problem - use white balls and I'll see them in the undergrowth with ease.)

Anyway, after finishing my bowling practise I got "Virginia" out and practised my backlift and a few shots. I found one neat trick to stop me leaning back - if instead of lifting the bat with my right hand I use it as a pivot to swivel the back of the bat up as I move my left hand down, my front shoulder stays over my front foot and my left arm bends ready to play a stroke. I'm not sure if this different backlift is the answer - it may have undesirable trade-offs - but I'll try it out tomorrow and see how it gets on.

1 comment:

MPA first eleven said...

I had a bowl today as well, went okay. Good to see that right from the outset you're giving it a good flick. Instead of your garden you might want to try using hockey balls (JJB Sports etc) they're about 3 quid each and bowl on ashphalt. Have a look around for tennis courts, basket ball courts or playgrounds and bowl up against a fence. The balls soon rough up and they're the same weight and size as a cricket ball. WIth this kind of environment (playground) you'll get a better sense of your bowling.

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