Monday, 9 August 2010

A little gentle bowling

This evening I was at a loose end (for once) so I popped down to the club and bowled in the nets for about an hour. The club was deserted so it was just me, a setting sun and a couple of dog walkers. Rather frustratingly, every time I bowl I seem to discover a new combination of things sodding up my consistency. I wasn't bowling at 100% on account of the lurgy tonight, but felt much more up to it than I did on Saturday.

There were a couple of things that I was looking at today, the first being the position of my left arm as I prepare to deliver the ball. As I've said in relation to my batting stance, I'm right hand-right eye dominant, meaning that the conventional bowling style of peeping round the front arm can sometimes mean I cover my dominant eye. However the way I use my left arm is critical to ensuring I'm balanced on delivery, so adjusting it could be problematic. Then there was the usual thing of remembering to get my head moving in a steady horizontal fashion as I deliver the ball. When I remember to do this I usually feel the main difference in my action in my legs and feet, and interestingly I was reading in Bob Woolmer's Art and Science of Cricket where he was saying that much of the spin comes from the pivot round the front foot, so perhaps this has added benefits as well. Finally I found, rather weirdly, that if I focus relentlessly on the area I want to bowl into it's not as good as if I split my focus into two steps, first for the first step or two focusing on where I want to place my feet as I deliver the ball, and only then switching my focus to where I want the ball to land.

What do these all have in common? Well, it seems they're all about balance and repeatability. I seem to be having a lot of problems with balance, both when batting and bowling, and my balance has never been exceptional which probably has something to do with the problems I had with my ears as a child. At least with bowling I get to premaditate my movements, so it should be less of an issue.

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