Sunday, 30 January 2011

Back in the nets, back in the side netting...

This afternoon we had our first net session after the winter lay-off, with two slight changes on last year: firstly, we had a coach present, and secondly, we only had an hour of nets instead of the two hours we had previously. This latter situation meant there was no time for me to have a bat, which is rather frustrating, although I do understand that new players needed assessing and with it being the first session we had a higher turn-out than I expect we'll have in later sessions.

Another thing that was frustrating was my bowling. Virtually every aspect was frustrating. For some reason I was spraying down the off-side, pretty much the same as I had been doing at the start of last year. It kept on happening and since I couldn't have a camera rolling I only have other people's opinions to go by - and to be honest I'm not sure if they properly understand what I'm trying to do. Phil, a great guy, was trying to be as helpful as he could and from his feedback it seems I was bowling with a bent arm and/or getting too front-on too early. I tried my best to figure it out but it kept happening.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Pre-season preparations

Apologies, my blogging this Ashes series has been absolutely non-existent. Of course, you didn't need me to tell you how well England played, and having stayed up every night for a couple of months I've been suffering from a fair amount of "jet-lag". Anyway, nets start at the end of January as a new season beckons. It seems I've spent all winter looking forward to it, when I've not been up at all hours watching cricket.

Over the winter I've done a fair amount of reading, and have now read all three of C.V. Grimmett's books - Taking Wickets, Tricking the Batsman and Grimmett on Cricket - as well as books by two more of yesteryear's great leg-spinners - I'll Spin You a Tale by Eric Hollies and 10 for 66 and All That by Arthur Mailey. The latter two have rather less to say about the technique of leg-spin but are both entertaining and interesting reads. Mailey's description of the day he bowled Victor Trumper with a Wrong 'Un has a fun counterpoint in Hollies' description of his dismissal of Sir Donald Bradman, again with a Wrong 'Un. Mailey has rather more sympathy for his victim, which probably says as much about the batsmen as it does the bowlers!