Sunday, 20 March 2011

Steady progress

Nets today was another good day for me, my bowling in particular feeling very solid and pretty consistent. I've definitely hit on a good trajectory as time and again I'm consistently beating the batsmen in flight. It's giving my confidence a big boost to know that I'm bowling mostly good balls and my wayward deliveries are slowly disappearing. People are beginning to notice my improvement and hopefully Sam will be able to have confidence in what he'll be getting if he brings me on to bowl.

There was one batsman who seemed to be smacking everyone about and I couldn't find a way to beat him, but looking at the field I tend to imagine setting (see the diagram on the left, if it's not clear enough click on it) I doubt he would have scored too many, and his singles would have got him off strike anyway. I did get him to edge one to or possibly just over the slip. Most other batsman appeared to be having real trouble dealing with the way I flight the ball so like I say, I'm pretty confident that given enough time in the middle to establish a rhythm I can do a decent enough job and, most importantly, TAKE WICKETS.

There was one new guy at nets today, looking rather young and inexperienced. He seemed to be having trouble with pitching the ball so I gave him a brief word of advice and it seemed to do the trick. It was nice seeing him, as it was an encouraging reminder of the stage I was at this time last year, and how much improvement I've made since then.

My batting wasn't as good as last week, but I did discover a few things. After a feast of cross-batted shots last time I went into the nets today determined to play straight, and it was, well, revealing... I am quite appallingly vulnerable to swing, especially early on, and time and again today I was loft wondering just what the hell had happened as the ball either whistled past the edge or rifled into the stumps with a damning thunk. One thing which didn't help was a shot early on where I blocked the ball in such a way that the bat jarred painfully in my hand, reawakening the bruise on my right thumb from last week. I don't wish to make that sound as an excuse, and actually I was pretty impressed with my concentration throughout. However, something seems mechanically awry with my straight drive, as I can't seem to hit one to any ball above slow/medium pace. Work needed on that then, although happily when I did go cross-batted against spinners I seemed just as proficient as last week.

The fielding session afterwards was probably the most encouraging though. We went through a number of drills and throughout I was performing better than I would expect, and in particular my ground fielding (which I fancy to be my speciality) seems as good as ever. My catching was unusually good and my overarm throwing is light-years ahead of what I remember from last year, so these drills are certainly helping. One drill we did at the end was fun: taking diving catches while jumping on to crash mats. Right at the end we had a competition to see who could take the most spectacular-looking catch, and with a textbook dive to my left-hand side I won it!

I've often said on here how important it is for me to get my fielding up to a good standard, both to help the team overall and to give the bowler a feeling that I'm trying my best to help him, so with these drills I seem to be getting there slowly but surely. Most importantly, in all areas I'm either noticeably improving or at least identifying areas to work on.

1 comment:

Russell said...

Excellent post as usual, good to hear things just keep getting better. I seem to have had the opposite side affect from net batting I can only face face now and just can't wait for the ball anymore which use to be my strength! :D
I think that is just a nets thing though?

Must be about a month till the season starts can you wait any longer?

All the best for the season may the wickets be with you!

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