Sunday, 20 February 2011

The Curate's egg

I don't really know how to describe nets today, I was just about good enough not to be especially bad, and just about bad enough not to be especially good. I suppose on balance I'm a little disappointed that I haven't continued my recent improvements.

My bowling was OK as it goes, I was bowling a reasonably decent line and for once it was my length that was wayward to begin with. I have to confess I was very tired even before nets began, so maybe my concentration wasn't what it should be. My run-up was still a big mess! One guy was hitting out so I started throwing in top-spinners and zooters and managed to stitch him up good and proper with a ball even the most average keepers could have fashioned a stumping out of. A decisive victory for me!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Diagnosis of Leg Spin disorder

Chippyben, a regular partcipant in the spin bowling section of the BigCricket forum, recently posted this and it's so brilliant I couldn't help but share it with you:
Leg Spin Disorder

A disorder that has elements of a mania and obsessive compulsive disorder.

Sufferers have an overwhelming desire to make the batsman look stupid. They have trouble defining cricket from real life. Nothing pervades their thoughts as much as the dilemma of how to put the most possible spin on a cricket ball. All round objects must be picked up and spun. Sufferers feel an overwhelming need to bowl and refraining from it causes mental anguish similar to that of a drug dependence.
Sufferers can bowl alone for hours in a seemingly monotonous task with ever increasing determination until dark or exhaustion overcomes them.They often come away dissatisfied and already planning the next session. They seem to prefer this solo bowling.
The most severe cases can involve googly syndrome. A mania inside a mania where sufferers become so obsessed with one aspect of leg spin bowling they fail to be able to perform any other leg spin deliveries and becomes seriously frustrated.

Recognising the Disorder

- A distant stare whilst making strange contorted movements with the wrist
- Constant acting out of the bowling action, no matter the environment
- Spinning any object that comes to hand


There is no known cure. The only relief is a perfectly flighted leg break that drifts a little before biting sharply, turning and clipping the off bail. Unfortunatelythe relief is only temporary and may result in increasing obsession.
The disorder is worsened by poor and unsympathetic captaincy which can result in a feeling of isolation and for them to seek comfort in their fellow sufferers.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

A Mushroom Cloud Laying Motherf***er

It had all started so well...

I got to nets slightly early this week. One of our local rivals has the nets for the slot before ours, so after a couple of minutes they left and I had time for two or three practise balls before the first batsman had padded up. My bowling today showed some steady progress on last week. I bowled a good, more consistent line, got more spin and the batsmen were playing me with more respect. A new run-up seems to be emerging, but it wasn't consistent. One encouraging thing was that even though my last few steps were a bit tangled I was still bowling reasonably straight, so maybe the accuracy is coming, and perhaps some of the work I've been doing in the gym is starting to pay off in terms of my muscles working in a more co-ordinated fashion. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the progress I'm making with my bowling so far, so fingers crossed I should have some good overs to contribute this season.

I had a bat towards the end of the hour, and again it seemed mostly promising. I was trying out a backlift I'd been working on during the week and it seemed to help a lot with my timing. I wasn't bowled once (if you discount one which dribbled off my thigh-pad and bat back on to the stump) which is pretty much a first. Again my leg glance seemed to be my best shot, and given this perhaps I shouldn't look to leave quite so many leg-side balls. I did bat pretty seriously, no silly slogs, but the one really black mark was that my footwork was, not for the first time, virtually non-existent. I'm finding it extremely frustrating but it wasn't for lack of trying, my legs just don't seem to react fast enough. Anyway, despite rather more edges than I'd like I am continually improving how often I manage to get a good hit on the ball. With my pads off I went back to bowling for a little while, but with about 5 minutes left I bowled a very nice ball and decided to call it a day on a high note.

Then we had our fielding session, and the wheels came off a bit.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Encouraging signs...?

I was back at Blessed Bill's for nets today, and came away feeling heaps better than I did last week. Firstly, my bowling was much better, with the ball coming out reasonably well, landing in the right areas most of the time and on occasion I was putting the batsmen in trouble. I'm not bowling as well as I can, but for some reason it was much, much better than last week. I felt as if I was taking my time more and bowling in a slower and more relaxed way, so maybe last week was a temporary reversion to the same problems I started with last year, trying to bowl too fast and too flat. I still struggled badly against left-handers, so that's definitely something I need to work on. Another potential dark cloud is that there was another leg-spinner bowling today who looked pretty handy, so maybe I've got some pretty stiff competition!

The coach asked us to have a think about what we were aiming at when we bowled, to which I replied that I could tell him straight away - I first look for where I want to plant my back foot, then change focus to where I want the ball to land. He said I ought to work on not having to do the first part, but it seemed to affect my rhythm so I went back to my tried and tested method. It may be that I can sort this out when I practise on my own, but in these nets I can't afford to waste too much time on it. My run-up does need a lot of work, as since I junked my original run-up I haven't yet settled on a replacement - I just walk in and improvise.