Thursday, 10 May 2012

Steady progress

I went down to the club on Tuesday for a bowl, oblivious to the fact that the under 15s had a game on. No matter, a few distractions aside I managed to get through a full-ish programme. At the moment there are four things I'm working on and in general it seems to be going well and I'm probably bowling as well as I was at the end of last season. The spin is still there, the flight is still tempting, the accuracy is reasonable and I may even have got a touch faster. Here are the four things and the reasons for them:
  • Straighter run-up - easier to concentrate on target area, less energy wasted and less stress on knees from over-rotation.
  • Higher leap - more energy transferred into the delivery, easier to get into a more side-on stride
  • High front arm - Less tendency to throw the front arm away, better balance, initiates a more repeatable shoulder movement.
  • Higher bowling arm - less variables so better accuracy, slightly more speed, more adaptable for more advanced variations i.e. Wrong 'Un/Flipper
A father of a couple of our senior players, who must have played a bit in the past, came in for a bat and once I'd found my rhythm I was regularly getting him all crossed up, with plenty of stumping and catching chances as well as a few mis-hits, and he said afterwards that he thought I bowled a really tempting length, exactly what I'm aiming for. Just before I finished for the evening, bowling on my own, I started bowling really consistently and produced some really beautiful deliveries.

Tonight we had full nets and I was bowling wonderfully again getting the ball to dip and turn, and with a little wind assistance there may even have been a bit of drift. It was coming out of the hand wonderfully and top-spinners and sliders worked well on command. Every batsman I bowled at gave up the odd chance, and I started to work out plans and get them to work. Overall I was just really comfortable and "in the zone", getting my swagger back and feeling really confident.

Bowling to Joe was interesting. He started off waiting for the turn and seemed to be doing alright. I wasn't really in my groove but soon sussed the problem (lack of leap) and started bowling a little quicker, which started to cause him the odd problem. By the end of his stint I think he was losing concentration a bit, I was starting to dip the ball more and he really struggled to deal with it. Shaun was tricky, insisting on coming down the wicket, so I stopped in my bowling stride a couple of times before he mis-hit one at head height that just grazed my shoulder as I ducked out of the way of it. I hate caught-and-bowled chances in the nets as so often they seem to pose a danger to me given the way my follow-through leaves me facing an impregnable net with no easy escape route.

I did have a bat but it wasn't brilliant, I just couldn't get on my front foot at all and although I was mostly keeping out the yorkers I was struggling to score and did get bowled a couple of times. I did get to a good level of concentration again, and that's one thing that has improved. I think I can confidently predict that I'll never become a master batsman, but I'll keep trying and see how good I can get. Of perhaps more concern to me is whether my fielding will ever be good enough that it doesn't count against me and I can genuinely sink or swim on my merits as a bowler.

Anyway, overall I come away feeling much more confident, much more able to do a job when the ball finally comes my way. I've finally got to the stage where I've overcome the winter rustiness and can start making genuine progress.

No comments:

Post a Comment