After spending all summer trying to get the Flipper to pay dividends as my stock ball I've had to review the situation. It seems that in practice (This is still the case now) I can get my Flipper to turn acutely across the wicket from Leg to Off. But on the wicket at Blackshots it just wasn't happening and that tied in with the psychological aspects of having my confidence knocked for 4 along with the ball mean that my bowling was poor.
Then in the last game we played I saw the bloke that got the multiple maidens. He seemed to be bowling straight balls, straight down the wicket at the stumps on a good to short length, nothing flash just very consistent. So I've left the Flippers and now I'm concentrating on bowling Top Spinners but getting them to land in a very small area to order. So over the next few months all I'm doing is bowling 95% Top Spinners concentrating on line, length and flight. The other 5% will be the ocassional Flipper and Wrong Un which will serve as my variations. On that front since laying off the Flippers and concentrating on the Top Spinners it seems the rest has done wonders for the Flipper as it seems to be a lot more accurate now that I bowl it less?
With regards playing for G&CCC my main strategy will be to try and ensure that I don’t suffer any injuries. Seemingly the problem areas are
• Sprinting in the outfield calf muscles
• Sprinting in the outfield thigh muscles
• Throwing the ball in from the outfield shoulder and upper arm muscles.
Needless to say it sounds like I might have to do some kind of training with my legs, either more running or more cricket specific running. Looking back all the time I was practicing over at Great Berry I never suffered and that represented cricket specific training. As soon as we had the problems at Great Berry and the practicing tailed off that’s when the injuries started to occur. It may have been the reason for both the arm and leg muscle pulls?
With the throwing it’s also obvious technique is also an issue, so I’ve got to look at my technique.
Bowling aims – to take more wickets. The equivalent of one per week would be really good and to reduce the amount of runs I conceded. All of this I’m hoping will simply fall in place because of the new strategy with the Top Spinner ball which will become my stock ball. I’m hoping that the fact that I deliver it straight will mean it will threaten the stumps and cause the batsmen to play in a more cautious manner.
Persevere with the Flipper and the Wrong Un and have them as my other balls in addition to the Top Spinner.
Batting – I’ve not even addressed this yet, but one of the blokes at G&CCC commented that I need to move my feet more and stand slightly sideway to the stumps rather than directly in front of the stumps and then not move. At the end of the summer I had started to practice with a ball up against a wall which was useful in that it forced me to move my feet in relation to the trajectory of the ball otherwise I wouldn’t be able to get behind or on top of the ball. The thing with this is finding a decent wall and a ball with the right amount of bounce. Having said that now having discovered the basket ball courts with their high fences and tight nit mesh I may be able to use large bouncy balls if they come back off the fence in the same trajectory that they went into the fence? Something to look at for the future. Ideally when the spring comes I’ll be able to resume practicing on Great Berry and people will join in over there.
Teams – Obviously I’ll be playing all year with G&CC. Other than that I’m looking to get a team together within the college amalgamating our old MPA teams with sports science. The intention then is to play against G&CCC a couple of times if not more.
The other thing I’d like to do is get the blokes over at Glouscester Park to get a team together and play them over at Glouscester Park or Great Berry. There is so much potential there it would be a shame if those blokes never ever got to play a real game, so I’m determined that I get that together somehow.
I've started a fitness regime with a strategy to get my upper body strength increased - arms and shoulders with some attention to core strength. I've got a series of exercises I'm doing every other day and for the next month I'll be doing the exercises and seeing how I get on. I'd imagine that if I keep it up for a week or two the exercises will then become easier and I'll increase the amount of reps. Once I get organised what I may also do is post the exercises on www.simplycricket.net and get feedback from the people on there - Liz Ward and David Hinchcliffe of www.harrowdrive.com That way hopefully I'll be building up to a good start to the season at G&CCC.