Friday, April 11, 2008


Day starts of nice enough with the chance of some practice and the by the time I've done some decorating and got access to the car the weather closes in and we had hailstones and thunder. That means our nicely drying out wicket is now damp again.

I've made a start on the Peter Philpott book - The art of Wrist Spin and very interesting it is too. Reading it I'm falling into the trap that if I follow his instructions it seems that I may be able to ressurect the leg break? Already as a really basic training tool he's suggesting that when you're walking around or sitting around with your balls in your hand that rather than spin the balls from the right hand to the left as all leg spinners seem to do spin the ball from your extended arm out in front of you and spin it back towards your chest. The other surprising suggestion is that you spin the ball under arm against a wall and observe the way it spins back away from the wall. All the other suggestions I've read so far I pretty much do e.g. anything that is remotely ball shaped spin it when you're doing nothing or something that doesn't require your hand - watching the tele standing at a bus stop - you know the score - just spin it trying to impart spin on it all the time. Use apples oranges, golf balls, tennis balls - if it goes in your hand spin it! I already do this with everything I pick up and it drives my wife round the bend!

So the weather - yeah it doesn't look good at all. No more cricket for the next few days it seems?

Later on..........

The clouds passed by and the sun came out - April showers so it's to be expected. I got Ben my 9 year old son to shoot some images of my wrist and grip with this new flipper googlie variant and I've posted the images with comments on to see what people make of it, because someone somewhere must have tried this before and no doubts uses it? I can't believe that I've come up with something that's new and that no-one has ever done before? But then how hard is it to saw a shark in half and stick it in a tank of formaldyhyde - the hard part is realising and presenting it as art and for it to be the end product of a series of other associated ideas?

Anyway here it is -

As far as I can make out the batsman sees the back of the hand as it comes over and it's fairly vertical so for all intents and purpose it probably looks like a Wrong Un. But look at the fingers. The grip is the Flipper grip and at the point when you release the fingers are squeezed together in order to impart the spin. The spin then makes the ball move off it's expected course from Leg to Off.

I'm hoping that in situations where the batsman is really confident and can pick the googly he's going to expect the ball to turn away to off and then be completely bamboozled by the fact that this ball turns into off acutely. So once I get the hang of it it's going to look like a googly being put down the legside which will then be expected to spin off towards leg slip and go for a wide and hopefully he'll leave it to then spin back into the stumps or something like that?

Later on I did my "now becoming ususal" running and throwing practice, but because I had a thorough work out yesterday I took it fairly easy today and bowled a bit in between the fitness and throwing training/practice. The ground on this particular field is really lumpy, but the ball was being turned by the spin so it was okay. But it was of very little value as regards analysing the new variation.

After tea the sun was still out - the sky clear and the showers for the moment gone. So I drove over to FTF (Five Tree Field) taking my gear in case any of the indian or Pakistani blokes were about. Got over there and it was empty even the adjacent skatepark with it ususal group of Emo's and Potheads all drinking Vodka and Tennents Extra were not there. No-one came along and I just bowled. Again in exactly the same way as I did yesterday I started out just lobbing the ball from one end to the other not particularly trying and it was going okay. But then I thought - let's do this with some concentration and see what happens. Just like yesterday just by applying myself to the task the difference was enormous. I decided that I'd bowl down the centre pitching the ball 5 yards in front of the stumps and alternate thus - 2 leg breaks (Using the new variation) and one wrong un. It went like clockwork. All the balls I wanted to spin from Leg to off did 95% of the time and all the balls doing the opposite exactly the same. In about 50 balls I bowled 2 wides! This is an amazing difference to my bowling last year. The difference from last September is amazing and again this is only the 4th day that I've been bowling this new variation!

I noticed that the new ball was going well if I changed the angle of my walk in and I also experimented with my wrong un bowling around the wicket, doing this I was able to get the ball to turn in and hit the stumps. All in all despite the weather I managed to cram in loads of cricket practice and fitness training, so a good day in the end. What I need to happen now is to get some blokes together for a bit of a game or a practice in the way we used to as MPA 1st XI or better still a real game with Grays and Chadwell.

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