I tried to - I really did. I really tried to make today a fairly low key cricket day so as to not wind Michelle up. I held out till around 1.30pm when I felt compelled to go and mow the "Local Field". So armed with my shears and the lawnmower Iwent over cut another foot of the long grass closer to the other end and mowed the nice short bit into which I bowl. It looks lovely. Luckily enough I had some stumps with me and threw a few overs before going back home. That worked out fine - didn't impact on any family aspect to life, so got away with it!
Took the boys swimming and met up with my mate Thomas it just so happened I had a hockey ball with me so we spent 20 minutes or so outside the swimming pool bowling the ball back and forth to each other trying to get it to turn. Normally he's a wanna be fast bowler with a dodgey looking action, but today he was trying to get it to spin and he sussed it - left arm wrist spin - like a Leg break to a left handed batsman and he could do it really quite well! I was really surprised at how good he was doing it!
From there we went back to my gaff for a Bar B Que and somewhere along the way the status quo disintegrated and it seemed to be my fault. So what do you do in these situations? Yep you go and bowl and that makes me feel much better but really winds other people up - not just Michelle but my mate Thomas's wife as well. So both kind of really enthused by the affectiveness of bowling back and forth to each other using the Hockey Ball on tarmac/concrete we continued outside my house in the road. This was going okay but I was still not getting a lot of turn with my Leg Breaks and then I thought what if I turn my hand in a position whereby I'm actually trying to spin the ball so it spins back to me?
What I've been trying to do is flick the ball so that it rotates out of my hand in the neccessary anti-clockwise direction and so far this has improved my Leg Break in that sometimes it comes up with a little bit of a Leg Break. But it's not easy and the turn isn't that much. So outside my house with Thomas I thought what might happen that if I do the flick in the same way that Peter Philpott suggests at the early stages of trying to learn the Leg break. Page 23.....
"Try two methods. One is, as we have already discussed, spinning it from right hand to left hand. The other is to hold it out in front of your body and spin it back towards your chest".
He then says "I'll come back to that later". What I've been doing is the spin from right to left with the results described above. But half recalling Philpotts notion that you turn the angle of your wrist to vary the Top-spinner, The small Leg Break and the Big Leg break I had this ephiphanal realisation that the side to side wrist action might be the small Leg Break which is what I'm getting and another turn which in affect is you're trying to spin the ball back into you as described above. So I tried it - the arm comes over but you then do the "Spin back into your body" wrist action and off went the ball floating through the sky it pitched in front of Thomas he raised his hands to catch the ball and then - Oh my God it turned an absolute mile - a country mile as you lot say! The ball came back to me and I tried it again and it worked and again and again. At last after nearly 2 years I've got it sussed I reckon - I can now bowl a big Leg Break!
So tonight I've come back indoors and followed up Philpotts "I'll come back to that later". On page 34 he says.....
"Remember in stage one, I spoke about of the 2 types of spin practice as you begin. One where you spin the ball backwards towards your chest, the other form the right hand over the top to the left hand. Well the first is the maximum side spin practice and the other is over the top practice".
So it's the spinning back in towards yourself that is the wrist technique that gives you the Big Leg Break. So it seems I've arrived, I am now apotential Leg Spin Bowler and already I've told Little Joe my 6 year old son to start spinning the ball in towards himself!
So the bar b que happened and the atmosphere was slightly strained made far worse by the act that we'd gone outside and bowled for 15 minutes. After the Bar B que with the light fading Thomas and I went over to the "Local Field" with the stumps and had another go. Again it was quite successful. I'm not going to quite declare myself a Leg Spinner yet and I'm going to see how things go tomorrow, but I am optimistic because on the grass I was getting it to turn.
The quotes here are taken from Peter Philpotts "The Art of Wrist Spin Bowling" published by crowood. Pages 23 and 34. ISBN 1-86126-063-6.