Monday, June 09, 2008

The aftermath

Yep, I'm a bit disillusioned after yesterday and wondering what I can do about it? Super Dave was saying that he's been working with the Wizard (one of the other leg spin bowlers - there's him and Ross) and he's got him to bring his arm up and bowl differently and it's working and the Wizard is becoming a lot better especially with his accuracy. So that's good.

To be continued....

Right where was I? Oh yeah disillusion. Yep I came away from the match with my confidence in tatters having watched Ross take them apart and getting three wickets and Neil bowl well reducing the run rate. Unfortunately I'm never in a position on the field where I'm able to appreciate how much spin these blokes are getting and I'm always baffled by the fact that Neil always offers encouragement when you do get it right and yet he's nowhere near the bowling and certainly not behind the stumps. So that begs the question what is he looking at when I'm bowling and what is it he's commenting on when I get it right and he comments in a positive manner? I can only assume flight and length?

I have a problem in that I am slow and Super Dave was saying that if I just use my run up more affectively I'll get a bit more speed, but I have a problem in that my legs do this cross over thing that they all reckon is a bad move, but I bowl pretty much side on and the leg cross-over is the thing that gets my body into the sideways position for the delivery. In order that I get speed increase (1) I usually try and whip my arms round faster, but in doing this I then run the risk of becoming less accurate. I was watching Neil and he really whips his arms in his rotation but the ball seems to take a arching trajectory, whereas when I whip my arms and go for speed the ball then takes an 'easily seen' straight line that is very unlikely to deviate off it's line with spin. Or it goes for a full toss. The only way I seem to be able to get the arc is to bowl the ball a lot slower and then it just seems really slow and I keep getting comments relating to the fact that I'm too slow. BUt then reading Philpott yesterday he was saying that pace wasn't that much of an issue, placement and accuracy were far more vital and the threat that it might do something when it pitches and his advice was to ignore the advice to speed up. With him it'a all about the flick of the wrist and getting the ball to spin.

After the game I was so disillusioned that I went over to Local Field and tried to bowl leg spin, but that just made things worse as they ended up spinning to off. I tried to bowl leg spin on a shorter track just to see if I could get it to spin in the right direction - but nothing other than off spin. Eventually what with it being nearly dark I opted to go home and have a look tommorrow.
Tomorrow came and went and now it's Tuesday afternoon 17.35 and I'm on the train. Last night I did go out on the field and threw some balls with the intention of trying to see if I could stop the crossed over legs thing, but I couldn't. I feel like that's the way I bowl. I noticed that Neils run up is very short, but he does one of those hops that many Leg spinners do, but his non pivoting leg comes down in the way that the likes of Jenner and Warned indicate that you should and the leg on which he pivots needless to say does all the right kind of things as well. Having tried to look at the cross-over leg action and getting nowhere I've decided that it's here to stay in the short term and maybe it's something to look at under supervision from the rest of the team next winter if I can get to the net sessions? So next I decided I'd just see if I can speed up the walk-in with the cross over included and the outcome of that was that I can. So then I moved on to the whip action with the rotation of the arms using the leading arm in a really high starting point and the ball arm up level with my face and this worked as well, but this is something I'd looked at previously and knew would work. But yes the rotation of the arms can be increased along with the walk in and potentially I can speed the whole thing up.

In trying to do this I initially was still trying to get the ball to spin like a leg break, but it was doing the opposite so I changed tactics and bowled top-spinners, wrong uns and Doosras. Now these worked well (On rough grass) and all bounced nicely and were very accurate despite the relative increase in speed. Evaluating what was happening I reckon I need to practice more combining both the rotation and the run in with a view to increasing the speed. I think in game situations I'm worried that I'm going to bowl wides so I tend to bowl slower and more cautiously so it seems evident that I need to practice more with a much faster action with both of the aspects discussed and see how it works. Hopefully with the practice will come confidence in my ability to still bowl a good line and length. The other thing that was encouraging though was despite these increases in speed the ball was still spinning well with loads of bounce. I was also looking at the trajectory getting the ball up above the eye level of a potential batsman and still seemingly faster than I would normally bowl?

So now it looks like I've reverted back to being an off spinner (Googly bowler) which does bother me. So then I tried the gipper and it worked really well. As I bowled more of them though the less they then seemed to move towards off and became standard flipper back spinners. What's more some of them bounced up high in a weird way as well so that still needs loads of work. So overall a feeling of desparation still prevails.

The only good bit of news is that both my kids are up for a knock about on the little practice wicket because their mate is up for it and again we played tonight and they're both doing okay in their own little way.

10th June

Another amazingly nice day which means the ground is drying out along with the grass. Coming back from work I did a pitch inspection on the "local field" and it's looking okay - nice and short and relatively flat.

Again the boys were up for some cricket and we went and had a knock about and again they enjoyed it. I think part of the secret to maintaining their interest is that it's short, we all have a go at batting each and rotate fielding, wicket keeping and bowling and by the time we've all had a go it's time to go in.

Once they were tucked up in bed and asleep I went out with the mower and shears and cut the grass and tided it up a bit and it's looking okay. So much so that I took all the gear back to the garage and took the stumps and balls over and threw 36 balls. I had a plan - slightly faster off spin at the stumps. But once I'd thrown 6 balls I then decided to alternate between off - spin and Leg spin using the Gipper to get the turn. It went well - surprisingly well, so for the near future I'm going to work on bowling alternating off and leg spin concentrating on getting slightly faster and more accurate with line and length and see how that works out. So tonight I feel slightly more enthused.