Saturday, March 07, 2009

I am a Wrist Spin bowler with a Leg break!


Played cricket with the kids and one of the kids from the estate who played cricket last year joined in too. This kid showed real promise as a bowler last year (Slow) and a year on he's not lost it at all and I've showed him what he should be doing with his leading arm and he's incorporated that into his delivery quite successfully and he took a few wickets - edged and caught balls from high bounces. He was also asking about where he could get a cricket bat and said he was looking forward to getting on the field and playing. Last year he was a bit of a pain - short attention threshold and running off sulking when things didn't go his way, but a year on he maybe a lot better and it's encouraging that he was asking about bats and when it would be that we'd go over the field?

Took the bats along to swimming as usual and while son No.1 is swimming son No.2 and all his mates play cricket and we played continuous cricket today where as soon as the ball was back to the bowler he/she was allowed to bowl again so it was fast and furious ensuring there was a quick turn round of the striker. Then the caretaker came along and let us go outside so that we could let loose a bit more and it got better. Then one of the Dads of some of the boys that also go swimming came out and joined in and this bloke used to play for the 1st team for Ben and Joe's team. He bowled a couple of balls at me and eventually got me out and then I passed the bat to him and already he'd said 'It's all coming - I love this game' and then he batted and you could see straight off that he knew exactly what to do 'This is the first time I've picked up a bat in 10 years... and I can still do it'. Every ball I bowled at him albeit only four using a tennis ball he despatched with ease. 'YOu don't know how good that feels to still be able to do that after so many years'. So I suggested that he join us in the nets next week on Sunday at the very same place we were playing but in the sports hall. He was definitely interested so I said I'd speak to him next Saturday and let him know the time.

Leg Breaks

I'm almost 99.9% certain I've got my Leg Break back. I don't think they're massive but they're looking as though if I work on them over the next month or so I'll get the accuracy and the variation in bounce and dip. You might know that I've been working on this now for months and have had varying degrees of success and stagnation. A couple of days ago reading 'The art of Spin Bowling' by Peter Philpott I re-read some of the text and for some reason a penny dropped. looking at page 33 I just saw the line 'Turn your wrist' and looked at the accompanying image and realised that this was an aspect that I had over-looked. So forgetting the hand and the fingers I just focussed on the wrist. When I bowl the leg break the inner wrist faces the bowler at the point of delivery. The bigger Leg Break it follows will be a product of the wrist turning even further anti-clockwise so that the little finger starts to come round and face the bat - the exact opposite of the Top-spinner which has the Thumb Poining towards the bat and the back of the hand facing square leg. This may not make any sense to bowlers that Leg Breaks come natural to, but if you're suffering from the Googly syndrome and all at sea as to how to get it back, this approach might be of some help? Another aspect that seems to be reaping benefits is the 'Push the ball forward' approach.

I've been bowling up against a wall on and off all day and all of the balls are turning/spinning like leg breaks. This afternoon I went over to our field and threw a ball around on there and that was promising too - very accurate and turning away towards slips.

More Re Thursday Nights Nets

more about last nights successful bowling. I made a concerted effort to change the position of the wrist and it seemed to work. There seems to be some merit in not trying to violently flick the wrist at this stage instead just ensure that the ball leaves the hands via the 3rd finger. While I was there I also recalled someone advising to push the ball forward and again this seems like a weird notion that implies a bent arm in order to push the arm. But this also seemed to work and it was with the pushed forward approach that I got the balls that drifted. The push forward seems to eliminate the chance that the delivery turns into a Wrong Un which for me is a ball that is flung out of the wrist as the hand is kind of unfurled. So for the moment I'm getting success with the following

1. Wrist slightly turned inwards using the 'Round the clock'big Leg Break technique.
2. Don't try and flick it.
3. Push the ball forwards with the delivery.
4. Explode through the crease with a good step over action in the delivery.
5. Ensure the 3rd finger is placed on the crease with a good gap between the up and down fingers.

The other thing I noticed was that my grip was fairly loose. I spoke to Ross Fulbrook our best Leg Spinner who's 15 and asked him about his grip. His grip is very relaxed with all of the fingers evenly distributed - pretty much how I bowl my Wrong Uns.