What a fantastic night at the nets! Initially it was rubbish as I got warmed up, not helped by the fact that we had 7 blokes in the net bowling so none of us were able to get into a rhythm. So Neil passed through the nets not too bothered with anything I threw up there and Danny had pretty much the same experience, but then we had 'Colonel' in the nets. I don't know Colonels history so whether he's seen as having any strengths at batting I'm not sure, but he arrived just at the point when I got into the groove as such and my new Leg Break began to come together with a bit of dip, bounce and some turn. So with it all coming together I hatched a plan - bowl a consistent line Leg Breaks up towards the off stump trying to keep it accurate and threatening the stumps. Colonel saw what was happening and then took to stepping back and square cutting the ball quite effectively out towards point or a bit forwards of point. So I kept that going and he was loving it and then threw up the wrong one - Got Him! Then I got him with a Flipper and possibly a Gipper as well, all bowled at differing speeds and lengths after the initial series of Leg Breaks. He was all at sea and I think he conceded that I'd got him at least 4 times out of about 7 balls.
Then Wayne had a go and he fell for the same trap, got him as well. He also had problems with simply just turning it from one direction to the other and bowling varying lengths and the Colonel had the same issue with the length as well as I think I hit him on the toes once or twice but outside of leg stump with Leg Breaks.
But then I had Matt come into the net. Now that is a different situation altogether, for one he's left handed and exceptionally adept at coming down the track and hitting the ball at the point it pitches. He also detected the longer balls and simply defended those by tapping them away down his leg side. With his attacking approach that kind of got me unsettled and I couldn't come up with a solution so he completely dominated the spell that he was there for, I got one or two balls past him, but they were wide of the stumps and even though he tried to play for them they were nowhere near getting an edge. Coming back in the car I was thinking about what I might have done and come up with this. Because he's left handed my Wrong Un's which are possibly my best delivery are the equivalent of a Leg Break ball for him turning away towards slips. So I should have bowled them - this might be a useful strategy because they probably differ in nature to finger spin offies and therefore might be trickier in flight and bounce characteristics? So if I was to then bowl a sequence of these up, prepared to get hit a few times that might then psychologically allow him to settle and relax a bit? Once he's there I then bowl something like the Gipper or the leg break that turns the other way into the stumps or his body and might come off his gloves. I suppose this relies on how clever and aware he is as a batsman, he looked pretty sharp to me, but it'll be a challenge to see if I can work a plan on him.
Before the nets Terry did his usual training drills and this week he was showing us the sweep shot amongst other things. This is a lovely stroke to be played against spinners and Matt had done me a couple of time using this shot in the nets. But in the practice drills I had a go and was able to hit the ball down the leg side which is unheard of for me! So I was looking forward to giving that a go in the nets against The Wizard and Colonel, but I didn't get a chance, so that's something I'll have to remember for next week and try out in the nets.
All in all this was an exceptionally good net session for me with the Leg Breaks coming good all night and getting better as the night went on. I didn't focus on the shoulder rotation too much but was aware of it and gave it some consideration, whether that caused the good bowling and the increased turn I couldn't say, but some of the stuff I was bowling up there was fairly impressive for me. One in particular against Wayne that went down the Leg Side that Wayne nonchalantly went to dispatch in his usual adept manner spun off the matt viciously with a hig bounce and got him in the stomach.
I can't wait for the season to get started and for the weather to turn just so that we can get out over the field. The weather prediction so far is fine for the weekend so there's a chance we may get out on a field this weekend?