Thursday, October 29, 2009

Performance review and other stuff

Fast approaching November when we'd expect Frost at nights and the potential of snow and instead we've got hazy sunshine and temperatures of 19 degrees centigrade. All the doors of the house are open and we're walking around in T-Shirts.

I've just been over to the paddock and put some more topsoil down to cover the seeds that were sewn a couple of days ago. With it being fairly damp at night with heavy dew the seeds already looked as though they've had a good soaking so now getting covered and the temperatures as high as they are there's a good chance that they might germinate.

Other than that it looks like people are using the paddock for football and there is a little damage to the new grass. At the minute it doesn't look too worrying but it's something I need to keep an eye on. Looking at the state of the new grass it looks as though I'll hold off of rolling it this winter as it looks as though that may do more damage than good. I think I'll just have to be happy with the fact that I rolled it in Sept when it was still bare earth.

For Liz Wizard Have a look at this Liz, the girl in question isn't having it looked at but to me this looks as though she may have dislocated her Knee cap and it's sprung back and it may not have found it's way back quite 100%.

Another exceptionally warm day for the end of October. Today we were blessed with sunshine and at one point around about 15.00hrs the temperature was 22 degrees centigrade. We were out and about at the time and rushed home to get some cricket done before we lost the light and warmth.

With the indoor games requiring a different approach we’ve been playing in the little square outside our house and I’ve ordered a few Readers Windballs from so that we’re able to play on concrete surfaces. I’ve been bowling seam up trying to bowl faster in order that it’s more like the balls that Ben and Joe face when they’re playing cricket against the kids of their age. In addition the emphasis is that they communicate with each other and run hard between the stumps. I have been trying to get them to play a front foot defensive block but they’re not that interested in listening to me, but there does seem to be an improvement in Ben’s batting. Interestingly I noted that when we all played over at Chalkwell Park yesterday that one of the things that thwarted the game was the inconsistency of the bowling and this is something I’ve noted before in several other situations. In the summer during the B&PCC fun day they followed through with their policy of allowing everyone to bowl and some completely random people were allowed to throw ahem – sorry bowl which meant that the poor kid that was batting never had a chance of getting his bat on the ball during the two overs that he faced. The same frustration I’ve noted in the games over at our Valence Way wicket where often the bowling is very wayward. It’s obvious now, but I’ve only just realized this kind of bowling is detrimental to anyone’s progress if they’re looking to learn how to bat. Similarly if you’re learning to bat and learn the basics it probably isn’t helpful to have someone bowling spin at you turning the ball away from the edge of the bat. So today I bowled seam up as I have done before and this means that Ben especially is able to get the bat on the ball and score runs and in doing so keep his enthusiasm levels high. In the summer we had a couple of days where I bowled seam up and it was with this approach that we discovered that Ben has an aptitude to play well off his legs and down the legside. So it looks like that’s what we’ll be doing in future and because of the consistency of the line and length there seems to be the potential for an increase in speed and no doubt a gradual increase in confidence and enjoyment of the game maybe?

At the end of last season Sept/Oct 2008 or perhaps running up to the start of the 2009 season I set myself some targets and Neil my captain set some as well and no looking back I reckon I did okay for the best part. My main objective was to bowl better than my mate The Wizard AKA Alex McLellan. Being a lot younger than me he’s able to play in far more games than I am and it turns out that he’s bowled almost 3 times as many overs as I have so there’s an argument potentially there that his averages are going to pan out to the detriment of his figures. I might argue that as he’s bowling a lot more than me his experience might then offset that detrimental effect? Anyway down to the figures –

My Figures were
Average 12.71
RPO 4.86
Strike Rate 15.69
Best Bowling 4-27

Average 26.35
RPO 5.82
Strike Rate 27.16
Best Bowling 4-40

But more interesting are the bowling figures of some of the more senior players and some of the other up and coming younger players. I wont even begin to consider Neil as he is in a world of his own and holds the clubs all time record as far as I know.

Mike Stephenson (Bootsie) - Senior
Average 10.86
RPO 3.32
Strike Rate 19.63
Best Bowling 4-13

Colin Pomphrett - Senior
Average 20.70
RPO 4.90
Strike Rate 25.35
Best Bowling 4-10

Ross Fullbrook – (youth)
Average 25.76
RPO 5.08
Strike Rate 30.43
Best Bowling 3-19

Callum Sellars - Youth
Average 22.30
RPO 5.36
Strike Rate 24.96
Best Bowling 5-7
3 x 5 wicket hauls

Stat Wars - Bowling Maidens

But then if you start looking at some of the statistical details these are quite interesting. For instance although I had a tactic of attack bowling and had given up on my averages after the mauling by the Leftie at the Runwell Commoners game statistically with regards bowling Maidens I did quite well.

I was 13th in the Maidens league table but then if you look at the Maidens as a percentage of your whole bowling figures I did exceptionally well considering I’ve only been at this game for 3 years. This season of my total overs I bowled 21.85% maiden overs. Looking at the stats for this year amongst the Spinners in the team both Wrist and Finger that 21.85% is the highest percentage with Neil Samwell being the nearest with 13.68%. But then looking at all of the bowling including the quicks I come out as being the 2nd highest Maiden taker as a percentage of total bowling. Some bloke called Paul Gelder beats me with 25.1% and it could well be the case that he's been bowling for years?

Stat Wars Strike Rates

Again I don't really know how important strike rates are in the scheme of things, but I'd imagine that the quicker you get the B******s back in the sheds the less runs they're going to make so hats off to Abdul Stanikzai because he was sending blokes back to the sheds every 13.99 balls. Again I don't know who this bloke is and I assume he plays for the 1st team as probably the Paul Gelder bloke does? But collating the data again I'm surprised at how frequently and infrequently some of my contemporaries are in getting the bats back to the sheds.

If you're a regular reader of this blog you might be aware that I'm not that convinced of the affectiveness of using fast bowlers in isolation at the start of the game and some of this data goes some of the way to back this up. Hopefully the previously mentioned Abdul Stanikzai is a fast bowler and therefore the practice of using pace bowlers against openers is justified to some extent. Admittedly also - the data collected here is from a season whereby 95% of the initial bowling attack for the first 15-20 overs would have been by fast bowlers against the better batsmen from the teams and this is obviously reflected in the data. But anyway the 2nd highest Strike Rate in the team with a strike rate of 15.69 was me. My next nearest Spin contender was Mike Stephenson with 19.63 and then Neil Samwell with 24.64. My mate Wizard comes in with 27.16 with a position of 11th best Strike Rate amongst the serious bowlers. Interestingly some of the people that the Wizard and I have to watch bowling in front of us are way back in the 20's with strike rates up in the 30 + region.

Again I have to say that some of this is fairly naive and I concede that if we were put in as openers on a regular basis I'm far from sure whether we'd be able to post similar figures to the fast bowlers after a season. But then in our defence The Wizard and I are newcomers and given the years of experience some of the others have I like to think we'd give them a run for their money?

In conclusion I reckon I did pretty well and that I more than acheived what I set out to do. The big turning point was back in May when after almost 6 months of trying to work out how to overcome the Googly syndrome I eventually did and got my Leg Break back. I've spent the last year on discussing Wrist Spin Bowling and looking at some of the more obscure Wrist Spin variations and trying them out. I'm now working out some new goals for the next season with a view to improving at a similar rate. I think the key to this happening is to now disregard a lot of the weird variations and to hone my skills with a handful of variations and get really good at those. I'm looking to go forward with 4 different variations but I'm not that convinced I even need 4, but will try it out for at least this season and maybe strip another away the following year.

A key area I do want to improve on that I failed with this year is my batting. But I think the fear of facing the ball is ever diminishing and my determination to improve is increasing and this may be helped by the fact that my son is getting bigger and stronger every day and is no doubt improving himself and therefore I should in theory be improving as he does? After Christmas I'm hoping to spend more time in the nets with my bat now that my bowling is far more accomplished and hopefully I'll beat my record this season?