Saturday, September 18, 2010

Epiphany - Leg spin bowling drills

Nearly four years now I've been doing this Wrist Spin Bowling lark and all the while I've bowled in my own peculiar way. If you've seen me bowl you'll know what I mean when I say I bowl with a little skip action. Recently someone commented that it looked very similar to the way Tich Freeman bowled and indeed it does if you look at this

But recently I've been putting a lot of work in trying to come up with some video drills and the first one that I got on-line was the 'Stand Start' drill or the 'Bowling from the base' drill as the ECB refer to it, see it here - in making the video and bowling like it in the square (as seen in the video) against Joe and Ben I realised that it's worth as a drill was not to be disregarded and I was hoping that I might be able to follow this one up with the next stage - The one step - then bowl approach. Eventually adding 2,3,4 or more steps. But when it came to going beyond the stand start I just reverted back to my Tich Freeman 'Skip' technique and I realised that this wouldn't be a good example to post up on youtube. So instead I posted the video up on youtube and asked for people to comment on my 'Skip' bowling action.

People responded and the main cricticism was the fact that I do two key things wrong. In frame 79 here you can see my position on the crease is wide of the stumps and then as I go into the gather which coincides with the skip I move across and in front of the stumps. see below.

Then having moved across and in front of the stumps I then fall away to my left. There were other technical issues that I've not even got round to looking at yet, but this prompted me to use the stand start drill as the basis to possibly address the issue of the 'Skip'.

So today having cut the grass in the Paddock (We'll get on to that later) I thought I'd have a go at practicing what I preach and see if this old dog can learn some new tricks. So using the stand start as the basic starting point I was looking to approach the crease and then explode through the crease without using the skip. One of the blokes on the spin forum suggested that I do this, but he said not to worry about where the ball ends up just focus on where your feet are going. So this afternoon I gave it a go. By the time I'd been working on it for about 10 mins I'd got to 2 steps and was getting this - which I felt was very promising. With a few more minutes I was here - note how close I'm getting the ball to land on my target mat and this is using a technique I've never ever used and the outcome seems to be that it gives me massively more control over my line and length. Here it is from the other end close up shot from behind. and the final clip demonstrates the before and after side by side.

I've just now got to get this new technique sussed more and then find a good location and shoot a sequence all at the same place so that it all looks nice and tidy. I'll also invite comments on the action as it is as there are probably still issues?

The sequence above is the new look action and already someon has pointed out that in comparison with the Tich Freeman action this one is lacking the 'Ooomph' through the 'Explosive' stage of the delivery. At the minute my main focus is just getting the feet working so that I go forward and don't waver across the line of direction and for the moment this is working. The 'Explosion' through the wicket aspect will needless to say come at a slightly later stage.
The Skip Issue
Looking again at the skip issue, these two images and the accompanying video show the problem graphically. In image 1 below I've drawn a line from my foot down to the stumps, so in an ideal world as far as I'm aware heeding all the advice from the likes of Warne and Jenner, all the energy from the 'Explosion' through the crease needs to be directed straight down the wicket. So if the rotation is correct the foot should swing round the pivot foot and end up on the red line.
You can see in image 2 below that this isn't the case and I move sideways across the crease with the bottom half of my body. The back - foot in 1 ends up very wide of the red line in 2 and in order to compensate for this I keep my head pretty steady and in line, meaning that bodily I lean over through the delivery. All of which must result in inaccuracy and cause all the problems I have with my inaccuracy. As mentioned above the initial experimentation with the new teccnique has proved to demonstrate promising looking accuracy.

Check out my other blog here - this is all about Leg-spin bowling and nothing else. Double click on the image below.