The weather broke at last and we had a 15 degree c day with sunshine and blue skies. The last time it was 15 degrees was way back in November. So what with it being half term I cycled over to the Rec with a bag of balls and a set of Kwik Cricket Stumps to have a look at changing my bowling again so that it incorporates a conventional bound. Followers of the blog and people that know me will know that I have this weird approach to the bowling action and that I've been trying to eliminate it since last September, when I had been suffering from Plantar Fascitis and a physio had said that the cause was probably this weird action. In the last month or so I've been sussing out whether I can bowl with a bound and the evidence suggested that it was looking as though it was going to be possible. I've had several net session this year with both Grays and Basildon and I've not had the confidence to attempt to bowl with the bound, because I felt that it could go anywhere, but today with the sun out and it being warm, I gave it a go.
I was fairly optimistic about how it would go because I'd practiced a little with windballs in sports halls when we play Badminton with the kids and bit by bit it had been coming together just doing that. So, I wasn't that surprised when the first few balls were all on a good length on the offside. I was hoping for anywhere within 3 or 4 foot either side of the stumps as a start but these were all within a foot of the off-stump. Within 24 balls I was pitching the ball outside of Leg and turning it in on the stumps or bouncing over the top of them with quite a bit of turn. In the end I had to take the stumps out of the base and use a single stump because I'd got fed up of having to walk back down the wicket to stand the stumps up again! So all in all a very successful first session with the new bound and it feels very smooth and flowing and enables me to bowl a lot faster it seems. This increase in speed also seems to increase the difference between my slower balls and the faster balls with only subtle changes in the action because it is so smooth. Turn was good, accuracy by the end was very good considering this is a wholly new action and I was able to bowl the variations that I'm currently practicing with; Leg Break, Top-Spinner, small Wrong Un and the the conventional Back-Spinning Flipper all with relative ease. I was bowling so well I thought I'd throw in the re-discovered Wrong Wrong Un and blimey was that a surprise! With my leg breaks I rarely see them drift and I put that down to the fact that they probably don't drift 90% of the time and when they do it's not a lot. But the first Wrong Wrong Un that I chucked up was aimed at the off-stump, but then it drifted late pitched outside of leg although it was initially going for middle and off and turned so much it went wide of the Off-Stump! This is a ball that for all intents and purposes is bowled in exactly the same way that a Googly is and yet it does what a good Leg Break does. So I'll be trying this one out every now and then.
Will I be bowling the new way in the nets this week? I reckon I might be, it'll be interesting to see how well it works.