More rain. We can't complain about the rain here in the UK at the minute as there's been so little of it, but it's a little frustrating when it starts to screw up your leisure time. Our cars dead at the minute and the suspicion is that it's in part due to the rain. So I wasn't happy today when I got a call to join the Saturday 4th XI and had to turn it down because I was mid way through trying to come up with a solution to the car issue. I wouldn't be so bad if I could practice at least, but the paddock is soaked and I'm waiting for it to dry out so that we can get in there. At least though when it does dry it will be lovely and flat and the grass would have recovered a bit.
The bound is back
So what with there being no option to bowl on grass I've been throwing the ball around outside and getting frustrated at the lack of speed I'm producing. I'm getting the ball to spin loads, but only with the loopy flight as mentioned previously. I've been trying to bowl Top-Spinners, but they seem to be ineffective or require a lot of practice. Currently the best ball I've got at the minute seems to be the 'Wrong wrong un' or at least some weird variation of the Flipper. This ball is fast, accurate and breaks like a small leg break. But, getting really frustrated by the way my stock ball Leg Break has been going I thought I'd get over to the tennis courts and have a practice in there and look at trying to bowl a little faster. Again this didn't prove to be any different with the stock ball and the only positive that came out of it was the Wrong wrong un again coming out very well. In my frustration I decided that I'd chance my recently re-injured ligament and see how the inclusion of a dynamic bound would affect the bowling. Massively, is the answer, just a gentle little bound with the inclusion of a couple of details people have pointed out on youtube and elsewhere..... Bowl with the cocked wrist and to get up onto the ball of the foot more in the rotation. All these things combined made a BIG difference, suddenly I was looking like a bowler again, rather than an old bloke. The difference in speed was very dramatic.
4 overs in, (24 balls) back to back i felt the sensation of stress on the ligament and stopped there. I've been doing exercises working to get more strength into the main thigh muscle on the front of the leg as this is the apparent cause of the ligament weakness and this seems to be paying off. So rather than over-do the bowling I'd rather carry on working with the strengthening and physio and be able to bowl better towards the latter end of the season. But, with todays return to the bound and the fact that I've come away with it still intact (the ligament) I'm very pleased.