I'm not getting any games at all at the minute so I haven't got any sense of how well I'm doing bowling wise, but hopefully tonight I've got Paul Card coming over from B&PCC to have a bowl and a bat in the paddock and if it doesn't rain tomorrow my mate Simon might come over tomorrow, so they'll be a bit of test of how it's going. My older son Ben who fancies himself against my bowling generally comes unstuck pretty quickly despite slogging me a couple of times, so maybe something's going right?
Generally though Ireckon I'm bowling as good as I've ever done or possibly better, with the knee injury holding me back a tad, but that does seem to be improving slightly. One thing I am probably doing is being hyper critical of my bowling, this is in part down to the fact that I'm seeing other good Leg-Spinners (Dave Bonnet) and getting in depth analysis of my own bowling via youtube and the Bigcricket website members who discuss each others bowling. In comparison with some of those I've still got a long way to go.
Recently I've gone back to some really basic approaches to my bowling. For a start I've got rid of the stumps and I'm no longer concerned with hitting the stumps as the evidence would suggest that hitting the stumps as a percentage of the wickets you take as a wrist spinner is low in comparison with creating catching chances. So, in line with that approach I'm currently bowling onto a 12" x 12" mat moving it around trying to hit that. It follows that if you can put the ball where you like then you're more than likely to be more effective as a bowler? Currently I'm moving away from my year long obsession with how the ball leaves the hand and what you do there in order to get it spinning, because of late I'm aware of the fact that I do get it to spin and the spin is okay. The evidence and advice I'm getting is that the whole action approach if I get it right will improve on the spin and start to introduce things such as drift and dip and the thing I'm currently focusing on is the need to get up on the toes, getting tall and twisting the ankle in the rotation. It's this twisting action of the foot/ankle that is going to produce more spin + the drift and dip and the evidence during the last few practices is that this is indeed the case. So here's a video on youtube showing where I was on July 30th with this.
I'll work on this now for a week or so whilst at the same time working with whipping the arm over and tucking the arm in during the action and see what the results are and I'll upload another set of videos and hopefully there'll be something to report on.
Update: Just today having messed around with this for a few hundred balls it looks as though this is making a noticeable difference. Getting up the toes and twisting seems to sort out the arm action and the way the ball travels through the air. I seem to be bowling considerably faster with not a great deal more effort, yet the ball seems to be dropping on the length that I want, suggesting that one key improvement that is already evident is Dip? It also looks as though I am getting drift on the odd ocassion, but why that happens and how to ensure it happens when I want it to, completely alludes me and is something I may ask about, but from all the youtube videos and things I've read in the past it may be one aspect that you can't guarantee? With the dip there seems to be more 'action' on the ball in that it seems to bounce far more and with increased vigour. The turn off the wicket at the minute isn't massive all the time, but that may be due to the paddock being pretty smooth at the minute, because when a loose ball has gone leg-side into the rougher areas it's spun loads. So things are looking interesting.