2nd from last nets last night, hardly anyone there, but our net had most of the regulars in it and they're a good bunch of blokes. It includes a handful of spinners including the off-spinner who bowled me 6 times in sucession last year, a leggie and 3 pace bowlers of whom one is very quick. With regards my batting I reckon I've made some advances this year to the point where now I opt to be the first in the nets and get to face all these blokes when they're fresh and fast, whereas last year I used to be one of the last to bat ensuring they were already knackered! The same off-spinner from last year hasn't bowled me once this year and my abilities against the seam bowlers have improved since the end of the season last year when I showed that I could keep them at bay. It looks like now if the balls outside of the off-stump I may be able to score some runs through the region between point and cover and hit the ball back past the bowler on the offisde between the stumps and mid off. I'm definitely a No.10/11 still, but I may score a few runs this year and be able to see that the bloke at the other end gets rotated and puts runs on the board. The biggest area of improvement is that increasingly the fear factor of getting out and getting hurt seems to have diminished, I've still got a tendency on the rare occasion to turn my back on the ball if it bounces up, so I've got to stop that.
Bowling went really well tonight, took several wickets and had batsmen defending rather than slogging and most of those that were getting some bat on the ball were running a very high risk of being caught at square leg. Increasingly I'm bowling round the wicket pitching the ball outside of leg stump turning it sharply into the batsman and tonight I bowled beaut, very wide outside of leg and then it spun in across front of the batsman hitting top of off - lovely ball! More and more I'm finding that bowling like this and onto leg stump is potentially bringing wickets and this is on a mat, so what it'll be like on a wicket should be very interesting.
Prior to going to nets I had a bowl in the Paddock for the first time this year on grass and while I was there I was focusing on getting the ball to really spin and it came together combined with pretty good accuracy and this transferred to the nets, so overall, if this is going to continue into the start of the season, it looks like I may make a good start with both the bat and the ball. I just need to get my core strength back on track and general fitness as I've lost some ground there due to a crappy cold.