Spinning the Ball
With the weather being so abysmal not only rainy but horrible and cold generally when it's not raining, I've not been getting out and about. That coupled with Joe needing attention and lots going on at work at this time of year - courses finishing, A-Level exams and assessing all over the place, there's been very little in the way of opportunities to get outside and throw the ball around. So instead I've been flicking the all and looking at the positions of the wrist and how it effects the spin. I've even been outside spinning the ball up against a wall and watching how the spin effects the movement back off the wall. One of the blokes on the forum I comment on - Macca always recommends this as a way of checking what you're doing and he says of this as a tool "The wall never lies". My wall isn't much cop, I'd like it to be bigger, but it'll have to do and it has worked because bit by bit over the weeks the work I've been putting in flicking the ball from hand to hand and up against the wall seems to be paying off...
Most of my recent practices have gone reasonably well with nothing much to report on that is negative off the back of the sessions, yeah the sessions have hiccups during them, but increasingly I've got the tools to quickly address these and I get my bowling back on track. But, to say that I've got good control over the subtleties of the Leg Break would be a massive over-statement. I can vary to some extent whether I bowl the 45 degree Leg Break or a small leg break with lots of Top-Spin, but it's a fluke if I get the ball coming out at 90 degrees and I certainly couldn't guarantee that I'd be able to do it 2 or 3 times in an over without messing up some other aspect of the bowling action.
But over the last couple of days working with the ball up against a wall, messing around with my grip and wrist presentation I've been able to get to a point where I can produce the ball spinning at 90 degrees. Not only that - but with what looks like more spin than I would normally get. I've tried to today over 22 yards using Hockey Balls and that went really well, so things are looking good. The only issue was that I felt really un-fit as since Joe has had his accident and the rain came, I've done very little in the way of exercise and bowling, so I'm going to have to work on that pretty intensively.
The other thing I've re-visted off the back of reading some of Brian Wilkins book "The Art of Bowling" is the Flipper. There's a very good section in this book on the Flipper and it's origins and it discusses the Variations as described by Grimmett in his 1930's book 'Getting Wickets', I've not read it fully but he discusses the variations and their potential by the looks of it, but somewhat disappointingly he does concede that he didn't dedicate a great deal of time trying them out (Unlike me) and if you're looking for some practical guidance on the Flippers you could look at my Youtube Channel via this video here where I explain my take on some of the obscure variations. Whilst I'm not going to re-open the chest of Flipper Variations I have been looking at the conventional Back-Spinner and I reckon there's a chance that if nailed properly and floated in amongst a series of Over-Spun Leg Breaks the back-spinner which stalls massively could have the lesser batsman playing at fresh air? So I may work with this over the summer if it ever stops raining!