Stuart Macgill had linked Frank Farrington’s bowling at Wickford to his Google page and had commented on it. The main point that he picked up on was the need for his leading arm to be stronger and higher, he’d given me some feedback on my own bowling and having looked at the rate of ‘Whip’ that Frank uses in his bowling I decided to go over to the Rec and have a bowl. Part of the incentive was that the weather has taken a turn for the better and for once it was in double figures at 10 degrees centigrade. Another aspect of my bowling that I wanted to look at was… could I do it still in view of the recent foot injury which as far as the doctor was concerned seemed to have me written off? Last week at youth nets I’d bowled a little and had come away okay, so I was fairly optimistic.
The plan was I wasn’t going to go mad, I was just going to bowl 30-40 balls and see how it goes and if there was any niggles or pain I’d stop. As it turned out from the ‘Can my body still do it’? perspective, it went okay and my foot didn’t seem to be an issue at all, I thought maybe I’d get through it and have to then have an ice bath for the foot, but everything was fine. What I did do though was, video my bowling action from half-way up the wicket pointing directly at me, so that I could look at the intricacies of the action – specifically arm speed and whether my foot was coming through past the pivot foot rather than around it. Having got home and quickly uploading the footage and looking at it in some slo-mo software, I can see that there’s a lot of work to be done. In Stuarts video here one of the things that he discusses is the need for consistency in the way that you run up and approach the crease. This aspect of my bowling is forever changing and since losing the Tich Freeman skip I’ve gradually moved towards a MacGill-esque approach as well as experimenting with the Warney walk-in. I’ve been advised by bio-mechanists not to use the Warne method as it’s very demanding on the body and as a result I’m undecided about the faster running-in MacGill method or a bouncy skipping-in technique. But today I went for the faster method, which part of me likes and prefers, but the results are less consistent and I always feeling like I’m bowling flat without any loop, so it’s still very problematic.
Playing back the video though and looking at my approach in slo-motion, I can see that although I’ve tried to be consistent in that I’m using the faster more aggressive approach, it’s still all over the shop and if you look at the video, each delivery is very different and lacks the essential consistency as stipulated by Stuart. There are one or two positives to take from it though, the leg does come through in some of deliveries and the evidence would suggest from my comments as I come out of the follow through that it has worked. Where-as the leg swinging out a-la Warne and Fingers Spinners (Allegedly) results in the ball being a wide down the leg-side. Looking at the ‘Leg-through’ approach, I would admit though, like most of the action it’s lacking in the explosive aspect and this would be very worrying if it wasn’t for the last delivery at the end and one or two of the deliveries towards the end. The Flipper delivery you’ll notice is far more dynamic and in comparison you can see that the body is used (Core) in the delivery with no impact on the arms. My concern going into this season would be that I would suffer a re-occurrence of the Deltoid strain and thus far this hasn’t been an issue. The effort that is put into the delivery of the Flipper is far in excess of the Leg Breaks, but I’m of the opinion that an equal amount of effort used with the Leg Break might cause problems? Why this is I’m not sure, but may have something to do with the way that I rotate my whole arm and wrist in order to get the side spin on the ball. But, generally I’m not happy with the action and the lack of explosiveness in the main deliveries.
Thinking this through, I can imagine that I might be able to put the additional effort into the delivery if I change my technique and perhaps roll the ball out of the hand rather than flick it? The other option would be to consider re-introducing my wrong-un and working with that? At the peak of my career as such, all my best performances were bowling a combination of Flippers and Wrong Uns, but in doing so I lost my Leg- Break, so if I was to practice the Wrong Un again and get it back up to speed, it might impact on my stock ball?t is here.