Last night Wednesday 10th saw the last net session at the Essex County facilities and after weeks of coming up with reasons for not going Ben eventually and reluctantly came along too. See other post.
The weather at last took a turn for the better and we had a sunny day where the temperature ranged between 10-12 degrees centigrade, so earlier in the day Joe, Ben and I had a knock about in the street and then later over at the old tennis courts Joe and I had a little practice. While we were there for some unknown reason I had a go at bowling the flipper (One that I've not got a video about) which comes out of the hand with the seam spinning in the manner of a flying saucer - not vertical, but spinning horizontally. This in theory should be affected by the magnus force and veer towards leg. As always though I have to include the caveat that although I intend to release the ball in the manner described, I haven't got a clue as to what actually happens because it would require the use of a high-speed camera or someone at the other end who cares about what way the ball spins and currently my sons don't!
Anyway, I bowled a few of these flying saucer balls and the went well... (1). I was able to do it, a lot of these Flipper variations take a lot of practice to get them anywhere near usable. (2). They had some interesting attributes, one of which was they broke to leg, which was unexpected and again reinforces the comment earlier about what I think I'm doing and what actually happens, but the turn off the surface was big, so quite interesting. (3). The ball stalled on contact with the surface in the way that a back-spinning flipper does/should.
Because the delivery is new, I was chucking it up in a loopy manner and fact that the ball speed was slowish, the turn off the surface and stalling affect were fairly dramatic. I read an article by Menno Gazendum, who seemed to have disappeared off the scene for a while, but seems to have returned in conjunction with David Hinchcliffes 'Pitch Vision' and he mentioned in one of his articles about the fact that a lot of spin bowlers (Me included) tend to opt to bowl faster and flatter when you've been hit for 6. He was advocating to possibly bowl slower and loopier, get the ball up above the eye-line and tempt the batsman to do it again and again. So, I've been keeping this in mind and trying it out in the nets and it does seem to work, whether it'll convert to a match scenario remains to be seen, but it certainly does seem to induce rash strokes where the ball is hit into the air -often flying off the bat mis-hit and heading for a fielder. A big part of the equation in club cricket is the fielders making the effort to cover the ground and pull off the catch.
In recent practices, with Joe and Ben and in the nets I've been focusing on the Top-Spinner, Wrong Un and Flipper and bowling my Leg Break a lot less, but the leg break does seem to be coming out fairly well when I use it. I'm trying to be consistent with my run-up and remembering to get side on and cock my wrist more. One of the big things I've noticed is that if I try and force things, it seems as though I then tighten up and suffer from not being relaxed. Feeling relaxed seems to be a major factor as well as keeping things simple and being confident about what you do.
What seems to be working in the nets is starting out with the Leg Breaks and giving the batsman a look at what I do, they soon realise that... yeah I'm a Leggie and they see how much I turn it and what kind of line I'm bowling. They then seem to see that I don't turn it a great deal and after about the 3rd or fourth ball come after me. It's at that point I then change the bowling and bring in the variation, of which I've got the options I've been working on... Top-Spinner, Wrong Un and Flipper, that then creates opportunities for wickets in a number of ways. Generally I'm quite happy with the way my bowling is going at the minute, but looking back I think I've felt this way at the start of the last two seasons and then they've fallen to pieces. I'll just have to see how it goes.