Coming away from yesterdays knockabout with the 3rds and 4ths at the Rec, there were a couple of things to take away and reflect on and yep, I'll think I'll do this properly and use the Gibbs method.
1. Description; I had to bowl at people that have established records as being competent batsmen with a great deal of experience. In addition these blokes have faced me in net situations before and got the better of me.
2. Feelings; Mixed feelings, on one hand there was the chance that my bowling figures and the chance of being picked next week could be undermined, but on the other hand, my bowling's going well at the moment and there was a chance that I might do okay and in this immediate scenario I'd just taken wickets.
3. Evaluation; The good thing was that I was getting the ball to spin and it was turning off the wicket and I didn't get hit for any sixes and I got a number of dot balls. My run-up and bound all felt good and when the ball came out of the hand feeling right - it did the things that it should have done. The only really bad aspect was that my wrong-un wasn't coming out right most of the time and that cost me runs. If I'd bowled Leg Breaks, I reckon I'd have done a lot better with regards to the runs I conceded.
4. Analysis: I need to be more confident in my abilities and spend some time correcting the things that are not working. Perhaps also recognise after a couple of variations that go wrong, perhaps go back to the stock ball and vary that in some way.
5. Conclusion; Bowl to my strengths and stop bowling the variations if they go wrong 2-3 times.
6. Action Plan; Get out on the paddock and work on the wrong-un and maybe one other variation. The plan this year is to have the Flipper working as well.
This afternoon I wasn't intending on practicing with any intensity, but was hoping to mow the paddock with a view to using it some time in the week. Just as I was finishing it off, one of my mates Thomas Slater (One of the original MPA 1st XI players) came by and joined me, looking to have a knock about in the sun. So that was it, all the plans to take it easy were dropped and I got to bowl at him.
Historically being a left-hander I've always struggled to bowl against him, in addition he's athletic, agile and got very good eye/bat/ball coordination. But today I had no problem and I think this is just a case of I am a better bowler for several reasons and I reckon the main one is the intro of the bound and the incorporation of some of the things that Stuart Macgill has mentioned to me, the key one being the leg coming through. I also had the chance to try bowling some wrong uns and get some practice in with them and playing around bowling to a plan. The good thing was that he adapted and changed his strategies in accordance to what he thought I was doing. The mainstay of his approach was that he moves his feet a lot and was prepared to leave his crease and meet the ball at the point that it pitched. There were a number of different ways I managed to over-come that - Flippers, wrong-uns and Leg Breaks with more spin bowled shorter with loads of dip. The difficult part was recognising from 22 yards away whether he was in his crease or out of it. But overall it was a very useful bowling session in that I was bowling to a LH bat and one that a couple of years ago used to massacre my bowling and this time around the boot was very much on the other foot.
But I still need to work with the wrong un, getting it to come out right first ball up, because when it does come out right it turns very well off the wicket. What I did notice was, it works better with a really relaxed grip, so that's something I need to keep in mind. I also tried bowling the wrong - wrong un, one of Clarrie Grimmetts obscure variations and that was coming out pretty well and I may work with that as it seems to come out better than the conventional flipper which I have been struggling with.