Thursday, April 10, 2014

What the hell!

What the hell? It was only yesterday, last night in fact I was saying that I was going to give up on my search for drift, because it seems because of my high arm action it just doesn't happen for me. Then today I go out and have a bowl over at the paddock and lo and behold 80% of the balls I bowl drift like crazy! What the hell is that all about?

In fact I think I know, it kind of makes sense, but again it's down to one of those situations where it just takes me an age to learn, because I'm so intent on doing it my way rather than take on board everything I know and tell other people to do! Here's the explanation...

I think this is one of the Old dogs and new tricks scenarios. I bowl in a way that kind of feels right and feels comfortable and for the most part it works for me. Every season I try out different things and generally small aspects of my bowling improve. At the end of last season I was doing okay I'd worked out a run-up that I was happy with and I'd changed my grip to a ridiculously loose one and things were coming together, but one of the things that wasn't happening was drift.

At the end of the season and only yesterday a bloke on the bigcricket spin threads said that I shouldn't be too fussed on the drift thing and just play to my strengths and work with what I've got, and that was how I was going to approach the new season. But already in the last two days I've been thinking about my run up and the approach to the crease because I've got two kind of versions...

1. The faster longer more explosive version which at the moment works well when I combine Flippers with Top-Spinners.

2. A shorter version that works well with leg breaks and top spinners, but so far hasn't felt right, I know I'm not getting side-on and I know I don't get up on the toes and trying to do so feels like a complete mess.

So today I'm having a bowl in the paddock with my 12 year old son (Joe) and it's not going too well.

"Dad, your bowling action through the crease is crap, you're not getting side on, you're not getting up on your toes and you're bowling front on... and your bound is crap". So I say
"Okay I'll try and get side on and up on the toes then and see how it goes"? I do a few run-ins without a ball and it feels weird and wrong. I persevere and it still feels wrong, but what's supposed to be happening is happening. I get a ball and try with a ball. The ball is released and lo and behold it looks like it drifts. Joe's at the other end...
"Did that drift"?
"Yeah loads" And it turned off the crease loads. Next ball up - same thing and again and again. For the next 40 or so balls 80% of them drifted with masses of turn off the wicket!
I can only think that it's the side on and getting up on the toes aspect and the fact that someone was there watching and telling me that I was doing it wrong - even though he is only 12 years old!!!
Can't say that I believe it'll happen again tomorrow, but in theory if it's the side on and up on the toes that makes the difference, then I'm going to have to work with it - although it feels awkward and difficult. I guess if I go out every day and just keep bowling in that way - getting side on and up on the toes it may start to feel natural? I think in the past I've tried this and have given up simply because it feels wrong and I've lost my accuracy.
Paddock maintenance
The council cut all the grass today in the paddock and I had a word with the bloke cutting the grass asking him if he'd try and avoid the bits we've seeded and sure enough he did. That then meant I've been able to get on there this morning and cut the back end of the strip at the bowlers end...

(Above looking from the bowlers end).
 (Above) My trusty Ransome Ajax mower circa 1970's

 (Above) From the batting end with the area that's being seeded and repaired.