Thursday, January 25, 2007


25th Jan

If anyone feels inclined to contribute to the blog you can do so by either emailing me and I’ll put the stuff straight into the blog or you can log on to get yourself a blog and then from there you can link to mine. I’m not suggesting you maintain your own blog in the way that I do here, but by having a blog it will enable you to make contributions.

I got a response from Alex today re my questions about bowling leg side with RH handed batsmen.

Hey Dave –

Seems you are famous on the net, you’ll be the ECB development officer for Essex or something before you know it!. New venue was cool, there was plenty of space and the nets did the job – the two ringers you have lined up are rather handy at batting and bowling it must be said, nice one! Are we getting a few more kookaburra plastic balls (like the red and white one) for next practice or a couple more real ones (personally I’m more than happy to bat against real ones for the whole session)?

On the bowling front you are correct that the aim with the standard leg spin bowl is to hit the bowlers foot holes (batsman’s end obviously) outside leg stump and spin the ball viciously back in, this may elicit some playing and missing (as in your diagram) but standard procedure for batsmen (with pads) is to just stick a leg in the way of the delivery (since anything bowled outside leg stump cannot given out LBW). If you spin it less than the batsman expects you may well end up with an outside edge nick probably going to square leg. The key is mixing it up as you do so when you bowl in line (particularly if the batsman is just padding up to you) the batsman expects the ball to spin outside the off stump and will try for a square cut (off side shot) thinking it’s a loose one they can hit, however this is where you bowl one that stays straight gaining a inside edge or a complete miss (giving the chance of bowled or played on, stumped or LBW). I personally found your bowling pretty difficult to hit due to the variation and the fact I’m not so good with wider deliveries (I like it straight) so it slowed my scoring down which is the primary aim – it gets the batsman frustrated and makes them hit rash shots (as I did at the end of the over). Keep persevering with it. What you do need though is a few more close fielders to put pressure on the batsman and the keeper needs to play right up at the wicket to take nicks and stumpings.

Hope that helps

Al J

On the website tonight the topic of discussion was practicing and improving. The bloke was saying that it takes something like 10,000 hours to get really good a cricket. Which is 416 days of non-stop cricket. Even if you put in 3 hours a day 365 days a year that’s 9 years before you’re really good. I can’t imagine a fat biffa like Shane Warne practiced at that rate leading up to his dismissal of Mike Gatting? It’s probably the case that the people that are exceptionally good at it are either simply Australians or naturally gifted. There’s just some things in life you can do and others you can’t and you know intuitively that there’s no way you’re ever going to be playing for Arsenal, or on centre court at Wimbledon by the time you’re 21. So for the likes of us it’s a case of practicing as much as we can just so long as we have our day of glory when we see those sports science blokes drowning their sorrows in their diet cokes at the bar of Welstead Gardens some time in the summer (Surely they don’t drink do they – they’re machines, their bodies are temples to sports science and human perfection)?

I spoke to them again today and they’re playing it cool. I think we’ve got them on the ropes, I asked the big bloke how many different variations he had in with his bowling (He’s their leg spin bowler) and he said just the leg break, then laughing he said that their opening fast bowler was the big Kiwi geezer and some other tall bloke that I didn’t know. Then the Kiwi bloke walked past and I mentioned it to him and he didn’t have a clue and certainly isn’t a fast bowler! So I think we’re winning the psychological game. I may even up the ante a bit and start leaving coaching handouts on the printer for them to come across and give the impression that we’re really going for it!

Back to the issue of 10,000 hours. I certainly haven’t got 10,000 hours of cricket life in me, I’ll be dead before then, but I’ll be aiming to get out and bowl as much as I can when I can leading up to the games to get my line consistent.

The great news is that club spinners don’t need to produce magic balls to rip through the opposition like seamers do.They can do it with a decent level of accuracy, a confident captain who sets the right fields and an opposition who cannot resist having a go (and let’s face it, most club batsmen fancy themselves against spin).

On the subject of games I reckon we should push the idea that we should play a series of three games with the sports science blokes, so we can really rub their noses in it with a 3-0 white wash!