I've been reading Peter Philpott (The Art of Wrist Spin Bowling) looking at Drift and also listening to the Ashes commentary this morning on Radio 5 live.
Re-reading the section that covers drift using Tennis as the means to get the point across in the book, I’ve come away from it under the impression that what I already do should be producing drift, it just may be that I’m not noticing it or perhaps not bowling fast enough to produce it. I tend to bowl different speeds, lengths and trajectories, my Leg Breaks tend to be slowish and loopy to get maximum turn off the wicket whereas if I bowl faster I then resort to bowling Flippers which produce swing rather than drift. What I may have to do is bowl a faster flatter leg break to see if that results in drift. The key thing that I’m working on at the minute is being able to use the wrist in order to produce The Top-spinner but one that err’s towards being a Leg Break, a small Leg Break and the Biggun. I’ve also realized that the Slider is looking as though it’s a ball that I may be able to develop because of the constant wrist position and flick practice I’m currently doing in order to get the Biggun going at will. I’m hoping that by watching the ball more and possibly bowling faster the drift may come as a by-product?
The reason I mentioned the Ashes in conjunction with the subject is that it's closely related to swing and Jonathan Agnew commented on the fact that Hilfenhuaser had initially not been able to swing the ball, but then could and this coincided with it getting sunny. He mentioned the fact that swing is supposedly more readily available in overcast and humid condition not bright sunny and dry conditions and he said to be honest I and most people haven't got a clue why it really happens.
I had been looking for scientific papers on the matter and they are out there but they're not in the public domain, so for the moment I'm not that fussed on doing academic research on the matter and would rather conduct empirical research on the matter e.g. do it and make observations and try theories out in practical tests.
Discussions on my wrist spin thread on http://www.bigcricket.com/ have thrown up some observations made by other Wrist Spin bowlers and the factor that seems to be missing from my own bowling is speed as I suspected. Alongside the quest for drift I feel there's a necessity to get a lot more subtlety in my bowling. My Top-spinner which I'm able to rip really well has a tendency to come out of the back or the hand because I bowl with a very vertical arm and turn into a Wrong Un which is fine. But if I could fine tune it and be aware of the subtle change that is required that enables me to turn the wrist the opposite way to produce a Top-Spinner with Leg Break tendencies I'd be looking at a delivery with highest likelyhood to drift. So at the minute as I walk around flicking the ball which I do 24-7 I'm looking at the way the ball spins in relation to the wrist position.
So in the short term more control with the Top Spinner to ensure that it goes straight and ripping it big so that it dips.
Private practice wicket
Went over there tonight on the way home from work and noticed that it looks to have been vandalised by foxes. In the past they've dug up the stump holes and caused problems which it looks as though they've made a start with but also on the wicket itself they seem to have scraped up small areas and dug small holes. Initially it looked as though it was divots caused by some **** playing golf on the wicket which has happened before, but this looks more like foxes looking for worms in the short grass. So later I cut the wicket and repaired the holes and put down some seeds and top-dressing where the grass is wearing from footholes where the run in happens. Also used the 'Round up' to kill off some ofthe plantain weeds. I'll have to monitor this and see how it all goes.