Friday, July 10, 2009

Weather and bowling psychology

Gutted, it's 09.00 hrs here and at the minute we've got blue skies and white puffy clouds, but out to the west we've got a low depression and by late tonight /early Saturday it's going to be raining. It looks as though it's going to rain all day Saturday and then possibly clear away Sunday but the weather reports for Sunday are a little non-commital and sketchy, I reckon they don't know as yet how much rain will be generated and how strong the wind will be to move it through. So fingers crossed all the rain gets dumped on Saturday and any remainder of rain gets blown north where it belongs.

Our secret wicket at 10.00hrs Friday (Weather check).

I've just been having a discussion with a bloke who's learning Wrist Spin bowling on a forum. With the help of some of the others it sounds like he's getting it together. But he has one major problem as far as I'm concerned (Which on one hand is good) he practices bowling against his brother who's a batsman e.g. as far as you're concerned when you're bowling are the scum of the earth and need to know their place (Back in the sheds)! Batting in the nets or in any situation where there is no consequence to their actions gives them a psychological advantage over the bowler and this needs to stop and be addressed. Batsman need to bat with the same psychological disadvantage that they have when out on the field when they're facing spinners, I don't much care for the same being applied to fasts as they're of a different breed as well. But as far as you're concerned as a spinner you need to balance things up a bit and make it more representational of a game situation e.g. you've got the upper hand. In situations where batsmen are allowed to have a go at you with impunity (Nets and practice) there needs to be something in place that ensures that they give you the respect that you deserve as a spinner. So when they face you they can't come bounding down the track to hit you for six knowing full well that they'll do the same thing again with the next ball even if they miss it and would have been out in a real game. No - if they do that and they get it wrong there should be some kind of consequence - I dunno maybe they have to remove their box and you're allowed to kick them in the nuts as hard as you can to get them in the frame of mind that if they screw up there is a consequence? Realistically maybe for every wicket you take if it's in the nets they hand over a fiver to the club or something that is equal to losing their wicket in a match situation. I bet you there'd be a change in the way they bat and I bet the spinners suddenly would gain a real sense of confidence from the way the batsmen would then act in the nets.

The easy solution is to bowl on your own more than bowling in the nets. Bowling in the nets and in practice situations isn't real and it's bad psychologically for spinners. I've seen kids in the nets at one of other of the clubs that I observe and see kids getting mullered all over the place when they're not ready and it makes you realise why wrist spinning is such an obscure art, so many kids must give up in the early stages because of this kind of thing happening. As Warne says you need a lot of love from your team and your captain and that's coming from him!

One last note Clarried Grimmett possibly the greatest wrist spinner ever always practiced on his own and never bowled in the nets against batsmen. In his book 'Taking Wickets" 1930 he writes....

However, if it be arranged intelligently, much useful practice can be obtained. For instance, if nets are set apart for bowlers, with marks at varying lengths for the different types of bowlers a single stump to bowl at, and, where possible a wicket keeper to throw back each bal, thereby give him also the practice he hardly ever gets, except in a match - this would enable the bowler to work with a definite object, that of developing his length and direction.

This object is not so easily attained if a batsman is there to spoil the effect of the deliveries. Then again, batsmen rarely play as they would in a match which also makes it difficult for the bowler to practice under match conditions. If you tried in the majority of clubs, to have nets set aside for bowlers, you would be cried down. The batsmen could not possibly be deprived of their practice!