Woo hoo! Cricket started again tonight with this seasons first net session and it went well apart from aspect - Left Handed batsmen (Matt Hills). But I suppose in my defence I could point out that he is the best batsman on our team, so he's always going to be a bit of a handful. So what went wrong?
1. I was bowling all sorts of variations around my leg break and the ball I should have possibly been bowling I only used once and it was miles away from the bat/stumps.
2. When I was bowling the Leg Break I was on auto-pilot and so the ball was going down his legside as his Leg Stump what with being a Leftie is the Off-stump that I'd normally bowling around. Every ball that was in that area he was hitting generally really well. There may have been one or two that may have gone a bit haywire, but whether he'd go down on his knee and play that sweep shot as frequently as he did is doubtful in a match situation? Now, I'm not sure what the situation would be if I bowled that line - how would he play that ball and would there be any mileage in setting a field more heavily on his on-side? What then would that force him to try and do - or would he just continue blasting the ball down the legside with little risk?
3. It seems there's a couple of strategies my favoured one would be to bowl Wrong Uns at his off-stump looking for the edge of his bat - but this then relies on getting the length and line right and my wrong un is no-longer that accurate, so I'm going to have to work on it. Philpott recommends bowling well up fairly wide of his off-stump bowling Leg Breaks. So perhaps that's what I should aim to practice with Lefties?
Next week work on pitching the ball well up under a Lefties nose (Preferably Matt) bowling Leg Breaks outside of his Off-Stump and just see how he plays it - the kind of strokes he plays and whether this causes any problems. In addition maybe work in a net with just some stumps and try and get the wrong un going into the same area. Also tuck the leading elbow in and vary the speed of the delivery as my faster balls did get through 2 or 3 times, so there's some promise there.
Maybe this could be my key objective for the next 3 months alongside screaming for LBW's which I still don't do! This sounds like a good plan.
Other than that I did okay against most of the right handers except Neil. Neil was playing this deft little shot where he was waiting late for the ball - seeing it turn and then just allowing it to leave the bat down the off-side towards 3rd man. Whether it would work in a game or not again I don't know as I'd imagine the slips fielder would come in closer and stop that stroke being used.
The best bowling came at the end against Imran Mohammed who's one of our better bastmen and I had him dancing down the wicket coming after me and got him 2 or 3 times. I also was troubling him with my wrong un a bit. At the end though he conceded that he was a big hitter and found it difficult against slow bowling generally.
All in all a good session with some targets for next week.