Yesterday saw another 2 hours of batting at Writtle for Joe and I.
I went with the intention of working on specific things... I'm aware that when I bat I bring the bat down at an angle where the ball generally goes through the on-side (Mid-On). I then went to Youtube and had a look at some of the master-classes on the web... Michael Hussey and Ricky Ponting along with just watching Sachin Tendulkar batting.
This video here with Mr Cricket (Michael Hussey) I like because of his explanation with regards the front foot press. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RL6wlCF7S-o which was something I wanted to work with.
Sachin I looked at in relation to where he stands - a leg-stump guard and then moves into position as the bowler bowls https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZnr41pH0gI. I usually take a middle-stump guard but my son especially then targets my leg-stump, I wanted to see if taking a leg-stump guard this might focus his attention on the middle and off, allowing me to move and play a cover-drive.
Ponting I was looking at because of his explanation as to the position of his bat when waiting for the ball to be delivered. He talks about point being able to see the face of his bat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rb6nFAeM2FM so I wanted to look into this for myself to see if that might allow me to play straighter or through the off-side.
It went okay, and worked out that I was hitting the ball straighter or through the off-side, so overall it was successful. What I need to be doing now is taking this out to a wicket and putting it into practice. We've spent a lot of time and money into developing our batting and more than anything the biggest improvement is in confidence and belief. The machine was set for 60mph on average and I reckon that's about the fastest I ever see when I bat. I played against Billericay in 2014 and opened and had to face two blokes in their mid 20's and I blocked them for ages and survived everything they threw at might and saw them off. I don't think either of them were bowling anywhere near 60mph despite the fact that they seemed to be putting a lot of effort into it. A leg-spinner came on and I was back in the pavilion within 3 balls.
Since then we've been demoted and the expectation for this season is that we'll be facing much weaker opposition and have a good chance of being promoted again at the end of the season by my reckoning.
So with this new confidence I'll be hoping to make far more of a contribution with the bat.
So now with that all out of the way, I need to get back on the bowling and the video below is the start.
Double click the image to see the video...
With three weeks to go till the first game I need to get a few things sorted, there's a significant difference between what I want to be doing e.g. the action without the ball and the action with the ball. Having had a couple of discussions with the coach Tony Mowles who's looked at the video, the next week or so - weather permitting it seems as though I should work on producing muscle memory associated with the bowling without the ball and see if that can be converted to bowling with the ball. I'm not too worried about it, because it does seem that when faced with batsmen at my level (4th XI) it comes together a lot more successfully than when I'm practicing on my own.