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Thread: Several Fast Bowling Questions

  1. #1
    Cricketer Of The Year Manee's Avatar
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    Several Fast Bowling Questions

    As you may or may not know, I am obsessed with fast bowling. Sadly, I do not quite have the correct technique to match my passion and although I am quite good, I am hardly spectacular.

    1. I am primarily a left arm over the wicket medium pace bowler but have a problem with dragging the ball down the leg side. On a normal day it can be one or two times an over and on a bad day it can be almost once a ball. It is very annoying and means I have to simply put the ball on the spot and sacrifice any sort of swing or pace. Does anyone have any action related tips to help? Even getting my bowling arm higher does not help because it means the ball travels in a straight line from where I release it which is down the leg side. I am extremely good at bowling to left handers (infact it usually takes me about 5 balls to dismiss one) but I cannot bowl to right handers well because of this reason.

    2. The second problem is my swing. When I swing the ball, the swing is absolutely massive but it goes away from the right hander and I cannot find a way to get it to come in whilst keeping the line correct. Swinging it away is all well and good but does not get me enough wickets and I feel the inswinger from left arm over can be deadly as Mitchell Johnson showed Sachin Tendulkar today. Holding it with the seam pointing towards fine leg and the fingers on either side of the seam seems to result in my wrist wrapping around the ball and it going short and, you guessed it, down the leg side.

    3. The third problem is my pace and unlike the other two, I feel I know the proble,s, just not how to solve them. I am about 53-58mph and I feel I need to be about 10mph quicker.

    I feel that my jump is the main cause of my lack of pace. I seem to jump up and not up and forwards like I should. Any conscious attempt to make the jump attack the stumps more results in either me jumping several hundreds of feet into the air or I do jump forwards but the action is rushed and the pace is slower than before.

    Also, after my release, my back goes a bit too far to the leg side (I know most bowlers have this as part of the hip drive but mine is a bit too much), are there any drills or ways to help correct this or is practice the only method.

    My wrist is also not behind the ball, should I try and twist it anti clockwise and practice with that to get it behind the correct line? I currently have it straight.

    I am also unable to bowl a bouncer, when I try and bang the ball in, the ball is length or a tad shorter and it just hits the pitch harder which at my pace means it sits up to be whacked. Any tips on how to bowl a bouncer, I have seen bowlers a tad quicker than my trouble good batsman with bouncers, how is it done?

    That concludes my post for now, I may be obsessive, but you can't say I'm not thorough

    Any help to either of the three points would be greatly appriciated as I am extremely keen to dramatically improve my bowling in this preseason in order to get on my school's tour to Australia in two years and to get into my club first team soon too. Although some of the staff members may know that I aspire to be a journalist, my primary goal is to be a successful cricketer, but that dream seems further and further away each day I bowl like I do now.
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  2. #2
    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manee View Post
    As you may or may not know, I am obsessed with fast bowling. Sadly, I do not quite have the correct technique to match my passion and although I am quite good, I am hardly spectacular.

    1. I am primarily a left arm over the wicket medium pace bowler but have a problem with dragging the ball down the leg side. On a normal day it can be one or two times an over and on a bad day it can be almost once a ball. It is very annoying and means I have to simply put the ball on the spot and sacrifice any sort of swing or pace. Does anyone have any action related tips to help? Even getting my bowling arm higher does not help because it means the ball travels in a straight line from where I release it which is down the leg side. I am extremely good at bowling to left handers (infact it usually takes me about 5 balls to dismiss one) but I cannot bowl to right handers well because of this reason.

    2. The second problem is my swing. When I swing the ball, the swing is absolutely massive but it goes away from the right hander and I cannot find a way to get it to come in whilst keeping the line correct. Swinging it away is all well and good but does not get me enough wickets and I feel the inswinger from left arm over can be deadly as Mitchell Johnson showed Sachin Tendulkar today. Holding it with the seam pointing towards fine leg and the fingers on either side of the seam seems to result in my wrist wrapping around the ball and it going short and, you guessed it, down the leg side.

    3. The third problem is my pace and unlike the other two, I feel I know the proble,s, just not how to solve them. I am about 53-58mph and I feel I need to be about 10mph quicker.

    I feel that my jump is the main cause of my lack of pace. I seem to jump up and not up and forwards like I should. Any conscious attempt to make the jump attack the stumps more results in either me jumping several hundreds of feet into the air or I do jump forwards but the action is rushed and the pace is slower than before.

    Also, after my release, my back goes a bit too far to the leg side (I know most bowlers have this as part of the hip drive but mine is a bit too much), are there any drills or ways to help correct this or is practice the only method.

    My wrist is also not behind the ball, should I try and twist it anti clockwise and practice with that to get it behind the correct line? I currently have it straight.

    I am also unable to bowl a bouncer, when I try and bang the ball in, the ball is length or a tad shorter and it just hits the pitch harder which at my pace means it sits up to be whacked. Any tips on how to bowl a bouncer, I have seen bowlers a tad quicker than my trouble good batsman with bouncers, how is it done?

    That concludes my post for now, I may be obsessive, but you can't say I'm not thorough

    Any help to either of the three points would be greatly appriciated as I am extremely keen to dramatically improve my bowling in this preseason in order to get on my school's tour to Australia in two years and to get into my club first team soon too. Although some of the staff members may know that I aspire to be a journalist, my primary goal is to be a successful cricketer, but that dream seems further and further away each day I bowl like I do now.

    Well, for a start, I don't think your jump has to be a jump as such. If you watch players like McGrath and Clark, they don't leap into the crease. Some do, some don't, but I think the most important thing is gathering momentum up until the point you hit the crease and deliver the ball. You don't have to leap 200 feet in the air to be a fast bowler, and I'd be prepared to bet at the point where you hit the ground after you've leapt in the air...your momentum has almost stopped. IT's important to get through the crease, not land on it from a great height.

    Secondly, how old are you? I'd find someone who can help you with the correct technique if you are in your teens, as I was decidedly slow medium all through my teenage years and swung it a lot. It wasn't until I was about 22 (after a break of some years) that I started bowling again and was much, much quicker than I had been before. You'll grow stronger, and with a good technique this will see your pace increase.
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  3. #3
    Cricketer Of The Year Manee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Son Of Coco View Post
    Secondly, how old are you? I'd find someone who can help you with the correct technique if you are in your teens, as I was decidedly slow medium all through my teenage years and swung it a lot. It wasn't until I was about 22 (after a break of some years) that I started bowling again and was much, much quicker than I had been before. You'll grow stronger, and with a good technique this will see your pace increase.
    I am 15 and I do wish to improve my technique first. I'll probably start doing strength work in a year or two.

    Thanks for the tips about the jump too

  4. #4
    Cricketer Of The Year Manee's Avatar
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    I have seen numerous books claiming that angled run ups for left handers are rubbish but as my paint 'diagram' demonstates, going in a straight line as left arm over does not work.



    Last edited by Manee; 30-09-2007 at 03:50 AM.


  5. #5
    International Regular DCC_legend's Avatar
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    Make sure your right arm is on the left hand side of your face when you're just about to deliver the ball, that should push it across the off stump.
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  6. #6
    Cricketer Of The Year Manee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCC_legend View Post
    Make sure your right arm is on the left hand side of your face when you're just about to deliver the ball, that should push it across the off stump.
    My forearm AND arm or just my arm?

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Matteh's Avatar
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    Most of us suffer the same problem, be it left bowling to right or vice versa. In order to bowl to left handers (being a right hander myself) i step a side-step to the left and run in with that. That's only half the fix though as when i bowl with my normal straightness from that, it'll still go down leg. I find the most important thing in order to slant it across to the off side is the angle of the body when you get to the crease.
    The angle i tend to use is basically shown in your paint diagram and all the side step to the left alteration does is give me more room in the crease in order to point the body that way.
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    Global Moderator vic_orthdox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manee View Post
    My forearm AND arm or just my arm?
    The arm itself isn't really the important thing when talking about your front arm. It's the elbow, which you want to get across your body and pull your body through so that you are bowling to the off side of a right hander, rather than "placing" it there.

  9. #9
    Cricketer Of The Year Manee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vic_orthdox View Post
    The arm itself isn't really the important thing when talking about your front arm. It's the elbow, which you want to get across your body and pull your body through so that you are bowling to the off side of a right hander, rather than "placing" it there.
    Now thats interesting. Thanks for the clarification .

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    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    Speaking biomechanically and linking this in to the videos that you posted of your action on an earlier thread (now moved into this forum), you will find it very difficult - even impossible - to bowl inswing to the right hander, because of the angle of your body at the point of release.

    A better bet would be to work on a slower ball that cuts in to the right hander.
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    Cricketer Of The Year Manee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Pickup View Post
    Speaking biomechanically and linking this in to the videos that you posted of your action on an earlier thread (now moved into this forum), you will find it very difficult - even impossible - to bowl inswing to the right hander, because of the angle of your body at the point of release.
    Could you please expand as to how I can change my body shape to help me swing it in? I am willing to change my action and risk starting from square one.

  12. #12
    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    It comes back to what I mentioned in the other thread: the position of your hips, and hence the position, direction and momentum of your upper body, is governed by the landing of your feet.

    The videos didn't show your feet, but from the screenshots you can follow the trim on the outsides of your trouser legs to show a clear front-on landing, with the toes pointed at the keeper and across towards slip, leading the rest of the body through.

    To bowl outswing to a left-hander or inswing to a right-hander, your body needs to bring the ball in that direction, and for that to happen, you almost always need a side on landing (critically back foot, pointing to stumps and/or umpire). When you follow through, this pulls your momentum round and across, aiming the swing with the follow-through.

    This is a very dramatic change, however, and I would question the neccessity of such an alteration: it is a lot easier to wreck an action than to improve one.

  13. #13
    Cricketer Of The Year Manee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Pickup View Post
    It comes back to what I mentioned in the other thread: the position of your hips, and hence the position, direction and momentum of your upper body, is governed by the landing of your feet.

    The videos didn't show your feet, but from the screenshots you can follow the trim on the outsides of your trouser legs to show a clear front-on landing, with the toes pointed at the keeper and across towards slip, leading the rest of the body through.

    To bowl outswing to a left-hander or inswing to a right-hander, your body needs to bring the ball in that direction, and for that to happen, you almost always need a side on landing (critically back foot, pointing to stumps and/or umpire). When you follow through, this pulls your momentum round and across, aiming the swing with the follow-through.

    This is a very dramatic change, however, and I would question the neccessity of such an alteration: it is a lot easier to wreck an action than to improve one.
    It is a toughie but I feel the inswinger is necessary to be highly successful. But I have time, I want to be able to bowl it by December 2009 when my school are touring Australia (just wanted to slip that in, but I do want to perfect the inswinger).

    Yes, I have a mixed action and infinate thanks for pointing that out (that sounded smug, wasn't meant to be) but I feel that I should rather change my lower body and hips side on rather than upper body front on because in about 3 net sessions and 2, games where I bowled 10 overs each where I tried it, I did get increased outswing but the pace was down and I couldn't really get through the crease properly. I feel I get a lot of pace from the rotation of the upper body which makes the legside problem all the more troubling to sort out. I have been meaning to work out to get the hips side on but I need a few sunny days to work on it in my garden, when those days come around, I will try it and let you know how it is.

    Here is the plan:

    - I am going to work off a 20 step run up
    - Going to look to get the leap much further forward whilst keeping the upper body leant back (or ideally, perfectly straight)
    -Land with the front foot ever so slightly more closed compared to the back foot.
    -Land with the backfoot and hips pointing at 90 degrees towards the imaginary batsman
    -Look to follow through straight rather than with the upper body falling away like in the videos (which btw, I have removed from youtube for personal reasons).

  14. #14
    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    You need to work the delivery stride into muscle memory before attempting to do it from 20 steps. That is a waste of time and energy.

  15. #15
    Cricketer Of The Year Manee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Pickup View Post
    You need to work the delivery stride into muscle memory before attempting to do it from 20 steps. That is a waste of time and energy.
    Ok. I know that doing from too little makes it a bit useless though, would 5 steps be ok or should I make it 10?

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