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Thread: learning leg spin in nets on a concrete wicket, plus some other issues.

  1. #1
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    learning leg spin in nets on a concrete wicket, plus some other issues.

    hi there, this is my first post on the forum. i am trying to learn the art of leg spin, and am having mixed success. i dont yet play for a team, im nowhere near good enough or confident enough to bowl at real batsmen. instead i bowl at my brother who isnt a good enough batsman to play for a team yet either lol. and invariably i get slogged all over the place!!

    every now and then i can bowl a peach, a huge turning leg break that gets my brother out. more often than not im pitching the ball leg side just outside leg stump, its turning a minimal amount and arriving at the crease inline with leg stump. typically these either get met with a huge slog sweep or some quick footwork and a slog drive. i guess its good practice to play against someone whos only shots are off balance slogs though! im expecting that to be a fairly common shot against me if i ever take up playing for a club lol. im working on getting the ball to pitch around off and middle though as this is probably more realistic for a beginner, i cant generate enough turn consistently to be pitching outside leg. although i say im a beginner, ive been spinning the ball between my hands (and various round fruits, and anything i have in my hands) for about 5 years, i just never got around to actually bowling leg spin. so i can generate a lot of spin on the ball, its just transferring that into a proper bowling action.

    so enough rambling, and onto my issue. the nets i practice at are pretty shabby, and the wicket is a big slab of concrete with some green carpet type stuff on it. i use a real cricket ball (although an incrediball is being considered to see if it is more useful to practice with) and the hardness of the concrete results in minimal turn and lots of extra bounce. i havent yet mastered a run up technique, so i tend to bowl from a couple of slow steps, so the ball lacks any pace and i get lots of flight on it. this is resulting in the extra bounce, but the ball just doesnt turn.

    the problem here is that its really hard for me to gauge if im bowling correctly when my stock ball doesnt turn at all. if we use the real grass wicket (which we dont for 2 reasons, one is that its a nightmare to fetch the ball after every shot and my brother has no self control, secondly it isnt our pitch to be messing around on and we dont want to damage it) which ive done for a handful of deliveries just to see what happened, and the ball turns a lot more with the amount of bounce i would expect.

    does anyone have any advice on learning leg spin on a concrete wicket? would an incrediball (or any other type of ball for that matter) result in a more realistic reaction with the surface? im resisting the temptation to practice any variations and just focus 100% on the stock leg break, although ive tried a few flippers and toppers and they generate more sideways movement than my leg break lol. it seems the pitch favours longitudinal seam rotation, but not lateral.

    any help is greatly appreciated!

    also, based on other peoples experience, when inexperienced leg spinners first start playing for a team, are teams typically patient enough to understand that they are going to get slogged for plenty of runs whilst they are learning, but once they have the technique they will take wickets for fun? im worried that if i join a team il be kicked off it within a month for losing entire matches in the space of a few overs lol

  2. #2
    School Boy/Girl Cricketer someblokedave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim2109 View Post
    hi there, this is my first post on the forum. i am trying to learn the art of leg spin, and am having mixed success. i dont yet play for a team, im nowhere near good enough or confident enough to bowl at real batsmen. instead i bowl at my brother who isnt a good enough batsman to play for a team yet either lol. and invariably i get slogged all over the place!!

    every now and then i can bowl a peach, a huge turning leg break that gets my brother out. more often than not im pitching the ball leg side just outside leg stump, its turning a minimal amount and arriving at the crease inline with leg stump. typically these either get met with a huge slog sweep or some quick footwork and a slog drive. i guess its good practice to play against someone whos only shots are off balance slogs though! im expecting that to be a fairly common shot against me if i ever take up playing for a club lol. im working on getting the ball to pitch around off and middle though as this is probably more realistic for a beginner, i cant generate enough turn consistently to be pitching outside leg. although i say im a beginner, ive been spinning the ball between my hands (and various round fruits, and anything i have in my hands) for about 5 years, i just never got around to actually bowling leg spin. so i can generate a lot of spin on the ball, its just transferring that into a proper bowling action.

    so enough rambling, and onto my issue. the nets i practice at are pretty shabby, and the wicket is a big slab of concrete with some green carpet type stuff on it. i use a real cricket ball (although an incrediball is being considered to see if it is more useful to practice with) and the hardness of the concrete results in minimal turn and lots of extra bounce. i havent yet mastered a run up technique, so i tend to bowl from a couple of slow steps, so the ball lacks any pace and i get lots of flight on it. this is resulting in the extra bounce, but the ball just doesnt turn.

    the problem here is that its really hard for me to gauge if im bowling correctly when my stock ball doesnt turn at all. if we use the real grass wicket (which we dont for 2 reasons, one is that its a nightmare to fetch the ball after every shot and my brother has no self control, secondly it isnt our pitch to be messing around on and we dont want to damage it) which ive done for a handful of deliveries just to see what happened, and the ball turns a lot more with the amount of bounce i would expect.

    does anyone have any advice on learning leg spin on a concrete wicket? would an incrediball (or any other type of ball for that matter) result in a more realistic reaction with the surface? im resisting the temptation to practice any variations and just focus 100% on the stock leg break, although ive tried a few flippers and toppers and they generate more sideways movement than my leg break lol. it seems the pitch favours longitudinal seam rotation, but not lateral.

    any help is greatly appreciated!

    also, based on other peoples experience, when inexperienced leg spinners first start playing for a team, are teams typically patient enough to understand that they are going to get slogged for plenty of runs whilst they are learning, but once they have the technique they will take wickets for fun? im worried that if i join a team il be kicked off it within a month for losing entire matches in the space of a few overs lol

    Jim - no-one answered your question on here? Did it get answered over at the other gaff?

    With regards the best balls on raw concrete try Hockey Balls. Atta make a good un. But any with Dimples are good. They rough up quite quickly allowing you to grip them, but the key thing is they're the same weight as a cricket ball and the same size and the bounce you get with them and the amount of spin you're able to get off of concrete is a pretty good reflection of a cricket ball on a half decent turning wicket.

    If you're on concrete with carpet stick to cricket balls and you'l just have to accept that you only get a little turn. The good thing is when you do convert to the real stuff, you might find you can turn it a country mile.
    Dave
    Last edited by someblokedave; 11-08-2009 at 05:32 PM.

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    yeh it did all get answered on the other forum, this thread was after my first or 2nd practice session when i was struggling with just about everything lol.

    i havent practiced on raw concrete yet, im sure i will come winter, and il get some hockey balls for that purpose and a springback wicket to stick up one end.

    with regards turn on concrete, i can get it turning quite a lot now at my local nets which have a really thin layer of worn down carpet on top of concrete. at the club i practice with they have brand new astroturf on top of a layer of soft padding, with concrete underneath. i can get plenty of turn on the flat concrete, even more on the padded concrete, and even more on a grass wicket lol. practicing on concrete is an invaluable tool i reckon for developing large amounts of turn. also because i have to spin the ball so much to get it to turn its helping with drift and dip in flight. if the ball turned easily then i dont think id be developing that aspect of my bowling as much as i need to.

  4. #4
    Cricket Spectator sadspinner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim2109 View Post
    yeh it did all get answered on the other forum, this thread was after my first or 2nd practice session when i was struggling with just about everything lol.

    i havent practiced on raw concrete yet, im sure i will come winter, and il get some hockey balls for that purpose and a springback wicket to stick up one end.

    with regards turn on concrete, i can get it turning quite a lot now at my local nets which have a really thin layer of worn down carpet on top of concrete. at the club i practice with they have brand new astroturf on top of a layer of soft padding, with concrete underneath. i can get plenty of turn on the flat concrete, even more on the padded concrete, and even more on a grass wicket lol. practicing on concrete is an invaluable tool i reckon for developing large amounts of turn. also because i have to spin the ball so much to get it to turn its helping with drift and dip in flight. if the ball turned easily then i dont think id be developing that aspect of my bowling as much as i need to.
    So from your experience jim, do you think it turns least on concrete only and most on turf wickets, with covered concrete being in between? Interesting as Imhave asked this question many a time and never got a satisfactory answer.


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    Quote Originally Posted by sadspinner View Post
    So from your experience jim, do you think it turns least on concrete only and most on turf wickets, with covered concrete being in between? Interesting as Imhave asked this question many a time and never got a satisfactory answer.
    my opinions keep changing on what turns the most. ive practiced on all sorts now, ive done a load of practice on grass and proper match wickets now as well.

    id say the condition of surfaces is as follows...

    raw concrete - not bowled on it yet, id imagine its quite abrasive though, so id expect decent turn and lots of bounce. but it would destroy cricket balls. or it might just be really skiddy. apparently with hockey balls its comparable to a cricket ball on a grass wicket. this is probably a winter surface only.

    thinly covered concrete (carpet only, no padded layers) - good amounts of turn but its hard to extract, good amounts of bounce (comparable to a hard grass wicket). this is my favourite surface to practice on as it requires perfect technique to extract the turn and bounce properly, but rewards you as well. the nets i practice at have REALLY old carpet so its smooth and shiny and not very grippy, this adds another challenge. if its too new then id think it would still reward you for imperfect technique.

    padded covered concrete - more realistic turn (if the surface is quite new it can be rough and sometimes give more turn than it really should, which means i can try less hard and still get the ball turning. big turn still requires good technique though), less realistic bounce. it seems to be designed for realistic bounce and pace for seam bowlers, but for spin bowlers it is too soft.

    raw grass (outfield) - rarely flat, minimal turn, minimal bounce, an absolute nightmare to bowl on.

    badly prepared grass wicket - usually too soft or too green. too soft on its own means minimal bounce, too soft AND too green means minimal turn as well, the ball skids on all the time. if i was playing for a club that didnt have a good groundsman and regularly prepared pitches like this, id leave and find another club!! leg spinners will never reap their full rewards on soft and green wickets, and unfortunately English weather means that only really well prepared wickets arent this way it seems. im lucky that the club i train with seems to have an awesome groundsman because the pitch i played my only match on so far was rock solid, and it was 3 matches old, and it had been raining all day prior to the match!

    well prepared grass wicket - perfect bowling conditions. doesnt need to be roughed up at all, just super dry and super hard with no green on it at all and the ball does all sorts. comparable to thinly covered concrete but a well ripped delivery will turn much more. my favourite surface. typically if its a "good batting surface", i find it is also a good leg spinning surface. throw in some rough patches outside leg stump and some cracks in front of the batting crease and its perfect (e.g. 3 day old good batting surface). i wish England had the same climate as Australia or India!!

    id say the best surface to practice on though is thinly covered concrete, just because its hard going, but is also the most rewarding and realistic when you get things right. padded concrete is pretty good as well though since lots of club level pitches probably arent that hard, so youll struggle for bounce, which this recreates to some extent.
    Last edited by Jim2109; 17-08-2009 at 11:30 AM.

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    Cricket Spectator sadspinner's Avatar
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    Thanks jim that was very helpful



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