Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Leg Spin Bowling Practice Drills and Training

Accuracy Drills.

This is one of the accuracy drills that we use that you might want to try. Firstly though I just want to share an observation that I've made in the last couple of years. Over the years I've bought and found balls and have 8o balls that I could use when I practice, bowling one after another. But recently I've stopped doing this and now I use far fewer balls when I practice. I now usually go out with just 6 balls (An overs worth) and I bowl six at a time trying to bowl with the same intensity and focus that I would bowl in a match, trying to ensure that every ball is accurate. I found that when I had 80 balls to use, I was bowling all sorts and didn't do it with any level of seriousness and commitment. I also thought about it and realised that in between the 6 balls in each over, there was a period in most instances of inactivity and that it may be easy to replicate that... bowl six, rest and then bowl six again repetitively as in a spell. The rest period, I replicate by now walking down the wicket and collecting the same six balls, so that kind of emulates that potential to disrupt your rhythm in between overs.

The Drill - We have a piece of mat/carpet that is roughly 3' x 5' see below...

 I've painted two lines on it and the drill involves setting a series of targets and allocated a point score to the outcomes.

Today I was bowling Leg breaks, so the key thing was getting the right length and the right area, so this not ridiculously difficult and therefore difficult to draw some positives from, so as long as the ball is on the mat you score yourself points. There's several differing opinions that relate to where the ball lands, people like Benaud and Grimmett advocate accuracy, talking about landing the ball on an area the size of a handkerchief. Yeah perhaps if you're a pro with your stock ball once you've been bowling for 5 years or so, but in the short term for you as a club player, think in terms of Terry Jenner's advice (Remember Jenner was Warne's mentor) see this video here and listen to the points he makes here at 3 minutes relating to the areas in which you should be bowling. Jenner talks about it being a 'Big Target - inviting the batsman to drive'...

So don't be put off in your early days if your bowling is a little wayward, work towards getting the ball onto the big target with loads of revs. In the video Jenner talks about getting revs on the ball and spinning the ball up. If the ball has been spun hard in addition to landing in this area (On the mat) the balls going to be...
(1). Above the eye-line and therefore difficult to predict as to its length.
(2). If you're spinning it hard, there is a chance that it's going to 'Drift' e.g. mover sideways whilst in the air away from its original trajectory.
(3). If it's got any over-spin it'll also dip and fall shorter than expected.

So any concerns about your accuracy, can be readily offset and negated by ensuring your leg-break is bowled with loads of revs.

The key goal was to bowl and land it on the 'C' part of the mat, so if I managed that I gave myself 3 points, the middle part 2 and the 'A' section only 1. If the ball went on to hit the stumps from A or B I gave myself a bonus point. So the main intention is to attain 18 point from the 6 balls e.g. land the ball on 'C' with every ball. So for each over I was trying to beat the previous score.

If you have access to SKY tv or any coverage of cricket games where the bowling is analysed in any depth, look out for the pitch maps that they show. Reinforcing the point Jenner makes above look at the image below here showing Shane Warnes placement of his balls when bowling...

Here's another that shows an even bigger area. Note of caution though and this does apply to both example above and below. Bowling anywhere that is legside is a high risk strategy especially when you're starting out. If you're going to be bowling leg-side, you've got to be turning the ball a lot and getting the ball to bounce and drift. You'll need your best catching fielders that are ready to run and take catches on the boundary otherwise you're bowling figures are going to be getting you taken off.