Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Leg spin bowling - Shane Warne as a template for your own bowling

Should I copy anyone else's style? (working on this currently)

Prior to Warne's appearance on the cricket scene, Wrist-Spinning was all but dead. Over the 70's and 80's pace bowling had totally dominated across the world and many thought they'd never see the return of Wrist Spin in particular. As we all know Warne announced the end of that idea with his 'Ball of the century' to Mike Gatting and almost single-handedly resurrected spin-bowling in both forms.

One of the consequences of that was that Warne then kind of offered a template for anyone else that liked the idea of becoming a Wrist-Spinner. Warne was my introduction to cricket, cricket had kind of by-passed me despite the efforts of a bloke I worked with during the Botham era to get me watching it. But, one evening in the 1990's I turned on the tele with a beer in my hand watching the Ashes highlights and watched in amazement as this fat Aussie bloke with a mullet haircut, ripped through the England batting line up bowling the ball ridiculously slow! I'd only ever watched cricket for short periods as a kid with my Dad, he didn't know what was happening, so was never able to explain to me what was going on, so I never saw or understood the nuances of the game, so to suddenly be introduced to slow bowling by an exponent that was effective and devastating was mesmerising and I was hooked!

I then made sure that I saw every game I could on the tele that featured the Aussies, just so that I could watch weave his magic. Then when my kids were old enough and one of them had an accident that meant that we couldn't play football I turned to cricket. I was the bowler and at the age of 47 I was Shane Warne and at last cricket suddenly made total sense to me! I walked in off of 8 steps and bowled leg-breaks and got my kids out. (Okay so they were only 7 and 9 years old, but it was a start)! Another Dad got involved and this blog was started soon after.

I used Warne's approach and I tried to copy what he did. Over the intervening years I've changed and adapted my approach, speeded things up, realised that I did this strange skip like Titch Freeman despite the fact that I thought I was bowling like Warne! I then tried a faster approach like Stuart MacGill, all of which made slight differences. Each of these stages was recorded on video and then via forums such as a range of people via youtube would then comment and discuss the bowling action including Stuart MacGill! Other people that populate this particular forum are specialists in bio-mechanics and they amongst some of the more experienced players fed back to me and advised me along with many others about the idea of trying to emulate the bowling actions of other people especially Warne's.

When it comes down to it, Warne's physique is unique and he's able to bowl the way that he does because of his physique and therefore, for most of us to try and replicate what he does is in fact counter-intuitive. Add to the fact that Warne is  built like a shot-put thrower and trains for hours upon hours under supervision of trainers and the likes, to try and do what he does exactly isn't a good method. Moreover, the bio-mechanists say that it can lead to injuries that will curtail your cricket life.

There is a question here that I've often pondered in that where do spin bowlers come from - at what point does a cricket player make the decision to bowl wrist spin?

"The right pace to bowl at is the pace where you gain your maximum spin. Then you vary your pace from there. But you must understand what pace you need to bowl at. That is very important." Terry Jenner