I recent posts I think I’ve mentioned having a re-occurrence of the condition Plantar Fasciitis. It seems to flare up when I bowl, but started some weeks ago as a result of suddenly using the stairs at work rather than the lift thinking this might be useful to get fit for the season having been incredibly lethargic over the winter. In the last few weeks I’ve been doing all of the things I would normally do to alleviate it – Ice baths, massage, mobilisation and then running up to the Woodham Mortimer game… resting. After the Woodham Mortimer game I started to look around at causes and cures for Plantar Fasciitis. I looked at a lot of videos and read a lot of articles. I started the massages and flexes and read more and then remembered the blokes at Cricket Strength had a look at my posture and mentioned that I had a collapsed arch. Foot lead to knee, knee lead to hips, hips lead to core strength and then I realised I could no longer do the thing where I could hold my body only supported by my head and heels between 2 chairs, usually seen in magic shows Derren Brown for one, meaning I’d obviously lost a lot of my core strength. In addition, I’d already read somewhere that if you don’t exercise the muscles around your knees, you lose the strength and support in this area in a matter of days, so sitting around all day and hardly walking, let alone doing any exercise is obviously a recipe for disaster. Everything seemed to be pointing to the lack of activity this winter.
Basildon & Pitsea v Woodham Mortimer 22nd April 2017 (Friendly).
Woke up to gloomy grey skies and rain. It hasn’t rained here in Essex since some time in March so I was gutted to look outside and see puddles and drizzly rain. I checked the forecast during breakfast and the prediction was for it to gradually improve. The weather forecast for the country as a whole was northerly winds with the potential for it to be cold, so remembering last April at Chelmsford when it was freezing I decided I’d take a lot of layers.
I picked up our wicket keeper Jamie Britton and we made our way to the ground. As we drove the weather improved and by the time we got there were some glimmers of blue sky. The captain Luke Daw won the toss and chose to bat. The wicket was a little damp, but the outfield was sopping wet. Everyone said that the ball wouldn’t turn that much for spinners.
The image below is their pavilion, so this'll get added eventually to my Pavilion Typology http://www.wristspinbowling.com/pavilion-typology.html
The captain said it was a nice looking ground and sure enough the setting was pretty good. The weather despite the warnings of northerly winds was fair and for the most part sunny for the match and as they day drew on the wicket dried out.
I bowled from the far end in this image below and the shortest boundary was to the right of this image.
This is approximately the field setting the captain Luke Daw set for me which worked out quite well. I generally bowled a good line keeping it off the legs. The main criticism was that given how slow the wicket was and how slow I was bowling, I was about a yard too short (1 Metre). The majority of the singles were scored in zone A, The single 4 went through zone B with a slightly wider ball and with the boundary so short it didn't leave the fielders much to work with. If I can continue with my accuracy as the season continues I may adopt this as my starting field and see what happens and then adapt it dependent on what I can get the ball to do.
We won the toss and batted first, they bowled and fielded well as you can see and we were saved by Paul Singleton's 87. I had a single not out. Unusually almost the whole team was out caught.
Our bowling figures are here below and as you can see the Captain Luke Daw (Finger Spinner) bowled really well 5 runs off 5 overs with a wicket. He should have stayed on or come back on later, but I'm guessing with it being a friendly he wanted every one to have a bowl? No rabbits in this team for me and generally they were good with the bat, one bloke right at the end came out with aggressive intention, walking down the wicket at everything and smashing it for 4's - a bloke called J.Marshall.
On reflection I got thrown the ball for the 20th over, I was fore-warned an over or so beforehand, so didn’t have that much time to worry about it, but I did. I could feel my heart racing and I was trying to think what I should be doing. The weird thing was before I even got there, I had this sense that I was going to struggle getting the ball up there and that probably exacerbated the sense that it wasn’t going to go that well. The plan was to bowl straight at the stumps and spin it as much as possible using my over-spun leg-break. The whole thing felt utterly different to the recent net sessions, and the dampness of the wicket meant that the ball wasn’t going to bounce in the way that it has been in the nets and over at the paddock. I suppose given how crap I felt about the whole thing and the fact that there were a bunch of missed chances according to Yash, it didn't go that bad, no wides, or no-balls and I was only hit to the boundary the once. The biggest concern which was at the back of my mind because of the pain I was suffering was the Plantar Fasciitis, so I was unable to move as fluently as I might and it was a negative aspect before I even got to the crease to bowl the first ball.
I need to work out why I'm suffering so bad and this is despite a week of not practicing with the idea it might get better. Fingers crossed I might get a game next week and I'll try and figure out how to get rid of the PF.
There's a bloke on Youtube Mr Awesome who watches my videos and comments on them. He's got his own Youtube channel and tonight he directed me to one of his videos where he demonstrates one of his variations. Either on here somewhere or over at one of my other blogs I've discussed and explained how my Top-Spinner is very different to my normal deliveries. I bowl it with a far more fingery action - not sitting deep in the hand but away from the palm. Watching Mr Awesomes video (link below) I realised that his leg-break is bowled in a very similar way to my top-spinner, But, he then points out a very nice little detail that I'd never considered, which once it's pointed out seems really obvious. Using Mr Awesome method and my Top-Spinner method, more purchase can be had on the ball by arranging the seam so that your finger rests on it in the way that he describes.
I'm definitely re-visiting my Top-Spinner and I'll be turning that seam around in the way he suggests and giving it a go.
First game of 2017 tomorrow
Basildon & Pitsea v Woodham Mortimer 22nd April 2017 (Friendly).
I’ve had two weeks off and the weather’s not been that bad weather-wise, so I’ve been able to go over to the paddock and have a bowl. Towards the end of the 2 weeks I identified the fact that my first few balls were a bit ropey and that I needed to address that as an issue.
The last few days there’s been light in the evenings as the summer gets ever closer and I’ve been using that time to work on first few balls of the spell. So I’ve simulated the bowling to Mid-on/Mid off scenario – just a couple of balls and then looked to bowl good balls right from the outset, eliminating the ‘Loosener’. Through trial and error I’ve established that if I bowl my delivery with more over-spin for the first few balls the accuracy is far better. By about the 4th ball I’m able to change to the one with far more side-spin and so far this has worked really well. Having read SLA's comments from the previous post I might look to bowl a safe over of the 'Over-spun' and more accurate leg break through the first over.
I’ve got a game tomorrow at Woodham Mortimer with players from the 2nd and 3rd XI, (the blokes I’ve been bowling at in the nets) which I’m massively up for and I’ll be able to see if all this practice and apparent improvement pans out to be real. My fitness is a bit of a concern, but all the work I’ve been doing hopefully will put me in good stead and I’ll come through the day.
No Joe though he declined to play.(Younger son).
Full report tomorrow.
One of the things that is bothering me at the moment and keeping me awake at night is the first few balls of a spell. A couple of days ago I went over the paddock and had a practice – bowled 120 + balls and it went pretty well. The ball is spinning hard and turns off all surfaces including indoor batting mats and as well as that I’m getting dip and the occasional bit of drift. But my last session took at least six balls to get my line right. Which I can’t really afford to let happen in a match situation, Leg-side balls are probably going to be hit to the boundary, the batsman’s confidence is going to be boosted and it does nothing by way of convincing the captain to give me more overs.
Over the coming practice sessions, I’m going to look at ways of addressing this looking to see if there’s a reason for it. Thinking about it, it may be a number of things…
(1). Not relaxed – gripping the ball too hard.
(2). Simply trying too hard.
(3). Trying to do something different with the first ball as opposed to bowling the most basic of stock balls.
On the subject of No.3, I bowl two deliveries which are both leg-breaks, that have slightly different attributes, one of them I feel is probably more accurate at the start of the spell, so I reckon I’ll just have a look at bowling that delivery and getting that right from the outset. In a game scenario, I know I have the opportunity to bowl the ball at either mid-on or mid-off a couple of times as the field is set prior to bowling the first ball. I’ll allow two balls at the start, allocating them as balls bowled at team mates and then look to bowl accurately from then on. What I’ll try is slow, loopy and accurate adding speed with each ball.
With a little less than 4 weeks to the first match of the season and the potential for a friendly game before that I’m slightly concerned about my lower body strength and flexibility. Both my sons are of that age where they don’t do a great deal, I ask them if they want to do x and y and they turn me down, so in previous years we’d have been playing cricket and football in the road out the front of the house, at the paddock or somewhere else. That generally ensured that as the season started I’d hit the ground running.
In the nets this year (2017) I’ve bowled exceptionally well (so far) and there’s been far fewer people at nets this year (Brexit affect)? So, I’ve had to bowl at 2nd XI batsmen more and I’ve bowled really well (According to them). I was asked on the blog what have I done differently and you’ll find the full answer below in the post called “Another good net session”. But, I think one of the most likely reasons for bowling better is that I changed the emphasis of what I was doing when practicing.
Previously in practice I’ve set up some stumps and I bowl at the stumps. In this scenario – success is measured by hitting the stumps. Thinking about this and taking on board some things my captain said last season I realised that this “Bowling at the stumps” approach was flawed for a number of reasons, but the main one being …
Having changed my practice regime in the last year and currently seeing what appears to be huge benefits, I’m now advocating that when practicing, 95% of the time, you do so without any stumps. What’s more important is where you land the ball and your ability to land the ball in a relatively small area.
So, the change that I made, was to get rid of the stumps and introduce a target placed on the floor. My captain suggested to me last year that I should bowl a leg-stump line… threatening the leg stump if the ball didn’t turn and if it did turn still having the potential to hit the middle and off stump. More importantly with the ball targeting the leg-stump, this forces the batsman to play the ball. If the ball is spinning and the batsman hits it, there’s the potential for the ball to be caught. What my captain didn’t want was the ball outside of off or on off turning and missing off, leaving the batsman to simply watch the ball and choose not to play it. He’d then play the ball once I’d bowled a bad ball. If you target the stumps, the batsman is immediately forced into a position where he’s potentially going to have to play the ball.
Having seen Majid Haq (The worlds slowest international bowler) I realised that I could bowl as slow as I do, but, I needed to get a number of things right…
I’ve seen many bowlers take loads of wickets just simply bowling slow on a good line and length – the adage “You miss, I win” coming into play. So, if you’re getting the ball up there on a good line and length all those other attributes dip, drift and turn off the wicket make it that much harder to deal with.
So, get rid of your stumps find yourself a piece of hardboard about 10” wide (26cm) and 30” long (75cm). Place the target area with end nearest to you on a good length and have the farthest end on a fuller length and practice landing the ball on your target.
See this main page post here - http://www.wristspinbowling.com/accuracy-drills-spin-bowling.html