Sunny yesterday, with the temperature getting up to around 17-18 degrees centigrade and the warmest day of the year so far, so I was able to get out on the paddock and bowled at a stump. Considering my fitness levels and the fact that I haven’t bowled very much at all I was happy with line, length and spin. I bowled a number of variations based on the work I did at the end of last season…
(1). Lower action – round armed leg-break.
(2). *Vertical armed – side spinning leg-break
(3). Small Leg-break with tons of over-spin.
(4). Fingery Top-Spinner which with some effort comes out as a wrong-un.
(5). Back-spinning Flipper.
It would be nice if I could get all of these working well, but realistically the two last variations will probably be ropey all through the season, although despite its ropie-ness the Fingery Top-Spinner gets me a few wickets each year when thrown in there as a variation. It’d be nice if I could work on the small Leg-Breaks nuances and get it to be a pure Top-Spinner as and when I wanted. So that’ll be something I reckon I’ll definitely work with. But the main thing will be to get the top three all accurate with regards the line and length and spin ‘em hard.
No (2). With the asterisk; is a good ball because of the way it comes out of the hand, it is a Leg-Break and it spins at 90 degrees to the direction of the wicket, but every now and then it comes out with the seam tilted backwards (I think) and therefore when it hits the deck it doesn’t turn - it skids on. No, it’s not one of those Sliders, I don’t bowl this intentionally - like Warne says it’s just a natural variation. But it looks very useful.
I noticed that the wear and tear from last years bowling was still evident and in need of repair so I’ve put some seed down hoping for some rain, but as yet that hasn’t happened, fingers crossed sometime this week it’ll rain and there’ll be some new grass for the summer. I don’t think I’ll cut the wicket this year as neither of my sons are inclined to join me over there now that they’re 15 and 18 years old, so I’ll just do as I did last year, just practice on the accuracy using the bit of board as the target area.