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.