Playing Cricket in our gullies, neighborhood grounds, and schools is a part of Indian culture; our childhood is half-done without those memories. However, when contemplating a career in professional Cricket, following the right techniques is necessary. With the growing competition, learning skills that will give you a chance to stand out among the hundreds of thousands of other cricketers on the pitch are the need of the hour.
We’re going to talk about Bowling Techniques that are a must for cricketers in the initial phase of their career. But first, let’s explore the different types of bowling styles:
1. Pace Bowlers – Pace bowlers or fast bowlers use speed to their advantage against the batsmen on the field. These bowlers are further categorized based on their speed. Under Pace Bowlers, we have Swing Bowlers, who use the ball’s seam to make it follow a curved trajectory.
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2. Spin Bowlers – Spin bowlers bestow rotation to the ball and use it against the batsmen. Again, we can classify them into two broad categories: wrist spin and finger spin. Wrist spin bowlers use their wrists to turn to the ball, and finger spin bowlers use their fingers.
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3. Slow Seam Bowlers – These bowlers bowl at the speed of a spinner without turning the bowl. They usually bring variations in their bowling style and length to keep the batsmen on their toes.
Credits: weCricket on Youtube
Here is a list of drills that, if done regularly, can drastically improve your game:
– Practice the Basic Action
Holding the right posture while bowling is essential as it can aid your accuracy and improve balance on the pitch.
- Approach and Bound: Follow a normal running pattern, arms close to the body, and hands above the waist. Jump off the left foot in case you’re a right-arm bowler and vice-versa.
- Back-Foot Landing: Keep your hips and shoulders at 90 degrees to the back-foot landing position while the body remains upright and eyes fixed on the target.
- Front-Foot Landing: The front foot steadies and supports to strengthen the shoulder rotation. The front foot points down the pitch for both the front-on and semi-front on actions, while at landing with the side-on action, it points towards fine-leg.
- Release: Release the ball at the peak of your bowling trajectory. The front elbow drives into the front hip, and the front arm remains still at release. Ensure that the seam is vertical; keep the head still with the eyes fixed on the target.
– Target Practice
Nothing is better than the good old’ target practice. Bowling well means being able to hit the right spot with accuracy, that is, the stumps. It is a simple drill that requires you to bowl without a batsman on the pitch. You can follow this simple routine for any form of delivery:
- Aiming at the top of the stumps, aka the bails
- Fourth-fifth stump line – aiming right outside the off stump
- Back to the deck – delivering the ball from height to extract extra bounce
- Fuller to allow for swing
- Slower balls and variation
The ultimate goal is to keep practicing. Maintain track of your progress and work on getting better; you are your best competitor.
– Prehab Drill – Med Balls Slam
This drill is a series of progressions –
- Warm-up: Stand shoulder-width apart, holding the ball above your head with straight arms. Twisting your body, throw the ball on either side, one after the other, and catch it as it bounces back.
- Double leg: Stand shoulder-width apart, holding your hands above your head. Make your friend throw the ball at your hand from 1m apart and try stopping it, bearing the force behind the ball. Once you’ve achieved this, bounce the ball back to your friend and repeat it.
- Single leg (back foot): Repeat Double leg med ball slam, but only with your back foot on the ground. Don’t forget to align your foot the same as you land when you’re bowling.
- Single leg (front foot): Repeat the previous step but now with your front foot.
– Double Target Practice
This is a variation to the traditional target practice. Over here, the bowler places two targets instead of one. The goal is to aim at one target, then switch to the other and hit it continuously. This drill will help you variate your line and length and set the batsmen up.
However, this practice is less useful for spinners as they rely on the flight and turn while hitting the same area consistently.
– Swing Drill
Swing drill will help you understand if you’re swinging the ball and where to start to achieve the desired result. For this drill, set up the single stump 5-6m in front of the stumps.
For outswingers, set up the stump on the fifth-sixth stump line and try to pass the right side of it. Aim at hitting or just missing the main stumps.
For inswingers, place the stump on about the fourth-off stump and pass the left side off it. Aim at hitting off the stump.
The best advice that anyone can give you is to keep practicing and exploring new techniques to scale up your game. Once you’re past the beginners’ phase, try creating your tactics that will take the batsmen by surprise when they least expect it.
Credits: Cric science on Youtube
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