Wrist Spin Bowling (part Five)

SomeblokecalledDave.

Some Bloke Called Dave
One thing I might do is to ask the captain to field at slip, he's a top fielder and some chances have gone begging in that area. I want someone ninja in there.

How I think about fielding is I basically want the best catchers in areas where chances are created, that's behind the wicket, cover and mid on/mid off or long on/long off for the big alpha flashy drivers.
To be honest, I'm usually the same - let the captain set the fields. But when I play in the 5th XI the captain's probably a lot more amenable to the bowlers setting their fields, but I never take him up on the offer and if I do it's a pretty standard in out field. But in the last few months I've had Warne's words in my ears, can't remember where I heard it, but he said... as the captain you want to be asking your bowlers "How you going to get me a wicket champ?" inferring that there should be a definite plan.


I know bowlers with far more experience than me look at things such as the stance of the bowler, how high that hold the bat, whether they keep their head still and all sorts. I'm nowhere near that switched on, but I do watch the bats when they face the bloke at the other end, whether they look confident coming out of their ground, the range of shots they play, whether it looks as though they're stronger leg-side or off-side - basic stuff.

I've always said it, but I get the sense that at club level there are a lot of blokes who fancy themselves against spinners especially leg-side. Thinking about Warne's 'How you going to get me a wicket' question I then questioned my long term approach of bowling on or around off-stump, looking for edges and catches on the off-side. I have a mate who bowls in the same league as me and we've played in the same team and bowled in tandem. He always said of me that I was far more accurate than him, yet he took far more wickets than me. I then concluded this was simply because he bowled leg-side - attacking the stumps?


Pitching the ball legside has always been an accident when I'm bowling and it's usually put away in part because the fields not set for it. I thought about whether it might bring me more wickets and started to conclude that it might? I was then encouraged further by re-reading about the blind spot that we all suffer from that can affect perception of where the ball is coming into the batter from outside leg. So last winter I started to bowl completely new lines outside leg and tried bowling against far better batters. It worked. So in answer to the Warne question, I'd come back with... (1) Bowled: (2). Stumped: (3) Caught on the leg-side by mis-hit balls, bowling into the stumps means that the batter has to play the ball. My old outside off approach meant that much of the time they could leave the ball and play off the back foot quite easily. Over the duration of winter nets picthing the ball on or around legstump mixing leg-breaks with Flippers, I observed that I wasn't being hit much at all straight and if the ball strayed to middle or wider to the off-side - cut shots were used. Bowling into the legs, I then found that the bats were cursing a lot of the time when trying to be aggressive as they perceived the shot would have been caught.


I then worked on figuring out a field that would support this approach based on the fact that scoring shots seemed to be primarily through the leg-side, but seemingly high-risk? I've not deployed it in a game this season, but have used it in the nets. So, what I do is go into the nets and show the batters a diagram of the field setting and leave it with them and say - 'That's the field - you tell me how many runs you make and whether you're caught. Again, I try and bowl at the better batters and oh my God does it work well! The last time in the nets I bowled at two batters first and 2nd XI players, a good solid bat and the other bloke an aggressive big hitting batter. The more correct of the two looked at the field and took it on-board and had every intention of staying in. He faced about 4 overs from me and was out 3 times, first time within about 9 balls. He said of the idea of taking the field diagram and showing it to him was superb as it made him play like he was in a game rather than just hitting the ball with no potential consequences. The other really aggressive bloke took more balls before he conceded I'd got him and scored a few potential boundaries, it took me about 12 balls to get him for around 14 runs. He was gutted and I then got him a couple more times over the 20 mins he was in the net.

I've just remembered reading about Grimmett, he said that he never went to nets when he played in the Aussie team primarily because he didn't like Bradman who he played with in the Sheffield shield games on the opposing side. His rationale was he didn't want Bradman to figure him out or get the edge over him. I've used this idea of taking my field diagram into nets for a couple of months now and it brings the batters down to earth a bit, in fact a lot and makes bowling in the nets a lot more fun and productive, whereas normally I find it slightly demoralising. I've potentially got 1 more game if I get picked on the 11th - I might try and put these theories into practice if I get the opportunity.
 

Leggy88

Member
I then worked on figuring out a field that would support this approach based on the fact that scoring shots seemed to be primarily through the leg-side, but seemingly high-risk? I've not deployed it in a game this season, but have used it in the nets. So, what I do is go into the nets and show the batters a diagram of the field setting and leave it with them and say - 'That's the field - you tell me how many runs you make and whether you're caught. Again, I try and bowl at the better batters and oh my God does it work well! The last time in the nets I bowled at two batters first and 2nd XI players, a good solid bat and the other bloke an aggressive big hitting batter. The more correct of the two looked at the field and took it on-board and had every intention of staying in. He faced about 4 overs from me and was out 3 times, first time within about 9 balls. He said of the idea of taking the field diagram and showing it to him was superb as it made him play like he was in a game rather than just hitting the ball with no potential consequences. The other really aggressive bloke took more balls before he conceded I'd got him and scored a few potential boundaries, it took me about 12 balls to get him for around 14 runs. He was gutted and I then got him a couple more times over the 20 mins he was in the net.

I've just remembered reading about Grimmett, he said that he never went to nets when he played in the Aussie team primarily because he didn't like Bradman who he played with in the Sheffield shield games on the opposing side. His rationale was he didn't want Bradman to figure him out or get the edge over him. I've used this idea of taking my field diagram into nets for a couple of months now and it brings the batters down to earth a bit, in fact a lot and makes bowling in the nets a lot more fun and productive, whereas normally I find it slightly demoralising. I've potentially got 1 more game if I get picked on the 11th - I might try and put these theories into practice if I get the opportunity.
That's awesome. I'm definitely going to use that field setting method when my club starts training in a month or two.
 

SomeblokecalledDave.

Some Bloke Called Dave
Would be great too see your bowling, mate. I'll make some vids, too.
Might happen, as I'm the holder of the net keys at our club and some of the blokes have shown an interest to continue practicing in the nets right through till the weather turns bad. I might be able to get a camera set up with a batter when I'm putting that into practice.
 

SomeblokecalledDave.

Some Bloke Called Dave
So, you've set your field and you're suggesting to the batter that the potentially most productive shot is a big slog over the boundary between backward of square leg round to Deep wide long on and you're pretty much guaranteed that they're going to have a go. What you're attempting to do is (1). Bowled round the legs, (2). Stumped or a (3). Mishit slog. Question is - do you have the 3 fielders out there on the Boundary to execute the catches or do you bring them in closer and in doing so tempt them to play those high risk shots? But at the same time run the risk of more runs being scored? You're bowling leg-breaks and Flippers around the wicket. (No other variations).
 
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Darth Spin

Active Member
So, you've set your field and you're suggesting to the batter that the potentially most productive shot is a big slog over the boundary between backward of square leg round to Deep wide long on and you're pretty much guaranteed that they're going to have a go. What you're attempting to do is (1). Bowled round the legs, (2). Stumped or a (3). Mishit slog. Question is - do you have the 3 fielders out there on the Boundary to execute the catches or do you bring them in closer and in doing so tempt them to play those high risk shots? But at the same time run the risk of more runs being scored? You're bowling leg-breaks and Flippers around the wicket. (No other variations).
Assuming a competent batsman I'd have them deep as it's not a strategy I've tried before.
 

Darth Spin

Active Member
My match today was cancelled because of lack of players available on our team, that's fine by me as I keep my average intact. There's just one match left next week.
 

SomeblokecalledDave.

Some Bloke Called Dave
Yep, I'd have the same approach as you. I've seen most of your vids Dave, for the one above do you add a runup to that or do you just stick from a couple of steps? If so, why?
That was shot some years ago at a low ebb. Around that time I was just working on accuracy and spinning the ball hard, but found that I could only combine those two elements off of that approach to the crease. This was at the end of the season where I wasn't given any overs in a few games as the captain at the time thought my bowling was crap. So over Sept and Oct once the season was over I went through a process of reflection and took long hard critical look at what options were there for development. I'd concluded I either slowed right down and bowled like this or looked at running in off of a much longer run-up. I found that I couldn't bowl Leg-Breaks anywhere near as accurately as in this video if I was more dynamic approaching and moving through the crease. But, having not bowled Flippers for years I spent a session coming in off a 9 step run-up and it worked... Speed, accuracy and spin. Over 2019 I mixed the two approaches and it increasingly became obvious that I was far more affective with the Flippers - taking wickets and coming away with low averages, but bowling my full allocation of 8 overs. 2020 and 2021 saw a series of knee injuries through over-exercise and not allowing enough time to recover. By the end of 2021 I was bowling 95% Flippers off of a 'Bustle' into the crease and that's probably what I'm doing now... I bustle in off of about 3 or 4 steps. I frequently try and develop a run in off of about 9 steps, but I do this ridiculous stutter that doesn't happen away from the stumps - but as soon as you add some stumps to the equation it falls to pieces and the stutter appears!
 

Darth Spin

Active Member
From a few years back But I'll try and get some new footage in the nets at batters, I know there's a bloke who usually takes me to task who's looking to get in the nets, I'll try and get some of that battle.
Thanks for this, I've watch it in full. Your action looks nice and rhythmical there despite the low ebb. It's funny how bowling wrist spin is such a psychological battle at times, and other times when bowling well feels almost effortless. I would love to reach that rhythmical/effortless state all the time and be able to bowl like that at all times, it comes and goes though.
 

SomeblokecalledDave.

Some Bloke Called Dave
Thanks for this, I've watch it in full. Your action looks nice and rhythmical there despite the low ebb. It's funny how bowling wrist spin is such a psychological battle at times, and other times when bowling well feels almost effortless. I would love to reach that rhythmical/effortless state all the time and be able to bowl like that at all times, it comes and goes though.
No worries, thanks for the compliment. If I can get in the nets over Sept/Oct it'll be interesting to hear what you think and interesting from my own perspective as I've not shot any footage of myself bowling for a couple of years now. I feel like recently I've been bowling okay - but the plan aspect has been missing. It feels now with the clear idea of a field to set and a plan of how I'm going to get the wicket that may be having a very positive affect on my bowling. It's meant that I've increasingly bowled Leg-breaks mixed in with the Flippers, It may have been 50/50 in the nets over the last 6 weeks? I may get picked for this weekend, but it'll be ballsy if I insist on setting my own field, I might get away with it with the 3rd XI captain he's a pretty good bloke. Gotta get picked first though!
 

Leggy88

Member
No worries, thanks for the compliment. If I can get in the nets over Sept/Oct it'll be interesting to hear what you think and interesting from my own perspective as I've not shot any footage of myself bowling for a couple of years now. I feel like recently I've been bowling okay - but the plan aspect has been missing. It feels now with the clear idea of a field to set and a plan of how I'm going to get the wicket that may be having a very positive affect on my bowling. It's meant that I've increasingly bowled Leg-breaks mixed in with the Flippers, It may have been 50/50 in the nets over the last 6 weeks? I may get picked for this weekend, but it'll be ballsy if I insist on setting my own field, I might get away with it with the 3rd XI captain he's a pretty good bloke. Gotta get picked first though!
Good luck mate, I hope you get picked!
 

Darth Spin

Active Member
I haven't been picked this week. There's a ringer in the team and a couple of first teamers who don't usually play, so I guess the oppo are quite strong. Not sure if I've been dropped or not. So that's my season over. I was used sparingly, but enjoyed it in the main.

Overs 26.2
Maidens 0
Runs 160
Wickets 13
 
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