Sunday, October 04, 2015

Stuart MacGill field setting leg spin

Click on the image below to go to the field setting...

Stuart MacGill v Pakistan Right-Handers at Rawlpindi 1998 1st Test.
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Saturday, October 03, 2015

Field setting leg-spinner to tail ender observed as weak through the off-side.

When we practice currently we do so on a cricket ground with an all weather strip. It's usually my younger son and I we're primarily bowlers, so we're tail-enders. In order to make the practice more worthy we set out a field using cones, so if the balls in the air and it goes anywhere near the cones it's deemed as being caught. Bowling today I noticed with my initial field which was split 50-50 legside and offside I was carted primarily over the legside. Realising that my son is far better hitting the ball through the legside I then considered 'Angry Ranga's' field posted on Big Cricket here and then came up with my only slightly less radical approach below... Using this field below I managed to get my younger son out 12 times in 46 balls only going for 20 runs or so, most of the dismissals would have been catches.

So this field may be an option against a tail ender like myself or my son who struggle to hit the ball easily through the off-side and rely on scoring runs on the leg-side.

Check out my other blog here - this is all about Leg-spin bowling and nothing else. Double click on the image below.

How to put kids off of playing cricket

One of the best ways of putting kids off of playing cricket is to progress them up to adult games and make them umpire when they're not ready and you've got idiot adults batting. Somehow some adults don't seem to realise that teenage boys do not have the same skill sets as Marais Erasmus, Billy Bowden and Kumar Dharmasena, along with the years of experience and training. So if your captain for whatever reason and it's usually because the other adults haven't turned up because they're still hung over from Friday night or knew they were going to be S**t faced on Saturday and therefore declined to play that week, is forced to put a kid in the position of being umpire. Think before you start losing it when you're given out LBW...

1. The kids is probably totally intimidated by the situation in the first place because your team doesn't do in-house umpiring.
2. The kid isn't Billy Bowden.
3. The kids is surrounded by adults shouting in his face Howzat - who he doesn't know who probably look really aggressive and intimidating.
4. He doesn't have a 3rd umpire or a review system to turn to.
5. As far as he's concerned it did hit your pads - it looked that way.
6. He's not an expert in any way shape or form and might be completely intimidated by the whole affair. Think Fatty Batter and the explanation in that book why the author always preferred playing friendly games.

Finally this is not football, this is cricket, a gentleman's game, so if the kid or anyone gives you out keep your mouth shut, accept your fate and walk away like a man and learn how to hit the ball cleanly rather than edge it onto your pads. I don't care if you've paid £12 to play and now you've got to spend the next 6 hours fielding or sitting watching other people score runs; or maybe in your mind lose the game. You are in a team with inexperienced players, kids trying to find their way, so the last thing they need is for you to turn round and glare at them swearing and cursing, claiming you hit the ball, standing there as if you're being paid to play and this is the death knell of your career because the selectors are watching, you're not Ponting or Bell, you're probably some bloke who's main focus in life is football. If you don't like it, stop playing cricket, sort your f****d up knees out, stop drinking beer and man up - go and shout and glare at other adults on a football pitch and stop bullying small boys if that's your thing. 

Kids are the life blood of a cricket team not arrogant has beens in their 40's who can't hit the ball any more (sober or hung-over). Back to the sheds mate and shut the F**k up.

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Thursday, October 01, 2015

Summer continues...

The prospect of a nice weekend looks very promising, so I'll be having a bowl along with Joe in preparation of his trials for the South Essex District Cricket Board team.

I'm not sure what I'll be doing or whether I'll look to add anything to the process so far. I've been reading a lot about the pivot of late and bracing the leg, so I may give that a go and see how it pans out. I've been doing it off of a stand start without a ball and it feels weird, I know from previously trying it if I do it and get it right it makes a significant difference to the outcome. I suspect it'll be a little wayward if not a total disaster with regards the accuracy, but it's something I do need to start working with at some point. The decision is whether to do so now or at nets in January.

Meanwhile I'm doing a lot of work on my other blog here

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Field settings - Mustaq Ahmed v The Aussies 1995 at the SCG 3rd test

Leg Spin Bowling - Field Settings
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Just been watching Mushtaq Ahmed bowling against Mark Taylor and David Boon. Taylor is a left-hander and I've been able to suss out his field for him and it's here. The associated video which is his whole spell is below the field setting diagram

If you want to discuss this field join the spin forum here...

From the same game, here’s the field setting for David Boon (Right-hander).

New post at the Legspin blog

I've got a couple of other Leg-spin blogs that I've neglected, but I've noticed that they get far more hits and views than this blog, so the stuff that is more specific to bowling is going to be posted there. Here's the first 'Diary Post'.

Click on the Image to go to the post.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Blimey my other blog is doing well!

I've got a load of blogs, most of which have fallen by the wayside and I don't maintain. But today looking through them I checked out one of them and noticed that two of the posts had an unbelievably high number of page hits - thousands more than I ever get on this blog!

Thinking about it the web address for this blog is extremely obscure and difficult to find or recognise as being what it is using the web address on its own. But the other blog lends itself to the content...

Therefore I reckon that's the reason the other blog has so many page hits? As a result I've had to do a bit of work on it and get some content in there and fingers crossed, I'll get my page hits going up across all 10 pages at the same rate that the two good pages were going. If the content is updated I'll post it on here.

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Paddock under threat

Why take away the facilities?

On the way into work I noticed there were a couple of contractors in the paddock across the road from our house (Valence Way-Fern Hill SS16 5UE) where we cut a wicket, they appeared to be doing something with the goal posts that are in there and I assumed they were making them safe. So on the way home I was expecting to see the goal posts set up-right seated in a new concrete base or something?

Instead I found that they'd removed all of the chain link fencing that stops our cricket balls and footballs disappearing into the bush. In addition the goal posts had been removed and an anti vehicle fence put up to stop anyone from parking on there. All in all the whole space now rendered absolutely useless as a space in which to play any sports.

Now I find this kind of contradictory, because as far as I was aware this was the Governments agenda...

Sport can improve people’s health as well as enriching their lives. Investing in facilities and encouraging participation in grassroots sport among adults as well as children will produce wide-ranging benefits.


So by de-commissioning the space and rendering it absolutely useless to anyone - how does that work with the agenda? I emailed one of the organisers for our local estate and her response was that the space would now be a picnic area. Hmmm, I can't see anyone going in there and having picnic especially as now the area is obviously no longer set aside for any form of sport the space will be quickly filled with dog crap.

I can get around it by driving 3 miles to out club and practicing on the artificial wicket there, but that then burns fossil fuels and I'm driving my car around unnecessarily. Or next year we just get resourceful in some way and erect our own fence to enable us to continue using it. The dumb thing is my son is on the verge of breaking into the Essex side as a bowler. The reason for this - he had somewhere to practice and now that has gone.

It's a shame they could have just left the fence.

So here's what they've done...
 This is what's left of the fence.

Ben Thompson looks on in dismay.
 This is the business end - this is the area that was behind the stumps, so this is where the fence is required and no longer is. My son Ben looks on in dismay.
Check out my other blog here - this is all about Leg-spin bowling and nothing else. Double click on the image below.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Development and re-construction of bowling action - repeatable and consistent.

Previous Post can be found here

(1). What Happened? Bowled today against a bunch of sloggers at our fun day using a plastic training ball on an artificial wicket and wasn't able to get the ball to turn. Also got called for foot over the line 'No-Balls'.

(2). Feelings. Okay, not that fussed on what happened, the only person that really got after me was my own son Joe.

(3). What was good and bad? (Evaluation). The ball didn't turn anywhere near enough, but I beat the bat loads with the little turn that there was combined with the increased pace. At one point I was told 'Float it in - don't bowl darts'. Bad... No-Balls, where I stepped over the popping crease in the delivery.

(4). Analysis. The weight of the ball was significantly different, but I adapted to it quite quickly. For some reason the ball didn't turn a great deal, but I beat the bat loads with the pace. My accuracy was pretty good and I got the edge a couple of times with the wicket keeper taking the catch on 2 occasions.

It does appear that when confronted with a batsman that I don't know, I run in faster and as a result I was called no-ball a few times, so one of the things I need to do in my practice is extend the run-in to 13' and work with that.

The ball wasn't turning, but I'm not that fussed about that either, I think that may have been the nature of the ball and the fact that we were bowling on an artificial surface. One of the things I may have to look at and adapt to when bowling is ascertain whether my bowing is going to turn off the wicket and if not bowl with a lot more over-spin which I can easily do with an adjustment of the wrist, but looking ahead I will need to improve my Top-Spin release so that it is spun harder and gets more dip.

(5). Conclusion. Keep going as I am, put any negative thought behind me and work with the arm as previously discussed.

(6). Action Plan.
(a). Adjust the length of the run-up to 13'.
(b). Explore reaching out with the leading arm and see if it leads to any significant improvement.
(c). Start to explore getting up on to the toes in the pivot. It's already been noticed in the last video that the bowling is better when I do this.

B&PCC 4th XI v Belhus cc 5th Sept 2015

B&PCC 4th XI v Belhus cc 5th Sept 2015

This was always going to be a good game, we like Belhus, they're great bunch of blokes who play the game in the right spirit. This was the last game of the season, they were mid table of the league and safe in their position and we were at the bottom heading for a league below. To be honest this league for the last two years was always a league too far and we only just scraped into it this year through some weird process that I don't actually recall, but we should have gone down last year. So this year we've had a season of games where we were mullered most of the time. We won one game - don't know how and again as with last year it was while we were on holiday?

Leading up to the game with weather as usual was bad - NW winds, heavy rain mid-week, temperature in the 18 degree centigrade region. Friday it stayed dry and it was a bit breezy, so a chance for the wicket to dry out. Saturday morning which was forecast to be sunny with blue sky, ended up being grey with drizzle every now and then.

The good news was that both sons were playing - so Ben played his 2nd game this season.
Dutton had a plan if he won the toss - we'd bowl first - the wicket was wet and grassy and they had a plan too if they won the toss - they'd bat, so they didn't even bother to toss. Dutton had a plan - we were all going to bowl in 4 over spells irrespective of what happened.
Harry Davie and Joe Thompson both bowled from this end (Estate End).

So, on a very damp wicket under leaden skies younger son Joe was set the task of getting their batsmen back in the sheds. He's our opener (14 years old). His older brother Ben (17) who's not played cricket now for a while because he's got himself a "Silvirkrin" played for only the 2nd time this season and so had to bowl 2nd change.
Joe and Liam Harms got off to a good start, Liam especially...

Liam Harms left hand medium fast - Joe Thompson right hand medium fast.

With two wickets for 2 runs off of his first spell of 4 overs 4-2-2-2 one of the maidens being a wicket maiden. Joe was struggling at the other end with new cricket shoes, but still kept it tight going for 4-2-5-0 at the end of the 8th over only seven runs had been conceded which we needed desperately to be the case as we once again had no batting of any real significance other than John Bedford with potential in the form of Lee Dutton and Tony Harms.

1st change brought on older son Ben and Harry Davie. Harry was first up from the Estate End and bowled a superb four overs for only 3 runs including 2 maidens... 4-2-3-0 keeping us very much in the game. Ben coming in not having played any cricket for months went for more... 4-0-13-0, but that still left us in a very good position with the Belhus run rate kept at a ridiculously low rate with only 24 runs made after 16 overs.

Then Dutton got himself and me into the action with me bowling from the Estate End. Dutton speculated that they were giving the younger players a go up front and as the batting went on we'd see the better ones come through with 3 down care of Liam me and Lee were confronted by the first of the better batsmen it seemed. Not that good a situation when this was the first instance where I'd be rolling out my new approach to the crease .

Apart from a couple of wides I did okay coming away with 4-1-4-0 off my first spell. Dutton at the other end with his Finger spin went for more runs but came away with wickets... 4-1-13-2, so despite the fact that we'd gone to slow bowlers the run rate was still low giving us a glimmer of hope, but we knew they had a lot more in the locker including their bloke who we call 'Sidebottom'.

The Sidebottom bloke didn't get to bat that much in the end, but Ruck, Sullivan and Wilson all made valuable contributions that got their score moving towards one whereby we'd struggle to chase it down. Ben Took a wicket hitting Rucks off stump and he was well chuffed as this was the only game this season that he's bowled in. Liam took the wicket of Long (Sidebottom) which was a result because he can hit the ball over the boundary here at Langdon hills for sixes.

But Joe and Liam came back on at the end and both bowled tightly and managed to keep the score respectable.
We then had a lovely tea and came back on to the field to chase 144. With John Bedford, Lee Dutton, Tony Harms and Nick Brown in the team, assisted by Steve Bonnett, there was a chance that this might be do-able. All we had to do was somehow negotiate R.Long (AKA Ryan Sidebottom).

It didn't happen...

I batted at 11 as usual, but went out with positive intent and hit three fours and a single and was looking to go on to beat my all time highest score of 16. But Squires had other ideas and got Ben's wicket caught again by that bloke Long who'd already taken 6 wickets with his bowling and now finished us off with a catch curtailing any chance of me setting a new PB.

Steve Bonnett batted well scoring the highest score with 31 and I came in 2nd with 13 runs.
Despite losing and being cleaned up by R.Long it had been a very good game which it always is with the Belhus boys. Ben enjoyed it despite the loss and hopefully next year he'll play more frequently?  This game being another loss meant that all season we'd won only one game so we'll be moving out of this league back down to a level we might win a few games in! I for one will be looking forward to that, especially as the wickets are often a little ropey and spin friendly.
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