Fast bowlers are a temperamental lot, especially if it’s not ‘coming out right’.
The same guy who last week was scaring batsmen and knocking over stumps with fury in his eyes has this week become a warm cuddly friend to the batsmen bowling gentle medium pace.
You know who you are.
It sets a trend.
Without realising the whole side are going through the motions. Fielders are listless, the captain is letting the game drift and no one is having fun – except the opposition.
We can’t have that, so the only solution is to sledge your own team-mate, just to try and fire him back up again.
Here are some of my favourites:
- “Take off the handbrake”
- “Stop bowling spin”
- “It would help if you unhooked the caravan”
- “I always thought <insert name of rival bowler> had more pace”
- “Everything OK yeah? Then stop bowling like a idiot ”
- “Great tactic; a slower ball followed by 5 slower balls”
Mike Brearley used to call Ian Botham an old tart. It worked because it played on the ego of the great all-rounder.
Of course, not all bowler’s need a kick up the behind. Some prefer a quiet word of encouragement, but it tends to be the nature of the quickie that the more fired up you get them, the better they bowl.
Fast bowling needs fire in the belly as well as a good technique.
Some might say this approach is overly critical and rather than getting the bowler going it will stress him out.
I say rubbish.
Sure, if these comments are designed to be nasty and win some internal battle in the side you are not going to help a bowler by being sarcastic.
But as long as your comments are bedded in the context of a supportive team atmosphere where players are working hard together in the field then you have nothing to fear.
At the very least, it’s more fun than just shouting a mindless “come on lads” every other ball. That gets boring pretty quick and everyone switches off to it.
What about in your team, what do your players say to get the quickie seeing red?