Every team has the unlucky bowler who beats the edge to ohhs and ahhs from the slips yet picks up the rare wicket. The ball just swings too much to find the edge.
Can you turn that bowler from “unlucky fred” into “fantastic fred”?
You can, with one simple adjustment
Outswing bowlers bowl from fairly close to the stumps meaning that the ball starts on the line of middle and off and swings past 4th or 5th stump to the right hander this looks nice but does nothing for the wicket tally.
So get the bowler to start his run slightly wider and bowl from wider on the crease as the ball is angled into the stumps before tailing away at the last minute.
Yep, simply shift position on the crease.
This has 2 benefits:
- A ball that darts away is more likely to take the edge and bring keeper and slips into play.
- The ball that doesn’t swing as much thunders into the stumps or pads of the baffled batter.
At Trent Bridge in 2011, Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson demonstrated the benefit of this.
Both bowlers beat the bat a number of times early in the innings and then shifted to a more mid-crease positionThe ball swung as much as it would from being delivered from the normal position on the crease, yet it gives the appearance of angling into the stumps, drawing the batsman into the shot and then darting away at the last moment; inducing the edge!
It’s important to remember that this is a positional rather than technical change though.
Maintain the normal alignments in the bowlers approach and delivery stride. Just re-position their starting marker and therefore their eventual position on the crease. This way the power generated and repeatability of the action is unchanged and uncompromised.
The same ball dynamic gains wicket-taking results.
As Duncan Fletcher would say;
“Cricket is about geometry and angles young Garaway."
The ball coming into the stumps at pace is more threatening than the ball moving away at pace.
He always went on about it and that’s why the 2005 Ashes winning bowling unit were so good.
Former England swing bowler Hoggard had the best strike rate in the world cricket to lefties like Langer and Hayden. Meanwhile Flintoff and Jones reversed the ball in and out to the right handers bring the stumps into play; the mighty Aussies had no answers.
If "Unlucky Fred" is tactically deployed to bowls balls swinging into left-handers when they first come in then he increases his chances of success.
His strike rate decrease, his wicket tally goes up and the team results improve: now that’s “Coaching to Win!”
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