There is not much that is more satisfying for a seam bowler than steaming in, beating the batsman for pace and seeing the stumps cartwheeling back. If anyone knows how to tease that extra pace out of you it's Ian Pont: Cricket guru and fast bowling coach to Essex CCC and the Netherlands World Cup squad.
Ian's theories are outlined in his excellent online course here. While I highly recommend you pick up a copy, Ian has agreed to impart a few of his fast bowling secrets for nothing.
Fast Bowling Hints and Tips
- While you need a certain amount of natural ability to be able to bowl at 90mph, everyone can improve on their natural bowling speed no matter how fast they are.
- Imagine you are bowling in a railway track. This will help you run-up straight, keep your weight moving in a straight line in your action and follow-through straight. If it doesnt go at the batsman, then change it!
- Your non-bowling arm is far more important than your bowling arm. Use it properly by driving it out and down so it passes your side. When you do this properly, it will accelerate your bowling shoulder and help increase speed. Some have argued that this can stop genuine swing happening, so take care if you rely on traditional swing.
- Keep your elbows and arms pumping in as you run up and load up into your action. Nothing throws your momentum and straight lines off like unnecessary side-to-side movements. Keeping your action tighthelps you to control the release of the ball.
- Start your run up leading with your arm. This drives force down your body and into the ground for greater speed. Drive your arms fast in short a short pumping action which will force you forward faster.
- Make sure you fully rotate your shoulders on completion of action. If you have a name on your back imagine you are going to show it to the batsman when you finish. This will help you think about how much of a shoulder turn youre aiming for
- Try to drive your chest through the crease just before you let the ball go. The sensation is that of being pulled forward by the batsman with a big rope attached to your chest. This gets you as far in front of the ballas possible and increases arm pull and speed of the arm
- At the point of delivery, your hips and nose will be facing the batsman. If your bowling hip is lazy it will lag behind thus dropping your speed. If your nose isnt facing the batsman, your head is probably falling away. The hips are the powerhouse of your body. Get them in the right position
- Try not to throw your non-bowling arm too high as it gets you off balance and affects your timing. Remember, youre trying to go forwards, not up and down
- Your bowling arm starts to bowl from the downswing, which is close to your bowling side hip. Getting your bowling hand into this position quickly from your load-up helps you improve your speed and timing.
If these ideas have tickled your interest you can now get all Ian's fast bowling advice in one place. It's the same information he provides on his ABSAT courses in person, only now you can learn it all online. Click here to view Ian's fast bowling course on PitchVision Academy.