A little while back we posted a question to the coaches who read miCricketCoach: How do you stop bowling down the leg side?
We came up with some solutions, asked you to rate them and make some suggestions of your own. Which you did. Here is a selection of some of the answers we heard about from coaches out there in the real world.
Ben K wrote in saying:
"I have found a couple of common faults:
- The bowler rolls his fingers over the ball instead of pulling down behind the ball. To fix this do lots of release drills. Get the player to hold the ball seam up in his bowling hand and then hold his wrist with their other hand. Get him to flick the ball to a partner and try to keep it seam up by pulling straight down behind the ball. Progress to only using from elbow down then shoulder down then bowling on the spot.
- The bowler 'falls away' when bowling meaning that they tend to be slightly round arm and if they release too early it will go down the leg side. Fix this by walking through the action and concentrating on the head going at the batter rather than pulling towards third man. Having cones to keep them from falling over to the offside is a good idea."
Erik has a similar view but adds a point about the feet:
"This problem comes down to momentum.
"Firstly, the follow through, which is probably non-existent and makes the player overcompensate because he loses his shape at the crease. I would get him to follow through in the direction of fourth stump.
"Secondly, It is also likely that is front foot is pointing in the wrong direction (i.e. towards fine leg instead of fourth stump) Therefore, I would let him run in, in a straight line, so that all of his momentum is directed towards fourth stump.
"With older players you could them to focus on just pointing their front foot towards fourth stump, while maintaining the same run up. But with kids, you want to keep it simple."
Sheemar thinks it is to do with the thumb:
"Ask him to use his thumb position to alter the line. If his thumb is placed on the ball using the pad (fleshy part) he may want to try the bony area of the thumb."
"I will recommend him to have a nice run up. First slowly starting and gradually increase the pace of run up as he gets close to the delivery stride. Then I will see whether the bowler is seeing the target area where he wants the ball to be pitched. To do so the front hand should be used properly and the bowler has to target an area where he want to pitch the ball."
Diewerf takes another angle:
"A lack of fitness and technique are the main culprits when addressing poor bowling form.
"The two main reasons, apart from fitness, for balls drifting down leg is because of a lazy leading arm and a head that falls away to the off side in the delivery. It is usually brought on by exhaustion or “trying too hard.
"Explain to the youngster that consistency as a bowler is key. Never force the delivery no matter how worked up you get. As you get warmer the deliveries will get quicker by itself. Stay relaxed in the shorter delivery stride. At the moment of releasing the ball ensure that: Your leading arm must reach up in line with the target you are aiming at. Keep your head upright as long as possible. Forget about delivering a ball quickly with your right arm. Simple physics will take care of the delivery if you concentrate on bringing your left arm down quickly and in line with your target. Concentrate on pulling the left elbow into the ribcage. Also concentrate on bringing the right arm over as close to your right ear as possible. Release on the desired length.
"Do this for 20 balls, actively thinking of every single point raised above. Deliver all 20 balls in the area from the wide line outside off and the off stump. Then bowl at a batsman for 20 balls thinking of every single point as raised above. –This will test your resolve while you are practicing and teach you to stay calm when you are made to fetch while not trying to force deliveries. It comes down to discipline."
Thank you for your contribution. If you have a question or answer, please get in touch.