Ask the Readers: What are your tips for bowling faster? | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Ask the Readers: What are your tips for bowling faster?

I'm currently compiling what I hope will be the definitive guide to bowling faster. It's my response to the many questions I get here and on the Simply Cricket forum.

However, I'm no paceman myself (I have never bowled a ball in competitive cricket at any level) so I need your help.

If you are a seam or swing bowler, what are your tips for increasing pace?

I know there are many of you who will be able to help those who want to be able to bowl faster, so please leave your advice in the comments section.

It can be on any element related to speed: training, nutrition, recovery, technique or anything else you can come up with.

If it is good advice (and I'll bet it is) I'll add it to my fast bowling guide, giving you full credit of course.

So, leave a comment and let everyone know your secrets of getting faster.

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Hi David,

I would say the best advice would be to read the Fast Bowlers Bible, it sets out the principles of bowling fast clearly and concisely.

Most importantly, its best to run and carry any momentum forwards in a straight line, using your chest, shoulders and hips to power the ball down.

From the experience I've in training this also helps make it easier to bowl yorkers and bouncers effectively, by driving your shoulders and chest at the target area.

As far as training goes, I've found that gym work 3 times a week in the winter, then regular visits to the cricket field when the weather allows keeps you fit generally, and specifically for cricket.

In training, the most effective method of increasing speed, is weight resisted bowling either by means of the pulley weights at the gym, or a 1kg ball down at the cricket field.

Another thing that can slow me down, is my wrist, if my wrist isn't firm or breaks to one side. It's best to keep your wrist firm, flicking it forward if possible on release of the ball, pushing the ball down the pitch, this shold gain you a bit of pace.

A good way of training for this is to practice with a tennis ball, keeping your arm and shoulder still, flicking your wrist and throwing the ball at a wall (my dad told me this and it's another thing that seems to work).

Everybody is different and different things work for different people.


Some nice advice in there Daley!

I think bowling faster comes down to technique, fitness and desire.

Fitness is key though, train the wrong way and you'll little to any benefit.

High levels Desire, Fitness( work capacity), Total body strength
- posterior chain and upper body, neuro muscular co-ordination.

Great tips Daley. I would add that if you are doing resisted bowling you should also do light ball bowling to counteract the neuromuscular adaptations that a heavy ball makes. Also I would suggest doing opposite muscle work to prevent imbalances (sing arm rows, inverted rows, deadlifts and rotator cuff exercises).

Sounds great Russell, what does that mean to you?

By the way, the Fast Bowler's Bible is here:

strenght all the way.

tell us more Faris

Do yoga. When the tension in the muscles are less the motions become free and faster. in the long term it will increase flexibility and this will help muscles move faster. If you type yoga on a search engine it has many website that have step my step moving anamation pictures of yoga possitions. Yoga also helps improve mental side of the game. It helps improve concentration and to relax the mind. It helps you understand Your mind.
I wish you all the very best.

Yoga is good advice Sachin. As is using the Alexander Technique.

- The using of your wrist, to flick or push the ball forward can give some extra pace.
- Locking of the non-bowling arm into your hip
- High non-arm action (not too high, just enough to keep balanced)
- Following through
- Maintaining balance
- Side-on-action i think helps in bowling a faster ball (it's debatable though) I base this on by getting extra shoulder rotation will give you extra leverage meaning more pace
- Slamming of the front foot
- Bending of the back (extra leverage)
- A good run-up. You don't want to be running in flat out you just need rhythm and just enough pace.
- Quick transition from the back foot to the front foot.
- A tail-wind (hehehe).
- Showing some emotion. When your pumped you bowl faster.
- Aerodynamics (nah just kidding)
- Quick arm speed.
and last but not least just let the ball go. The feeling of nothing stopping you.

And all this in just one ball. Laughing out loud

I hope i helped.

Sounds like you are a bowler yourself Patrick

Yeh i'm a bowler Laughing out loud

- The most important element to bowl faster is desire.
- I have worked hard on making my legs stronger and that helps you generate power through the crease.
- The faster you move the bowling arm followed by the non bowling arm, the faster you will release the ball. basically fast arm as pointed out before.
- a good rhythm and arriving at the crease balanced.
- stable wrist and snapping the wrist at the point of delivery.
- overall fitness - so you can maintain that intensity throughout the spell.

hey thanx for the advise i am 14 years old and want toplay forthe first teamam my high school i hope this helps but some things i find that helps is
- dont try to hard bowl your natural ball
- lean a bit forward when you run up
- flick your rist when you realese the ball
-and try to get as fit as possible

hope that helped Eye-wink


Altho the biomechanics of the hip drive and chest drive are important for all those to work properly i think the bowler needs to get in a coil position the front knee up horizontal to the waist and the front arm fully loaded up when the back foot hits the floor.

Also when people try to bowl faster the distance in their leap into their delievery stride generally increases meaning that the chest drive is more difficult to perform.

Hi mike, so ur 14 and ur a fast bowler. can u tell me how fast u think u bowl? see i am 15 and i wanna know where i stand as a fast bowler. thanx
I can bowl 120 - 125 kph i guess

run up smooth start slow by bending forward get full power when reach bowling stride
backfoot after jump land parallel to bowling crease
frontfoot land towards legslip with all your body weight on front knee high side arm action helps
release ball with full power both arms move fast as u can watch after release ur back fully bend,non bowling arm not stuck in stomach it goes behind ur body,front hand must touch ur anckle or very nrar to ground
followthrough must atleast upto half pitch

Without going into technical details as there is abundance of that sort of information available I'd like to note some points I have understood from playing cricket for nearly 2 decades as a fast bowler :

1. Majority of the work happens between ears. Many a days I have turned up for my club, held the new ball and the first throught that crossed has been that I'm not 100% today. When that thought comes in I'm guarenteed I won't be bowling quick that day. That said, couple of early wickets has had me bowling quick as. While all of us are different, we all will at some point in time face such fatigue and the best possible way to get over it is to have a pre-game routine that sets you up the same way each weekend. I have noticed consistent pre-game routine has helped me bowl quick and in good areas.

2. It’s all about the ball and its condition : To me the skill definitely helps but unless you have the ball well maintained the skills come of no use. I have the ability to swing the ball both ways, bowl a deceiving slower ball when I like, bowl that surprise bouncers and Yorkers. In my opinion most experienced bowlers will have all these under their armory but these are only effective when you have a well maintained ball. You could do magic with the ball as long as it is maintained.

3. My policy to claim wickets has evolved over the years. Early on in my teens I would just want to run in bowl fast and claim a few wickets. After about a decade of playing permier level club cricket my philosophy to bowling changed. Since then the first thing I look for is swing. If there is swing in the air I’m confirmed of my success that day. If there’s a bit of green I’d rely on hitting the seam and getting purchase out of the pitch. While swing gives me the ability to claim wickets, the seam always helped me to move the ball off the pitch there by ensuring I’m not being hit around easily. There are days when there’s no swing in the air, no grass on the pitch and outfield is lightning quick. On days such as that, I settle into bowling mostly Yorkers, cutters, slower balls and occasional bouncers. Typically this philosophy works for me hands down.

4. I personally think these days the bowlers are extremely over coached. I’d only concentrate on three things, head position, non-bowling arm and wrist behind ball to be able to swing/seam. I’d like to ideally have my toes of my left foot (I’m a right arm bowler) facing down the pitch and pointing to the keeper ideally. For this I concentrated usually on my head to stay still and follow the ball after it was delivered. This usually help me to bowl in good areas consistently. I always had my non-bowling arm held strong in front of the body pointing towards the keeper. I was told to do this by a fast bowling legend and it worked wonders for me. Early on I didn’t have a clue about the wrist position but with years I figured using the wrist you can angle the ball where you want it to head and on its way pick fair bit of late swing. This has never failed me. I usually liked to keep it nice and simple.

5. Utmost important for bowling well for me was my bowling shoe. I figured over the years it is best to use ankle support, knee support and a good quality bowling shoes to keep me away from injuries. Occassionally I picked up sprained ankle and sore back but usually have had an injury free career so far.

I could go on and on and on about my experiences but I have figured you will mature with the time depending on how often you play a game. If you need to fast track you need emulate the game situations in the nets. Extremely important is the ability to visualize with out having to close your eyes the ball you are going to be bowling before you bowl each ball. As long as you know what ball you are going to bowl at the top of the mark you will most often not go wrong. I have experienced trouble bowling well when my mind isn’t to the task i.e when I’m rushing and haven’t visualized the ball I’m going to bowl at the top of the mark.

It is extremely important to watch your favorite bowlers as it leaves a lasting impression on the mind and a lot of times during the game you can replicate the delivery just by thinking about it.

Hi i am Abhishek a fast bowler want to bowl at my best pace...I have a zaheer khan's sort of an action....i want to increase my fitness also... can u'll help me out...with my pace and fitness... my current pace would be around 115 want to make it over 140+....can u help mee PLEASE

You are in the right place, explore the site as all the answers are here.

where I can buy heavy ball for fast bowling practice?

Great post Ravi: its the expereince that comes through in posts like that makes me love this site.

Hi am kagiso,16 male and live in polokwane first of all i love cricket i play for my team in seshego.iam a fast bowler and i go to the gym everybody when they first saw me told me i am the best but i feel like i can do more even when i take a wicket its nt enough for me.i started playing at primary in the age of 9 years.i want to know if iam gud enough to be a fast bowler because i knw iam 1.nd please update me when the limpopo cricket academy trials will be held.

Hi am kagiso,16 male and live in polokwane first of all i love cricket i play for my team in seshego.iam a fast bowler and i go to the gym everybody when they first saw me told me i am the best but i feel like i can do more even when i take a wicket its nt enough for me.i started playing at primary in the age of 9 years.i want to know if iam gud enough to be a fast bowler because i knw iam 1.nd please update me when the limpopo cricket academy trials will be held.

I'm a fast bowler and I find it a bit hard to release the ball so it hits the seam instead I bowl a sort of off cutter. Any tips or exercises on releasing the seam upright

Hi all,
I am a fast bowler, I can bowl @ 130 kph speed. I still want to improve my speed. I practice cricket with a aunty in Koti. I want to increase my speed of delivery. I become very tired after 3-4 overs. I should bowl atleast 8-10 continous overs to her When coming to batting, I play normal strokes. Aunty's balls are difficult to handle. She is a fast bowler. She is the coach for youngsters. How can I improve my batting technique?

Mr. Thamizh,

There are lot other sites where you an scribble your aunties stories. Here people have gathered to know more on fast bowling in Cricket.

Hope you understand.


Is it necessary to keep your head position straight while bowling or u can manage if ur head is Falling