Bowling Drills: Don't be Like Sreesanth, Make No Balls a Thing of The Past | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Bowling Drills: Don't be Like Sreesanth, Make No Balls a Thing of The Past

The no ball is the bane of the fast bowler. Just ask Sreesanth, who is infamous for overstepping.

You charge in, trying to exert every last ounce of pace onto the ball, finally get the edge you want into the keeper's gloves.

And the umpire calls the dread two words; "no ball!"

The worst part of it is that although you only have yourself to blame, you have no idea how it happened.

It's a terrible habit, but like all habits it can be broken.

You just need the cricket equivalent of a nicotine patch for a smoker; you apply it and - with a bit of work - the problem fades.

And you never have to see the umpire raise his arm to the side again.

So what is the patch you need?

Stop ingraining the bad habit

The first step is to make the effort.

You will be surprised how many bowlers go into nets and ignore the front foot line. Many over-step by a long way.

Maybe it's because most bowlers can bowl like that in practice and be fine in games. Maybe it's born from the shortened run up you get in indoor nets.

Whatever your reason, it has to stop. You have to make a conscious effort to land your foot somewhere between the bowling crease and the popping-crease.

Which leads us nicely onto the second point; you don't even need to get close to the line, you have some room to move.

Pace bowlers try to get to the line to make them seem fast. The reality is that the batsman can't tell the difference in pace unless you are a long way back. Ask one of your top batters at the next practice if they notice, they will tell you it's not even on their radar.

So aim to land your whole foot behind the line and you have several inches of "overstep" with which to play.

Your patch is applied and your problem goes away.

Track your improvement

The problem is that you wont see things vanish right away, and while you improve it's impossible for you to monitor where your feet are landing.

So you can use PitchVision to track it for you.

Place fabric crease sensor at the popping crease line end of the pitch. Like the picture below, you can see the sensor is large enough to detect a foot along way behind the crease. This is what you want.

In the PitchVision software on your laptop, use the Front Foot report to look into the exact landing spot of your foot (and anyone else who is bowling).

The report will track how many times you bowl a no ball. Over time, this number will drop to zero.

But the key is still the no ball. You will be surprised how quickly the problem stops when you have the motivation of every ball you bowl being watched by the silent electronic 'umpire'.

If you need even more incentive, every no ball you bowl in practice also gives the batter a free hit the next ball you bowl.

More on this drill in the video below:

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