Wouldn't it be handy to know the exact natural spell of every bowler? As a captain, coach or even bowler, you will be able to use your best time, and rest when you know you are tiring. Every bowler - no matter how fit - has a natural spell length.
No one can hit a length on the first ball and then keep up pace and accuracy forever There is a lead in period, a time when you find your sweet spot. Eventually you will tire and tail off.
When you start to tire, accuracy goes a little, perhaps you lose the snap through your action. The captain asks "OK for one more?" and we all know every bowler on earth will say yes, despite knowing it's all over really.
These are dangerous overs to bowl because you are more likely to get your figures ruined than bowl a magic ball.
So, if you know your lead-in and cut-off points as a bowler, coach or captain you can avoid these pitfalls. Here's how.
Bowling Fatigue Drill
That's where this simple drill comes in.
Using a PitchVision system you can track your pace and accuracy over your spell and work out what you need to do to maximise your peak period.
The drill is simple;
- Bowl a spell in nets off your full run up.
- Track the pace and accuracy of every ball.
You can bowl with a batsman, or simply as a fitness test with noone at the other end.
Using the PitchVision reports that are built in to the system you can see how performance changes over a spell. You can view your bowling pace and accuracy over time and see where the trends show improvement from the start through to drop off at the end.
How to use bowling spell peak period
You can use the information to work out tactics and training.
Lets take an example of a bowler who takes 10 balls to find a rhythm, maintains pace and accuracy for four more overs and then begins to lose accuracy with the natural spell ending at eight overs.
This bowler now knows he needs to bowl at least 10 balls from his full run up during warm up/the innings break. The captain can be confident of four strong overs and also be happy to take the bowler off at the end of this spell unless he is bowling very well (and sometimes, even if he is bowling well as we know his fitness will show a decline).
However, the bowler's aim should be to increase this peak period so longer spells are possible at accuracy and pace.
So the bowler can go on a programme of conditioning, then retest a few weeks later. Over time with a well-designed plan anyone who does this will see peak bowling spell times improve, and along with it an increase in wickets.