Max Andrews is a freelance coach on PitchVision Academy, in this article he talks us through the mysteries of spin bowling tactics.
There is a lot of information on the the correct action to be able to bowl well. But it is very difficult to find information on how to bowl in match scenarios, and what fields to set.
So I thought I'd write this article to give you an insight into the tactical side of spin bowling.
There are a lot of key points when considering your tactics. They range from the match format and situation, through pitch and field size to batter's technique, and your strengths. They come together when you consider where you want the batsman to hit the ball.
For example, I play two day cricket. So can I find myself in a situation like this: We are bowling on the second day of the game and the pitch starting to turn. We are about 200 runs in front and need to take wickets.
The short boundary is on the off side of a left hand batter. The batter is left handed, strong though leg side. The batter has a closed grip, which will cause him too hit more ball to the leg side, and will struggle to hit through the off side.
I have a good leg break and control the ball very well. I want the batter hitting the ball through the off side (against the spin).
Position the fielders
It’s time to start setting the field.
The batter has a closed grip, so he will also have a closed face on the bat. He will hit a lot more deliveries through the leg side rather than the off side. We need more fielders on the leg side.
That said, I want to invite the batter to drive through the off side. If he tries I am likely to get him bowled through the gate. As he's left handed I need to bowl outside off stump. This allows us to have catchers on both sides of the wicket.
When we first come on, we want some boundary riders to help us settle in without going for too many runs and to keep the batter under pressure.
So, here is a sample field:
- Catchers: Slip, short extra cover, short leg
- Ring: Mid off, backward point, mid on, midwicket, short fine leg
- Boundary sweeper: Deep backward square leg
There are many variations to this field. But the obvious one is to bring in sweeper to another catcher around the bat. You can even move short extra cover into a bat-pad catcher on the off side and either leave a gap through cover, or move short fine leg into extra cover or short extra cover.
If you don't have a lot of control, you could move point back to an off side sweeper where you think he would be best placed. You could also move short leg to a sweeper and leave point alone.
If you want more comprehensive details about the tactical side to bowling, spin bowling and a whole lot more, click this link for instant access to Max Andrews online coaching.