The Brian Statham guide to keeping bowling simple | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

The Brian Statham guide to keeping bowling simple

Modern cricket is a game swamped with fashions and coaching theories. It can get confusing for young bowlers who just want to take a few more wickets.

So it's very tempting to go back to English fast bowler Brian Statham for a much more simple answer.

Statham took 252 Test wickets at twenty fours during a time when conditions did not always suit fast-medium bowling. He always seemed to be second fiddle to someone, Tyson or Trueman, because of his quiet understated ability to get on with bowling non-stop come rain or shine.

In first class cricket his average of 16.37 is lower than any other bowler of note in the 20th century. Not bad when you consider he took well over 2000 wickets.

And he achieved it all by keeping it as simple as possible.

Bowl 5 good balls

Statham worked on the theory that if he bowled 5 balls an over that the batsman had to play, wickets would always come. Bowling as a percentage game.

He would consider it a waste of energy to run in and watch the batsman leave it so he developed an unnerving accuracy, rarely deviating from a good line and length except to bowl yorkers.

He did this by bowling and bowling, as all good pacemen should do. If you want success there is no substitute for practicing your accuracy. And the good news is you can do it on your own in the nets. Either with a low tech solution (a blanket to mark a good length) or something to record and track your results via Bluetooth to your mobile phone.

If you played darts you wouldn't enter a competition without throwing a few arrows at a dartboard first would you?

Be as fast as you can be

But Statham wasn't just about accuracy. He also had serious pace. He wasn't up there with the fastest of his time, but he made the most of the speed he had, especially after remodelling his action.

And that's important. If you want to trouble batsman, making them feel rushed is part of the job. If they are worried when the inswinging toe-crusher is coming they are not as certain against you.

Even if you bowl slow medium pace, you should be looking to move up speed because the quicker you are the harder it is for the batsman. You might never be the fastest in the team, but that's OK as long as you are as fast as you can be.

Like Statham, you can remodel your action for speed and accuracy. The good news is you can do it with the help of Andy Caddick, another fine pace bowler.

When you keep things simple you avoid getting a cluttered mind and you can get on with the business of bowling; which is simply waiting to pounce when the batsman makes a mistake. Or in other words: You miss, I hit.

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Played against him many times and still have the bruises. He was a great bowler and a great man. How much the modern bowlers could learn from him. Hardly a day goes by without my remembering what it was like in those days.

Obviously getting old.

Peter Watts

We should never forget the greats Peter, keep the flag flying!

Hii sir my Name is Jitu
M the bastman but i want became bowler I wanna do all kind of hardwork for bowling will u plz tell me the begning of bowling

I mean what is good length ball and how far is good length from a bestman ???

How much running in 1 day 4 bowling and how much time i continously bowl ???

and also the run up and the action ???

plz reply fast i want to became fast bowler...

Hello Sir,
I am 25 and I can bowl at 120+ and my target practice is good. I am a good economy bowler
But still there is a problem. with a good line length I can save boundaries but batsmen easily keep rotrating strikes against me and there for they don't take me as threat. This makes me do extra efforts and lose patients and then I lose my line too. I need serious help so that I can improve my pace so that I can bowl 10 km/hr faster atlest . is that possible at my age.

At the age of 25 its always possible for a bowler to bowl at 140- 150 like mitchell starc who is also of 25 years can bowl upto 160 kph and its also too late for a 25 year old man to become a fast bowler at international level. So keep practicing and start lifting heavy wieghts and make your upper body more stiff to biwl fast and dont forget to jerk your wrist at the time of releasing bowl.