This article is by PitchVision Academy Coach Menno Gazendam. To instantly get all Menno's advice in one place download the "Spin Bowling Tips" eBook today.
The number one rule in cricket spin bowling is "Always spin the ball as hard as possible".
Is that it?
Yes, but let us look at it a bit deeper. Let us rephrase the rule a little bit by saying "Always spin the ball as hard as possible. Do not be concerned with line and length as that will come with sustained practise". In other words - be a spin bowler. Spin the ball until your fingers bleed. Do not worry if you bowl plenty bad balls - that will come right with time - the important thing is to let the ball rip.
The problem with focusing on line and length first is that it is really difficult to try and spin the ball once you start bowling a steady line and length. It is absolutely essential that you FIRST spin and SECOND find your line and length.
The problem is that most well meaning coaches discourages young bowlers from spinning the ball hard. They watch them in the nets or a middle practise and they struggle to maintain line and length. The ball is spinning fantastically big but the young bowler struggles to pitch every ball in the right spot. What happens? The coach encourages the bowler to forget about spinning the ball and not try to do too much with the ball but only focus on getting line and length. This is a serious mistake. The bowler will start getting line and length but lose his spinning ability.
Let us look at a great Australian spin bowler as an example. No, not the great Shane Warne, but the man that lived in his shadow; Stuart MacGill. He was one of the biggest spinners of the ball ever to play the game although sometimes his line suffered. His was well known for bowling the odd bad ball. This was as a direct result of him focusing first on spin. But because he spun the ball so massively he ended up being a very successful international leg-spin bowler with an incredible strike rate.
Do not get me wrong. Line and length is essential, but line and length will come with sustained practise. First - get the fizzing out of your hand before you try and hit the right spot on the pitch!
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