It's very easy to overcomplicate your bowling and it's even easier to get too simple and just wang it down without any tactics at all. As a keeper I have seen both sorts of bowling get the same result: punishment by the batsmen.
In reality there are only a few things you need to think about on the pitch and as soon as you keep it simple you have a clearer mind and are more likely to get wickets. Here are the 3 elements I always advise bowlers to think about:
- Know your role. Talk to your captain and ask him what they wants from you. Defense or attack? Aggression or control? Work out what the bast basic line, length and field setting is for your particular role and stick to it. It's handy to have a â€˜plan B' too, but only if your main tactic is not working. Additionally, make sure the captain knows what you need to be at your best.
- Read the batsman. No two batsmen are alike, so the quicker you can read their good shots the quicker you can adjust your field to cut off their run scoring. You can also find out where they are weak to get them playing outside their comfort zone. Flexibility and intuition is important but so is sticking to your role in the side, so never stray far from the plan.
- Stop and think. Experimenting is good and can surprise you with results but it's also the main source of confusion and bad bowling. If you try something and it doesn't work or you stop thinking about what you are doing at all take a moment to â€˜reset'. There is no harm in moving a fielder to buy you time to think about your main plan.
The real message here is to keep it simple, but not too simple. Having a clear bowling plan will bring you success.
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