The Secrets of Getting Wickets When You Are Military Medium | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

The Secrets of Getting Wickets When You Are Military Medium

Bowling is exciting when there is pace and power around, but the real work in the club game is done by the medium pace bowler.

It just takes a lot more nous to be able to survive as a bowler when you don’t have speed on your side. But the evidence of Praveen Kumar shows that you can take wickets against some very good batsmen in all forms of the game.

How do you develop skills to take wickets and survive when you can’t use intimidation?
Here are some simple tricks:
Stick at it

When your pace is down you can bowl more overs in a spell. That means you can keep popping the ball on the spot for ball after ball, make the batsman play and force an error.

Your pace will mean it’s hard to get the ball away if you stay accurate and don’t get bored. It’s a battle of wills and you need to make sure it’s the batman who cracks first and tries a loose shot.

So bowl at a target as much as you can so when you are in the middle you are “hitting the cone” every ball.

Then you can laugh as you get a wicket from the pressure of bowling 2 maidens in a row.

Of course, good batsmen will look for ways to score off you. You need to be able to make adjustments to your line and length to counter adaptations like moving down the wicket, going back in the crease or even just swinging with eyes closed.

But, whatever that batsman is trying, sticking at it will get you a bundle of dismissals.

Learn to do a bit

Alongside control of line and length you also need to make sure you can get the ball to move around. With your easy pace, movement is critical.

You don’t need to do much – half a bat width of swing or seam is plenty – but you do need to be doing enough to make the batsman think he has to get it absolutely right. He must know that if he gets ti wrong he will be caught behind or bowled through the gate.

That puts doubt into the mind and doubt is shown in poor footwork or tentative play.

There are many ways to make the ball swing or seam, but one simple way is to make sure you are getting your wrist behind the ball. At slower speeds the ball will swing more easily so a strong wrist allows you to make it move.

Find your ideal pace

It’s important, even at medium pace, to realise that you don’t need to slow down to be accurate.

The ideal is that you bowl as quickly as you can because all batsmen hate pace. That means the faster you bowl the better, even if your top speed is embarrassing compared to the faster boys.

This principle can fall down when you think about getting the ball to swing.

This is because you are trying to get the ball to swing the right amount. When you are at top speed the ball may not swing enough, so you slow down a touch and try again.

When you find the pace that gets the ball moving, stick with it.

This takes experimentation, but it’s no bad thing. The batsman will not be able to get used to the variations in swing as you make adjustments.

In many ways, being a medium bowler is like being a spinner. You are using seam and swing instead of turn, flight and dip, but you are still looking to take wickets through guile and perseverance.

It may not be as sexy as bowling fast or ripping leg breaks, but you still need skill (which is why so many medium pacers are also older players).

Take pride in your work and you will reap the medium paced rewards. 

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We have a seasoned medium pacer in our club, and your description is bang-on. Accuracy and patience, niggling movement in the air and off the pitch, and clever variations in pace. Not quite full enough to drive safely, but too full to pull, and the keeper stands up so the batsman can't skip down the pitch.

The one thing I would say is that the medium pacer's effectiveness is more reliant on the wicket than other types of bowlers. Green tracks, wet tracks, soft tracks, dusty tracks, you can't beat a medium pacer on these - but there are also flat tracks where the medium pacer might get found out a little. A quick, flat track, where the batsman can just hit through the line knowing that the ball won't pop or stop or nip sideways, and the medium pacer's only option is often to put a few men out and bowl defensively to one side of the wicket.

AB, Agree with the majority of what you are saying except for the last sentiment.

As a purveyor of medium pace for my entire life, I can say that whilst our stereotypical bread and butter might be the green top, I feel where we come into our own is on the flatter decks where it isnt doing as much.

Lets face it- short of First Class Level (even at first class level!), the 'quicks' arent going to be on the spot ball after ball after ball. On a flat deck, sun shining their greater pace means it takes a lot less to get the ball to 'travel'

Any medium pacer worth their salt will have had to get to the point where they present a good seam as a matter of course (unless in variation) meaning it is more likely they will find the inherent swing thats about or get the ball 'cutting' off pitching rather than seaming. Accuracy combined with subtle variations and the lack of pace, together with a good field means that on a flat deck, you can build pressure from your end by forcing the batsmen to try and manoeuvre the ball. The good field means the 'hoick' will invariably lead to catches because you have executed the changes of pace or got that bit of 'cut'

For me, its as much a mental thing. If you go in as a medium paced bowler with the mindset that the pitch isnt you, then I hope your prepared to travel to find the ball because subconsciously you will be worrying to the extent you arent executing your skills. Relish the challenge, develop a game plan for the flat wicket and the rewards will come for being that mid ground between the spinner and the 'quick'. Not alot of pace for 'stand and deliver' and not so much air time that the batsman can use his feet with the keeper up with as much confidence.

but david i hate medium pace bowling people run just 10 steps and roll their hand and take wicket & we run 25 steps & run hard , bowl fast but we don"t get many as they..

Not sure its as straight forward as you are making out. Good bowlers no matter their style can get stacks of wickets. Sure there are inherent external factors (batsmen, pitch, overhead) that can give one or another an advantage. However ultimately, it depends mostly on knowing your role, knowing the plans that fit your role and then executing these.

If you are having issues relative to other bowlers, you need to examine your own processes or just put your style into conditional context.

Hi.... first of all thnx for the advice...
Iam a fast bowler bowling a decent pace from a long time. Everyone says that I have pace. But from myself i say i lack good line and length....
I want to ball Off stump line and Good length ball...
Please give me some advice.. How can I improve it.
Also how can I make batsman work for his runs...
Please help.

Practice, practice, practice.

As long as you have a solid action that you can repeat consistently, then its really just a matter of bowling. Find an empty net, put out some stumps and a cone to mark the batsman's feet, then make a target on a length on off-stump and see how close you can get to it. Try and hit the seam every time.

Get this right, then as long as your captain has set a sensible field then the batsman will have to work hard to score against you.

Hope that helps!

thnx ur tips r quite useful

I'm also a medium paced bowler that can swing the ball out most of the time. So far this season I've been having problems getting wickets and I feel as though my pace is abit slower. Could this be down to having a short run up (11 yards) or just not putting as much effort in which reduces the speed?
I am also 15 and 5 foot 10

I think the most important thing, particularly for fast and medium pace bowlers is rhythm. I think that you shouldn't try to bowl faster because your action goes out the window and your action is very important for pace. Many people ask how to develop rhythm. You simply need to relax, run up and bowl to get good rhythm. You should also bowl a lot of balls with the same action and work on your running fitness.
For wickets you need to put the batsmen under lots of pressure. It is good that you can bowl outswing but you need to make sure you can control it. Try drills like target bowling. Start off 1 pace and keep building up to your full run up.