Menno Gazendam is author of Spin Bowling Project. Get your free 8 week spin bowling course here.
The great Indian bowler Bishan Bedi use to bowl for endless hours non-stop on his own in the nets.
But none of it was mindless. It always had a purpose and it made him one of the finest spinners who ever lived. And his methods are still just as relevant today as they were when he played because the way to develop skill as a spinner has not changed.
So how did he approach practice?
Take practice seriously. Bedi knows what it is like to take practising to the point of obsession. He delivered great bowling performances because of it. And that is why he is widely regarded as one of the best spinners of all time.
Practice like a match. He could deliver when asked because he had been practising the real thing for weeks and months. Practising like is a real game is crucial if you want to get the most out of your training. There is nothing better than simulating the real thing.
Set your field. Setting your field in the nets may sound strange. But it is really not. I never bowl in the nets without setting a field. Or allow any spinner I coach to bowl without his field being set.
Usually you are just bowling to one batsman in the nets. And so, you can set a field in your mind to him. But, that is no help if you do not relay that field setting to the batsman. Otherwise he will just play as if you do not have a field set at all. So, tell him whatever it is you wish to set. And then you bowl to that field That means if you have set a strong off side field then have to get the batsman to play there. Or, if you left a gap in the covers to deliberately get the batsman to drive at the ball, then you must bowl the ball to lure him into this trap.
Have the batsman work with you Make the batsman aware of where his shots went. "Straight to short-cover, mate", or "Great shot, that will be four with this field", Keep working with the batsman and your pretend field. It will up the intensity of your net session and you get to practise to bowling to a field; just as you do in the game.
Bishann Bedi did this for hours at a time.
If you want great success as a spin bowler you should do the same.
For more detailed spin bowling advice, tips, tricks, tactics and training drill for spinners in all formats of cricket, get the Spin Bowling Project free 8 week email coaching course.