There are many different positions a bowler can get in when he or she hits the delivery stride. Which one works best for generating pace?
Before we can decide on that, let's look at the different actions.
Types of fast bowling action
The bowling action is a series of movements designed to get the cricket ball to the other end of the pitch as fast as possible.In years gone by it was thought there was only one way to do it; the side on action as typified by Fred Trueman:
'Fiery' Fred was the first man to take 300 Test wickets at a time when most people thought it impossible. He was one of the fastest and most accurate bowlers of his time; possibly ever. You can see from the video his action has all the classic elements of the side on bowler:
Back foot lands pararrel to the crease
Shoulders square on to the batsman as the back foot lands
Head looking over the shoulder as the back foot lands
No wonder it was the case that for years we thought that to bowl fast you must bowl lik Fred: Side on.
Then we started to realise it wasn't that simple.
The other extreme of action is front on as typified by Malcolm Marshall:
As the video shows, Marshall could bowl very fast and swing the ball. His action was far removed from the one everyone had considered to be correct:
Back foot lands pointing down the wicket
Shoulders are open as the back foot lands
Head looking inside the front arm as the back foot lands
On top of these two extremes, there are several 'midway' points where the shoulders and feet are less open but not as side on as the classical action. Some super-fast bowlers have also bowled midway.
Another area of potential injury is "lateral flexion", sometimes called falling away. If your head is outside the line of your body you will bowl slower and have higher injury risk. Look here for an answer. And of course, get fit to play.
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