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The Strategy Of Bowling - How To Get The Best Out Of Your Bowlers

Updated on February 11, 2011

Batsmen think and know, there is an appropriate shot for every conceivable delivery, be it attacking or defensive. This is bad news for bowlers, as in theory any delivery they bowl, will be met with the appropriate shot. This would stop anyone from becoming a bowler as it would follow suit that you would never take a wicket but, luckily batsmen are human and make mistakes.

They can have poor shot selection, due to many variables such as tiredness, misjudging bounce,swing or turn and the emotional state a batsmen is in. This is good news for the bowler. Ok, so batsmen have the answer for every delivery but, whether they actually produce the correct shot in time or at the right time, is another matter.

For a bowler to find the batsmens frailties, he might need to have patience as sometimes it takes a long time for the error to occur. A bowlers make up should include determination, energy, enthusiasm, strength, stamina and patience. International players, often have to wait 8 or so overs before the batter offers a poorly executed shot.

For most bowlers they do not know what the batsman's strengths are so, the early overs will be met with caution from the batter. The bowler should be looking for small weaknesses in the players set up. Get the closest fielders and captain to observe the batter and also listen in to the mid wicket chats that batsmen have. One thing all bowlers must realise is, the wicket will not be given away so the bowler will have to work for it.

All batsmen have weaknesses, even Andrew Strauss and SachinTendulkar. It is up to the bowler and fielding side to exploit those weaknesses as quickly as possible. Have a plan for any type of batter. Then when the batsmen comes to the crease, work out which plan would suit him best. Then put it into action. It is not good enough to run in and bowl as fast as you can, batsmen will also have a plan to deal with this so, you will need to be smarter.

All batsmen have quirky mannerisms that can give the bowler a clue to his current state of mind. It may be is eyes are staring wide or he keeps fiddling with his equipment, he may keep venturing off to square leg mumbling to himself. You might spot he isn't quite getting to the pitch of the ball or he is playing and missing to balls 6'' wide of the off stump.

All bowlers should have a stop ball; a ball that stops tha batsman from scoring runs. The bowler should be bowling this ball as many times as he can in an over. I would like to see my best bowlers bowling thius 4 times an over. I would then encourage him to have two varied balls, depending on the current batter; either a yorker type ball or a short sharp quicker delivery. If the ball is swinging he may try his luck with a couple that swing the other way, to encourage the edge or playing on. Whatever it is the bowler will need to be disciplined and patient.

We also have worked on a slower delivery. Not a vast difference in speed maybe as little as 5 to 8 mph will be enough to deceive any decent batsmen. Allan Donald could bowl a slower ball up to 17mph slower but his most effective was only 3mph slower. There are many variations of the slower ball but you need to convince the batter it is your usual style of delivery, as he hesitates it will usually be enough to force the error.

Obviously it won't always work so, you may need to action a second or even third plan. maybe you might need to change the angle of attack, you could bowl wider of the crease or come around the wicket. Whatever you do, you are trying to bowl consistent deliveries, to increase the pressure on the batting side. When the pressure is applied correctly, mistakes will happen. You will undoubtedly bowl the odd bad ball, how you and you team mates react will determine the rest of your spell and the outcome of the cricket match.

Stwcar is a level 2 qualified cricket coach.

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