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LOOK FOR WICKETS If you’re an opening bowler, then look to get people out. That’s the best way of saving runs.

This month: Bowling Under Pressure



o last month we got you hitting the ball over the ropes and scoring boundaries left, right and centre. This month we’re focusing on bowling and the best way to put a stop to those big hits! When I played, I viewed my batting as my enjoyment, a chance to express myself and play naturally. Bowling on the other hand was my trade, the thing I spent most of my time on in the nets. Net practice is vital to what you want to achieve in the match, so work hard during practice. Spend 50 per cent of your time focused on you, your position at the bowling crease and on technical skills with your coach. The other half is used to focus on the batsman you are bowling to and where you want to be delivering the ball. Too many club cricketers and young players worry too much about what is happening at their end. In a match your entire energy needs to be directed at the batters end. Where does this player score, what’s his grip like, what are his movements – all indicators to your strategy to prevent runs and create a mistake. Remember a bowler takes wickets by denying the batsman, as this causes him to go outside his gameplan. Cricket

ABOUT CHRIS CAIRNS Chris Cairns was one of the finest all-rounders in the world, and became only the sixth man to achieve an all–rounder’s double of 200 wickets and 3,000 runs in Test cricket in March 2004. He holds the record for the most number of sixes in Test cricket (87) passing Sir Viv Richards’ record at Lords in 2004. He retired from all international cricket in 2006. 56 | ME Cricket | March 2009

TIP 1 The first six overs of a 20:20 match are wonderfully exciting. If you are a swing bowler put your hand up to bowl because movement of the ball severely hampers being able to swing through the line as a batter. Don’t be scared to be aggressive with the ball here because wickets are what you want. You also have to be quick to react if the ball is not swinging. Pull your length back but bowl ‘hard’ into the pitch to try and get any bounce whatsoever. If the batters get on top then look to bowl yorkers. NATHAN BRACKEN is one of the best in the business at being able to adapt to the situation. He bowls length up front but is also an excellent depth bowler.

TIP 2 The middle period is a time to contain and to use the variations of pace. The slow bowlers feature well here and DAN VETTORI is the best I’ve seen with delivering all types of different pace deliveries. The whole secret here is to make sure your variations are subtle, don’t let the batter see your variations in your action. Use the nets to practice this and ask your team mates for feedback on whether they can pick your variations. The bounce and slow bouncer are good to keep the batters guessing as well.

USE SUBTLE VARIATION Don’t be one-dimensional. Vary your pace as often as possible.

TIP 3 The last five overs is where great yorkers are priceless. By bowling full you control where the batter hits, down the ground. If you bowl shorter, you open up a far bigger arc for the batter to score in. Slow balls are critical here. My slow ball was an exaggerated off spinner where I would take my thumb off the ball, grip the ball in to my palm and roll it out like an offspinner. Be sure to bowl your slow ball with as much effort as your bouncer as this gives the ball ‘dip’ when in the air. Good bowling!!

March 2009 | ME Cricket | 57


Boot Camp Whether you’re a mean fast bowler or a deceptive spinner, what you wear on your feet is of paramount importance. The correct boots will give you stabilisation and prevent unnecessary wear and tear on crucial parts of the body. We look the best boots available in the local market.


REEBOK ANKLE BOOT Comfort: Perfect balance between a high and a low boot. Not restrictive in any way and shock resistant sole make for a comfortable landing. Weight: Light weight Support: Excellent support both of the ankle and achillies. Not full ankle boot but gives additional stability to the ankle than the low boot. Price: Dhs 450

ADIDAS ANKLE BOOT Comfort: Lots of laces and strapping may make them safe, but difficult to feel comfortable in these unless you are used to them. Comfortable padded sole. Weight: Light weight for the size of boot and level of support it offers. Support: The best support of the bunch, especially for a fast bowler who needs the ankle and achillies support, although they would need some getting used to. Price: Dhs 550

AJ SPORTS LOW BOOT Comfort: Firm boot with very little unnecessary paraphernalia. Does everything you need it to. Weight: Light weight mesh sole saves on extra weight. Support: Good all-round boot, offering sturdiness, flexibility and support in proportion. Price: Dhs 120 58 | ME Cricket | March 2009

GRAY NICHOLLS LOW BOOT Comfort: Poor internal padding and no boot flexibility. Weight: Heaviest of the bunch here. Support: Feels like a sturdy boot but under its lack of maneuverability and hard sole make for poor support. Price: Dhs 190

G-FORCE LOW BOOT Comfort: Light weight sole and simple design make for a light boot Weight: Mesh sole saves weight Support: Boot tends not to want to bend, putting a strain on the ankle and achillies. Price: Dhs 125

In the Nets, T20 Masterclass  

Chris Cairns' Top Tips to T20 success

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