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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Pivotal day?

This entry is all a bit arse about face - but the essence of it is that practicing today I combined to bowling variations - "The Flipper" and the "Googly" to produce something I'm calling the "Gipper" for the moment. But basically it's a weird variation of the Flipper - read on....

Just been out on one of my practice fields (FTF as in pictures here) and was joined by a couple of kids who allowed me to bowl some balls at them which was nice and vice versa. But just before my car park ticket had run out I was bowling a few flippers and they were doing what they do and then I had an idea. What would happen if you bowled the flipper upside down in the manner of bowling wrong uns. It just struck me as being possible and that if you could get it on a line it might just spin weird? I threw the first one and being the combination of the 2 very different techniques it went all over the place, but despite the fact that my arm, wrist and everything was all the wrong way round I was still able to click the ball out of my fingers as you do with the flipper, so it felt as though if I was just to get the release right and get the ball going down the track in the right direction it might do something useful or odd. Oh my God! The 2nd ball was straight. It pitched and turned at such a stupid angle you would not believe it. Guess what way it turned? Leg to off! Could this be the answer to my inability to bowl Leg breaks - it was looking promising. The next 6 balls all did exactly the same thing and again at ridiculously acute angles - making Shane warnes "Ball of the century" look lame - I kid you not! Admittedly bowling this for the first time ever it was slow and the next 18 balls (before I gave up and had to get to my car) looked increasingly less dramatic, but still spinning from Leg to off in a way that I've never been able to before on grass. I've got nets tonight, so I was quite happy to be forced into stopping because if I'd have stayed there I'd have kept going for another 2 hours and might have pulled some arm muscles and not been able to repeat it again tonight. So tonight against some good batsmen I'll give this a go and see if I can repeat it. Flipper and a Googlie combined - Flooglie? Gipper?

watch this space - see how the Gipper evolves. I've just been outside on concrete with a cricket ball and it turns really nicely every time without fail and I'm quite confident that I'm going to be able learn how to bowl this fairly quickly with a good line. The thing it's going to lack is speed, but if it's bowled in between other balls - this could turn out to be really useful. I've just tried to film myself bowling it - but I need to go somewhere where the camera in the position of the stumps so that you can see how much it deviates off it's expected line. I'll try and do that in the next few hours in the meantine DIY calls. Eevryone has gone to London with the kids and family and I'm supposed to be doing DIY and here I am trying to invent new leg spin variation!!! Not good. Better do something! Here's some images of FTF (Five tree field) where I mostly practicing. You can see that we've mown the grass already and I noticed the outfield is really long already.

The other thing unlike the flipper which skids in low this bounces really nicely.

Later ........ Being slightly sceptical about whether some of the turn was down to the rough surface I've just gone outside and bowled a Hockey ball with no seam on a flat surface and the deviation off the line 6 balls in a row was unbelievable! So it's not a fluke. Now can I do something with this tonight in the nets? That will be the test of it's usefulness and whether this is something I can use. I hope so because it turns mentally!!!

Post nets.

It went well and I think this is a pivotal moment in my bowling because this now gives me the one thing that was missing a ball that turns from leg to off effectively. So far it looks as though it does more than that, it turns very well and consistently - I'm amazed at how much this variation turns and it does so on mats and on floor and all sorts with cricket balls and smooth balls it has a massive deviation.

Admittedly it's a very slow ball, but as I noticed in the nets tonight it tempts the batsman out. They see how it pitches and turns and they watch it a few times and they realise it's dead slow and then they come out after it. All I have to do then is bowl a flipper or straight one - just something that is a lot faster and I reckon I could be taking a few wickets. I reckon if you've got people coming after this with vengence it's going to cause them all sorts of problems. I noticed some of our bloke just watched it pitch in front of them and turn and disappear well wide of off a few times simply leaving it - which is fine as they don't make any runs. I didn't hit the stumps at all tonight but there were several edges that would have been caught as they went straight up in the air and one or two that the wicket keeper would have had caught behind or had the bails off as I'd drawn them out of their wicket. So this has been a very interesting day.

What's more this is the first day, once I've had some practice and maybe got some more speed applied to it the prospects look very interesting?

Going along with the positive vibe all day my line had been fairly good maybe 1 in 6 balls considered wides, maybe less? The Wrong uns weren't happening tonight or earlier in the day - or is it the turn on this flipper variation is so dramatic it's making my wrong un look a bit weedy?

It'll be good to try it out on my mate Thomas who's left handed and who always comes after the ball. So I'm looking forward to that - hopefully with a little practice I can get it up to a good length and wide of leg - if I can pitch it there consistently this is going to be very interesting although putting it down the middle is affective as well especially if you were to place blokes out at 2nd and 3rd slip.
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