off break bowling tips

off break bowling tips

please give me some tips for off break bowling to i improve my bowling skills

Rab Nawaz AfridiPlayer, Pakistan
Neville YoungCoach, Australia

I am assuming that you have two basic skills. One is your run up, which is usually 5 to 7 steps and your grip (which can be found by searching the internet). The basics that you need are these. Accuracy, body action, spin, loop, patience, stamina and guile. Accuracy is really important because no matter how much potential you have as a bowler, you won’t get to bowl for any length of time if you continually give away runs by bowling loose balls every over. It is by bowling lengthy spells during a game that you will fully develop your skills as a bowler. To practice this you could try the following.

1. Mark 3 corridors about 150 mm apart starting from middle stump and extending out past the off stump. Practice landing the ball in the corridors. Begin by aiming to land the ball between the two outermost lines. When you can do that consistently aim for a particular corridor.

2. Mark lines across the pitch. Start with the first line about 400 mm from the crease. Mark 3 more lines across the crease about 200 mm apart. Practice landing the ball between the closest and farthest lines. Once you can do that consistently, then work on landing the ball between particular lines.

3. Once you have achieved good control, work on landing the ball in one of the 12 rectangles in the grid between the closest line and the crease line. If you are practicing with someone (and that is the best option because it generates competition and will focus your concentration) tell your partner which area of the grid you intend to land the ball. That will also make you more accountable. If you are practicing alone tell yourself where you intend to land the ball and keep score of your success rate. That way you can see if you are improving.

Body action is a really important part of bowling. Good body action will improve the ball’s swerve through the air and greatly influences the amount of spin and loop generated.

1. Your front foot should land somewhere between the middle stump and the bowler side stump. You really need to pivot around your landing point (this assuming you are bowling over the wicket).

2. The longer you rotate your body around that point on your front leg the more spin you will generate.

3. Make sure your front leg is straight, deliver the ball with a high arm action (this aids bounce) and make sure that you use your front arm to pull your body around. Make sure to pull your front arm down as this will add momentum to the delivery.

4. Your front shoulder should be pointing towards where you want the ball to land. This is really important to help with your body rotation and to help with accuracy (this is a bit like pointing at your target with your front arm when you throw). Spin is what it is all about. The more you can spin the ball and your ability to vary that spin is a major part of your skill in deceiving the batsman. It is something that you should probably work on before aiming for line and length. The more you can spin the ball the greater area you have where the ball can land and still cause problems for the batsman.

5. To learn how to spin the ball, use a standing delivery to practice bowling the ball. Stand in the position you would be in the delivery position at the end of your run up. This will help you position your front foot correctly, make you use your front arm properly and this technique will emphasise the use of your hips, waist and shoulder rotation. Make sure your delivery arm swings across your body and finishes somewhere near shoulder high

6. When delivering the ball make sure that the palm of your hand faces the batsman. Try and give the ball a real flick with your first and second fingers.

7. Work on getting the ball you will bowl most often as accurate as possible, whatever that ball is, lots of loop, minimal loop, big spin, small spin, swerve. You want the batsman to feel pressure, that every time you bowl your stock ball he is in danger of getting out.

8. Work on your variations it is really important that you have a range of different balls, some will be minor variations and other will be big. Whatever they are, you need to work on refining them and making them good as possible and reproducible whenever you want to bowl them.

Loop is where you will be aiming to deceive the batsman into making a mistake by misjudging where the ball will land.

1. You could try marking an area on the pitch where you will aim to land the ball. Suspend a rope across the pitch, at a height a little bit higher than your usual loop and aim to land the ball in the area marked on the pitch, making sure the ball goes over the rope each time. Gradually increase the height of the rope until you get the loop you want.

2. You can go a step further when you have mastered the loop you want by suspending a hula hoop over the pitch. This is much easier in the nets because you can anchor the hula hoop at 3 points to stop it moving.

3. Practice bowling through the hoop and onto the marked area on the pitch. This is a fairly difficult task and you should not become deterred at your lack of success when you begin. Simply work on getting closer to sending the ball through the hoop and you will improve.

The more you bowl the better you will get and both your stamina and concentration will improve. Get to training early, make sure your stretch and warm up before bowling and be one of the last to finish bowling.

Make sure you study batting techniques and batsmen. You may never become a good batsman but it is vital to fully understand the theory of batting if you are going to regularly deceive batsmen.

Remember hard work always improves your luck.

Neville YoungCoach, Australia

This is a great article on bowling offspin by Ashley Mallett.

http://[link will be reviewed]

Neville YoungCoach, Australia

And another great article by Ashley Mallet on changing your pace. Great advice.

http://[link will be reviewed]

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