November 15, 2021
Looking back, I was very nervous which as a result both my rear deltoids and right wrist were stiff. That contributed to my inability to swing the ball as I liked over the weekend. Now it has been two weeks that I have been unable to swing the ball and it is more to do with the stiff wrist tilt. Luke Wimbridge had warned me about following that habit and it was clear that I did not heed them. Even though I was able to swing the ball at practice with the tilted wrist, it is clear that I need a technical change. Watching YouTube videos of Kiwi quick Adam Milne and Luke’s videos on Facebook reinforced the need to avoid the tilted wrist. Why did I fall into this trap in the first place? It was to find an edge for the extra pace that I picked up at training back in September. Looking back though, it is clear that this kind of delivery should be used sparingly. Perhaps the bit of extra pace that will go with the angle following a couple of outswingers to the right-hander for instance.
That alone, my tactics will need modification as well. I usually bowl straight but on Saturday I was bowling mostly on the pads when the ball failed to swing with the tilted wrist. Instead, I should start with a fourth-stump line to see if I am able to move the ball and accordingly adjust my line. Moreover, during a bowling spell in a match, I must buy myself some time out in the middle to try and outsmart the batter as opposed to self-preserving in getting each ball to swing the ball to my desire. I am hoping once I correct the habits, this will lead towards an improvement in moving the ball come match days, provided that KP still can trust me to deliver with the ball in hand. Having struck twice in seven overs across two matches, I really want to continuously prove to him that I can do a job. It will be a disaster otherwise, that will lead me into a massive mental meltdown that I had several weeks ago, which I wish to avoid. I suppose, there may be no harm in replying back to KP with something like “Really well, can’t wait to have a bowl when my chance comes” when he asks me how I’m doing. In that way, if I come across as confident, then it gives him confidence in me.
November 22, 2021
I finally figured it out after 30 minutes of toil. I was simply trying to bowl too fast and in the process, I couldn’t move the ball of the straight. As a result, for two weeks in a row, I was exposed by my inability to swing the ball away from the right-hander. My run-up wasn’t at fault, it was more to do with me trying to whip my arms across as fast as possible. Once I started to slow things a touch, my heavy balls were coming out – Outswing with a bit of bounce, which was clearly missing. And I was able to get the ball to move off the concrete pitch in the nearby Mawson Lakes dilapidated nets. If I could do that, then I should be able to swing the ball on the turf pitch. It also helped that I broke away from the wrist tilt habit. Moreover, I had a really good session under the warm sun which was slightly physically taxing but hoping it will pay dividends as the season will heat up from December.
As usual, following my net session, I was always trying to explore any little tips and tricks to bowl that little faster from countless YouTube videos. It hardly matters though if the body is sore and I know from experience when I have on countless occasions, tried bowling full steam despite being sore. It all stems from the mind, as it seeks perfection and thereby confidence ahead of a match. At this stage, there are at least 12 people (including myself) that are available for our next match against Pembroke OS at home. Initially, I was contemplating whether to request KP to give me another go knowing that family commitments would exclude me from selections the following week. However, I’m better off not doing anything at all. It will a blessing in disguise if I get overlooked since I will have more time to attend to my bowling ahead of a potential match on the 11th of December (the final match prior to the Holiday break).
November 26, 2021
Today was developing an understanding of my bowling technique. I found that I can get through my action faster if I push my front arm forward as opposed to upward. The result was that pushing my front arm upward resulted in me bowling short and slow deliveries as opposed to fast and full. Moreover, when I ‘slide’ my bowling arm down my hip as opposed to pushing my arm to the side away from my body, I get the ball to swing after pitching as opposed to slight seam movement.
I kept bowling for an hour in trying to go through my allotment of tricks in preparation for tomorrow. After the session, I was confident and declared to KP that I am ready for tomorrow. Sometime earlier, I wondered if I was better off sitting out but KP asked me to play due to player shortage. When I looked at the team sheet when it came out at lunchtime, Boree was listed to keep. I assumed that he needed an extra seamer as a result, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if Amit Patel, will be sharing the keeping duties with Boree like he did against Kilburn. Having declared my readiness to bowl which KP was happy to head, I was hoping not only for a better return but also more overs. If Boree was not to bowl at all, I have to stand up and fill the void. If offered the opening bowling position which is likely to be with Imran Soni and Viren Shah, I will take it. However, I must be prepared to come on as a change bowler like before.
November 27, 2021
As a home team, we were very disorganized today since we had no team kit. As a result, we started late but, courtesy of quick thinking led by one of the vice-captains Amit Patel in which he managed to grab two sets of stumps and bails and cones, we managed to start as soon as we can. I think we started about 1.15 or so. Earlier, KP won the toss and chose to bat.
We had a new opening partnership with Amit going to open with Boree. They added 36 before both of them got out soon after each other. Even though KP got off the blocks quickly, he was out LBW for 17. We were wobbling a bit at 3 down for about 60 but the other vice-captain Amrish Patel with Hari Iyer steadied the innings by raising a half-century stand. Once again, after a good partnership, both batsmen fell. Amrish for 40, Hari for 16. Thereafter, we had a mini-collapse.
I walked into bat at no. 10 this time with four overs to go, with strict instructions to ensure we batted out the overs. I survived for three overs, trying to give Sonu Gupta the strike as much as possible as he was getting on a roll. I then held out on the third ball of the over, trying to hit out but failed to clear the Point fielder. Having crossed, Sonu then smashed a six before a run-out ended the innings on 187 with Sonu not out on 32.
We had a defendable total on the board and we were off to a good start. Viren had both openers caught off attacking strokes before Boree won an LBW shout. Thereafter, there was a recovery, similar to our innings, with their left-hander in an aggressive mood. I was due to come on the 21st over, but now I regret my attitude which was why Chirag Modi was preferred, following a drinks break. I was surprised by the opportunity but in hindsight, I was probably making an excuse knowing my weakness for left-handed batters.
It worked out in the end but my afternoon got worse. I missed a regulation skier. Actually, I almost had it but I lost control and the ball spilled out of my hands and onto the ground. And it pained me for the rest of the match even though I tried my very best to raise my own spirits. Eventually, Chirag broke through as he claimed five of the final seven wickets to fall. He had the left-hander caught behind as he tried another leg-side heave. From there he ran through the rest of the batting. In the end, we won by 36 runs but it could have been a lot worse, which made KP very concerned.
Even though I am three from three in LO4s, it seems as though that I am becoming a liability especially if I am not getting many opportunities with the ball in hand. Given that the move to LO4s has not worked out as I expected, internal questions will be raised about whether my competitive juices have definitely dried out. I have the week off due to family commitments to find a way to salvage my love for the game before it gets too late.