Bowling Drills to Improve Consistency
It is widely acknowledged throughout cricket that practice is the key to an individual’s consistency when bowling. This can largely be attributed to the fact that the more an individual bowls, the more they begin to ‘groove’ their action and as a consequence, the greater the control they have over where they are delivering the ball. However, aimless bowling practice does not aid this improve and conversely, it can result in players developing bad habits. This makes it imperative that players are constantly challenged and stretched when they are practising.
One method of stretching the individual is to place a newspaper down on a ‘good’ length on and around off-stump. This gives the bowler an indication where they should be looking to pitch the ball on a consistent basis and means that their performance is easily measurable to you as the coach. The individual should be challenged to hit the area four times out of six and it is important that they are aware of their responsibilities as a bowler to pitch the ball in good areas on a consistent basis. The fact that the player is given a clear target as to what they should achieve focuses their mind on the task. Furthermore, this high-intensity practice should allow the player to reaffirm good habits within their bowling action and to put them in a pressure situation which should, in theory, make it easier for them to transfer their skills to the match arena.
Another method of practice is to create a ‘mock’ match situation during a net session. The individual should be encourage to identify weaknesses within a batsman’s technique and then, using their knowledge about the batsmen, they should look to apply the relevant skills in order to achieve their goals of restricting a batsman’s attacking options and, hopefully, to eventually dismiss the batsman. This again places pressure on the individual and this is a good grounding for the match arena, because they are going to invariably experience pressure on some level.