Seam bowling in England – Tricks to take Wickets

When you think of English Seam Bowler, you obviously picture James Anderson, and more specifically his wicket tolls against Pakistan in 2010. If we look back, there are tricks and tips we can learn from those fast pace attacks.

With that, lets countdown bowling tricks to take down wickets.

Anderson’s Wobble Delivery

The main objective behind Anderson seam bowling techniques to disrupt the boundary layer formation. Jimmy holds the ball parallel to the seam integrated with fairly loose wrist action and wider grip. This allows the ball to oscillate and create randomness right.

Slight Tweak to the prime wobble delivery got the best of Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli at Trent Bridge?

During the English Summer, the battle between, Virat and Anderson was an interesting one to witness. In the first innings when Anderson displayed his wicket-taking skills to by dismissing Virat Kohli, Indian Captain with a hybrid version of the wobble ball.

With shiny side on the left, coupled with the regular wider grip and strong wrist action, Jimmy dismissed Kohli.

“I just want it to wobble slightly so it might nip either way off the seam. Then putting the shiny side on the left, trying to angle it in. So, it might drift in and then hit the seam and move either way off the pitch said”, Anderson to Michael Atherton of Sky Cricket.

Let’s look at some of the fast-bowling tips and tricks.

Correct Grip

As grip controls the action of the ball after throw thus determining the accuracy in delivery. Hence, having the correct grip is a significant part of fast-bowling. The basic type of grip requires you to place the index finger and middle finger parallel to the seam while your thumb provides support underneath.

Smooth Run Up

Developing a smooth and repeatable run, helps you build up momentum which later needs to be transferred in the bowling action.

So here are some tips to build an ideal run-up:

  • Build a decent amount of speed as you reach towards the crease. Usually a 50-60% of your running speed is enough.
  • Avoid run-up for too long. A fast bowler usually has between 10-25 number of paces.
  • Always maintain the position of your body towards the target. The arms and legs should be in lateral motion, pumping up and down.
  • Develop a repeatable take off routine, meaning you should be starting from the same foot and the same point.

Learn to Swing Ball

Swing ball is one of the most lethal weapons of a fast bowler. The harder you spin the ball; you get a distinctive advantage by deceiving the batsmen. Spinning the ball, will allow it to move side-ways in the air and off the pitch.

There are four types of spin:

  • Over Spin: Ball drops in the air.
  • Side Spin: Ball breaks or moves off the pitch.
  • Lateral Spin: Ball drift or curve in the air
  • Back Spin: Extended carry.

How to swing the cricket ball?

  • The first and foremost tip is about getting plenty of RPMs (Revolution Per Minute) as well as break or move the ball off the pitch.
  • Alignment and Posture: Feet, Hip and shoulders should be pointing to the target, this helps to develop a strong posture. That automatically enables the bowling arm to deliver in full swing.
  • Delivery: Create an upright position allowing the bowling arm to an utmost swing.
  • Energy Transfer: As mentioned above flow your energy towards the target.

Use Seam movement

Adding seam movement in your playing style makes all the difference. Seam phenomenon causes the cricket ball to drift off from its initial path and as result, the cricket ball will seam away from the batsmen or towards them.

How to seam the cricket ball?

  • Make use of the wobble delivery that Jimmy Anderson has perfected over years.
  • Establish a good wrist action, while releasing the cricket ball.
  • Set target in the vulnerable areas of pitch
  • Bowling Cross Seam deliveries: Using this method can develop incredible and effective variation in the seam movement.
  • If possible, use a new ball: New ball can produce more seam movement compared to a dull and worn-out soft ball.

Keep the body Flexible

With fast bowling, our body undergoes a lot of stress, which can lead to injuries. The best way to prepare the body for such stresses whilst avoid getting hurt is getting into some stretching exercise for flexibility.

Strength Training

Apart from flexible body muscles, fast bowlers also require strength to stay forever ready for the challenge. Hence, to develop a stronger body endurance, it’s important to focus on few areas more than others, legs, shoulder, etc. Here are few exercises that may help:

  • Abdominals & Core
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Hip Flexors
  • Quadriceps

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