Monday, May 12, 2014

Bowling Tips From an Expert - Mr. Rehmat Baig

Mr. Rehmat Baig is one of the best when it comes to teaching fast bowling. He is the one who made my bowling  penetrative each time I went to him when I was young. My other fast bowling mates also said the same thing - he's magic, they said. One session with him and the ball would start doing things. He is one of the very few who can teach swing bowling. And one of the fewer who knows how to coach. He would right, with over three and a half decades of coaching behind him.

I caught up with him the other day and asked him the key things to keep in mind for a bowler. We deconstructed the act of bowling into 3 parts - the run up, the action and the follow through.

Run Up
Run on your toes. Move hands and legs rhythmically as an athlete does when running.

There are three ways to run - jog, run and sprint. I prefer that they run at that running speed from the beginning to the action (not accelerate as was the earlier theory).

The bowler can experiment in practice to find the ideal speed.

If you run too fast, you lose balance. Too slow and you end up using the shoulder.

The jump should be high, not long. When you jump high, you can control the body. When you jump long, you lose balance.

While running in look at the spot where you want to pitch or at the stumps.

All four limbs must be in play in the action. 2 hands and 2 legs must work together.

Side on action is best, for injury free play.

As you get into the action, the leading leg must be raised high. The stretch however, should be short, enabling the whip like action to follow.

The back leg in follow through must be long.

Release the ball at 60% angle to the horizontal on the way down to get the good length.

Give ball more air to allow it to swing.

Fast bowlers must impart back spin on seam.

Follow through
It is vital to get direction right.

A follow through of 8 steps and an aggressive run down the pitch, towards first slip is recommended.

It completes the action and adds an extra something to the ball.

Also looks graceful.

That then is the fast bowling tutorial. Let me see if I can pick some pictures next time to illustrate what he is saying. Happy fast bowling.

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