Can you really use a bouncer if you are a medium pace club bowler?
As long as you can get a ball up to chest height you are in the game, even if you are not Brett Lee. This is because the batsman can't get over the ball. He has to hit it in the air.
Naturally, you are not looking to scare anyone. Not at your pace. But with clever field placing and confidence you can take wickets with what we used to call a long hop.
Just like an away swinging half volley can be caught at second slip, a well-timed short ball will fly to a fielder in the deep.
Fine leg and deep square leg are wicket taking positions. Simply move them straighter to where the ball is likely to go if the batsman gets it out of the screws. Meanwhile square leg goes squarer to deal with mishits.
Make sure your safest hands and fastest runners are in these positions.
See that guy at cover who impresses you with his fielding every week? He's the one to move.
The bouncer is also a great defensive move. Batsmen who like to score on the off side or the front foot will have their best area cut off if you bowl short. You can defend the leg side and slow the scoring rate.
Then it's all about what we coaches call "execution": In other words, get the ball up to chest high.
Practicing the bouncer
To bowl a bouncer in a game, you must do it regularly in practice. It's a skill that needs work just like your length ball.
The easiest way is to set up a cone attached to the back of the net. You can then work on hitting it like you would work on hitting cones on a length or the top of off stump.
Practice the bouncer for about 20% of your net time with the goal of getting the ball above chest height.
Then unleash the medium pace fury in the match with confidence.
As long as you can get out of the mindset that you are "not quick enough" for a bouncer, you can use the variation to take wickets and restrict batsmen.
So join the bouncer party and maybe the nickname "Curtly" will stick!
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