How many times has a left arm seamer been picked because they offer “variety”?
In a world dominated by right-arm over medium pace bowlers, the promise of a different angle to batsmen is too tempting for selectors from Test to club level.
So many batsmen find it hard to adapt to the change of angle that the left arm bowler gets more wickets than his identical right arm counterpart.
And it’s exactly the reason of creating problems for batsmen that you should always strive for as much variety in your bowling attack as possible.
Here is how to do it if you don’t have a decent left arm seamer to call upon (or even if you do):
Always pick a spinner
There are plenty of excuses not to pick a spinner. Maybe you don’t have any good ones in your club. Maybe the pitch is green.
It doesn’t matter; you always have to have a spinner in your team.
Good players of spin are rare. Even an average spinner causes problems simply by the fact there is less pace on the ball.
Tail-enders especially can’t resist.
He may even make one or two turn, even on that green top.
Yes, you may be left with 3 seamers to do most of the work if your spinner does nothing but without that variety you will always be left wondering.
Get out of the corridor
Variety is about more than picking a spinner or a left-armer though.
Even if you have four right-arm medium pace bowlers you can offer variety through changes like going around the wicket, bowling yorkers and slower balls or just setting unusual fields.
Anything that gets the batter out of his rhythm for a little while.
It may not work but as the saying goes; if you do what you always did, you get what you always got.
Keep changing the bowling
Which brings us onto the last tip: If nothing is happening, change the bowling.
You want to give your main bowlers time to get a batsmen out, especially your spinners, but you also need to get that feel for when the batsmen are finding it easy: scoring runs without looking like getting out.
That is the time to switch to another bowler.
Keep spells short to confuse the batsman as much as you can. You can even swap ends with bowlers. The change might just be enough variety.
At club level you have to work with what you have. But even if you just have 3 right arm seamers and an occasional slow bowler you can create variety.
It's not an exact science (it wouldn't be as much fun if it was) so get creative and never stop thinking when you cross that white line. You never know what might work.
by David Hinchclife, PitchVision Academy
© 2012 miSport Ltd