Preface: This article is for right hand medium/fast bowlerS who struggle against left handers.
So many R/H quicks seem to struggle for consistency when they’re bowling to left handers. Even more so if you naturally swing the ball in to a left hander.
A really common thing we hear is “I seem to be able to swing it away from the right hander but when I bowl to a lefty it goes straight.”
In this short article I’m going to talk about three really common reasons why that is the case and why bowlers struggle to bowl to lefties…
1. YOU DON’T CHANGE YOUR RUN UP
When you bowl to lefties, you need to change the angle of your run up (more so if you run in straight normally).
I’ll get you to picture it in your mind for a minute…
If you keep your run up the exact same as you have it for a right hander, where is everything lined up to?
Middle and leg stump for the left hander.
Take a couple of steps to your left at the top of your mark and create a straight line between you and the off stump/keeper.
Everything should be lined up to the off stump - run up, front arm, release and follow through.
2. YOUR WRIST POSITION CHANGES
Now, this one is a bit of a flow on effect from #1.
Because the angles of your run up haven’t changed, your wrist position has to.
To get the ball outside the off stump you have to change your wrist from your natural out-swing position to an in-swing position, pointing to third man for the left hander and you ‘push’ the ball across the batsmen.
If you start the ball where your run up is aligned, you’ll get your natural swing in but it’ll go down leg side.
That creates a cycle of frustration and in consistency.
If you get #1 right and change your angles, that will allow you to keep your natural wrist position, start the ball outside off and hopefully get it bending in to 3rd/4th stump (something most lefties don’t like 😉).
3. YOU DON’T PRACTICE IT
It might seem really simple but if you’re not confident and consistent against left handers, you probably don’t practice it enough.
It surprises me how many bowlers set targets up to R/H only when doing target bowling (no batsmen).
There’s almost as many left handers around now as right handers so you need to practice it as much as you do bowling to a right hander.
When you’re doing target bowling, set up targets for both left and right handers and practice going from one to another like you would in a game.
Obviously when you’re doing bat vs ball net sessions you’ve gotta bowl to the batsmen you’re given, but if you want to work on bowling to lefties ask your coach if you can move nets and follow them around.
Make sure you work on #1 & #2 in the nets as well.
Change your angles and work on your wrist position.
I hope that helps and as always, if you’ve got any tips, drills or tweaks that have helped you improve your ability to bowl to left handers I’m an open book, I’d love to hear them.
Author: Nick Fitzpatrick - Australian Cricket Institute Co-Founder & Coach