As apart of the ACI’s free 4-week Junior Wellbeing & Activity Program, recently we were lucky enough to have current Australian international fast bowler, Jason Behrendorff join us for a Q & A session.
Hundreds of young cricketers were glued to their computers, phones & tablets interacting and listening to the insights of his journey through cricket and his tips on how to become a consistent young fast bowler.
After our discussion, we thought it would be handy to jot down the 5 key takeaways that Jason spoke about for young developing fast bowlers.
1. Your Stock Ball is Key
You need to be aware of what your best ball is, after which you'll need to be able to execute it time after time!
Your ability to be consistent and take wickets or to build pressure for long periods of time comes down to this.
“100% the best thing for me is nailing a stock ball. For me, it’s an inswinger to the right-hander so that’s the ball I work on 90% of the time because that’s my banker. That’s the one I know 9/10 times, I’ll execute and whatever I need to do if I’m in a pressure situation that’s what I’ll go back to”.
2. Find Your Niche in the Swing vs Pace Balance
This tip is often highly debated about and can make or break players confidence. At the end of the day, is there a trade-off?
Should players be sacrificing swing to bowl quicker? Or can players play at a good level while still pulling back your pace and have the ball seam around?
“A few years ago people were sort of saying unless you bowl 140kph+ you won’t play international cricket. If you look around the international game, yes there are a few that do bowl 145kph or 150kph but there's only a handful who bowl super fast. Everyone else is doing something with the ball".
"That’s the thing for me that stands out - really try and hone YOUR craft, whether it’s seam bowling, swing bowling or an absolute out and out fast bowler. Again I go back to executing your skills, if you can execute your skills, being able to hit those lengths when you need to, all those things make a difference. If you are trying to bowl as fast as you possibly can and have no control over where the balls going that’s not really going to be good to anyone. You need to find your niche and once you have found it you need to do everything you can to own it”.
3. Variations - Don't Get Left Behind!
While it's important to make sure you can hit your stock ball whenever you need to, the game has changed a lot in the last decade especially with all the different formats now, players know it’s crucial to have variations in your arsenal that you can use.
“As a bowler nowadays, with all the inventive shots that batters play, the way that there is no fear in the game with that respect - it's important to have variations! Execution is everything, make sure you practice your yorkers, bouncers and slower balls. Anything you can do to be a little bit inventive. Try your own thing to get an advantage over the batters”.
4. Mindset & Body Language is Key
Cricket is as much, if not more mental than it is technical. If you can keep your thoughts, feelings and emotions in check, it will go a long way to you becoming more consistent as a bowler.
How players deal with having a bad day or spell is crucial and Jason believes it's integral as a bowler to keep these in check.
“It’s something that I definitely struggled with a lot with early in my cricket career. I would generally slump over if I had a bad spell or over, whatever it might have been. You would have seen me down at fine leg and I probably had my head down a bit not paying much attention and just sort of thinking way too much about what I was trying to do as opposed to staying in the contest and doing what I could to get better and get back”.
“The biggest thing for me is not letting one ball, one spell or one over affect my day. The way I tend to do that is to try to stay up in the contest. Whether that be in the field, keeping the chat up to your mates, that’s one of the best things about being in the field is you’ve always got someone to chat to when you are fielding or bowling”.
5. Bowl the Ball, Don't Place it!
When players start to try to swing the ball, they tend to get into a habit of trying to place the ball and not “hit the deck”. Jason speaks about his issues with this in the past and how he overcame it to be able to continuously swing the ball.
“I was looking to bowl the ball not just to place it there. That’s something I fell into the trap of early days, I was trying to bowl it down there and swing it as opposed to actually bowling it and ripping down the back of the ball and letting the ball do the work”.
So there you have it, from the mouth of a current Australian International! It’s critical to ensure that there are a host of areas that can contribute to your success as a bowler.
When you are planning your next training session, make sure that you factor some of these aspects into it rather than just bowling to a batter aimlessly.
For the full interview head to our Facebook page by clicking here
IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFO ABOUT THE 4-WEEK JUNIOR CRICKET WELLBEING & ACTIVITY PROGRAM - CLICK HERE