first pre-season


A blog by the one and only jrod

Due to Barne’s antisocial training schedule, I had to look else where for some pre season training. So a few weeks back the suave one suggested i have a bit a run with his club of North Middlesex. I do plan on playing a few games for North Midds during the year, so training with them wasn’t a devious plot or anything.

The day didn’t start well, when I turned up at the school for training I slipped down a grass embankment slamming my head on the ground. The timing was exceptional as a few guys just turning up as I fell. I had a wet ass, a brown stain and a sore back for most of the session.

The training was on a high school basket ball court, with green matting put out, I’d never trained on anything like it. In Melbourne we have designated indoor cricket nets, I didn’t even know basketball courts had this multi purpose function in them.

After bowling three balls, all of which landed, spun, and none of which bounced, I got my answer. The balls just would not bounce, at all, there was no way to get them over knee height. When I was bowling this made little difference, I bowled few short balls, and when I did they pretty much rolled along the ground.

When I was batting, it made a big difference. You know you have to get forward every ball, but your natural instinct is to play the length. For the quicker bowlers, you lean forward, but then see the length and move back, and end up in no man’s land. For the slow bowlers, you have enough time to move forward, then back, and then say fuck as you just get the toe on the ball.

I only faced two legit bowlers, one was a 50 year old West Indian leg spinner, who you could tell could once bowl, who had excellent flight, but probably not the turn he had once upon a time. The other was a medium fast outswing bowler, who had brought his own new ball (I know) and was swinging the ball around a lot.

It took me ages to time a ball, as everything hit lower on the bat, and felt dead coming off the surface. Eventually I timed a couple, and then tried to play the spinners on the full, forcing me to slap one back to the leggie, which he dropped and almost fell over doing so.

There was only one ball I really nailed, a straight drive off a slow/slow bowler, and it almost took out every bowler lining up. Always a highlight.

The low bounce of this session will be my major training for playing on low English wickets. So if this is anything to go by, I won’t make many runs, but will be hard to get out.

Then I spent the next hour and a half bowling, mostly to the special needs net, but eventually I was promoted to one of the big boys net. There was a reason for that. I was bowling pretty well, everything on a great length, heaps of spin, beating the bat regularly, and no bounce.

I had a cheat on most other people there, I had been playing indoor cricket all winter. So my basic bio-mechanical bowling movements didn’t need much tweaking. While others were struggling to remember which foot they bowled off, my indoor cricket had me at an advantage.

Ofcourse in Indoor cricket you bowl 2 overs a game. I bowled for 100 minutes straight, at times as one of two bowlers in the net. When I was really tired I threw in the odd off spinner, as we all know they take far less effort.

I had beaten every batsman I had bowled to with a leg spinner, landed most of my wrong’uns, and had bowled a good ball everytime the net co-ordinator was watching. Put that together with my sordidly solid batting display and it would have been a great first net session for Barnes.Hopefully when I trained with them I could muster some sort of equivalent.

For the next 2 days I felt like someone had taken my shoulder off, sodomised it, and put it back on the wrong way.

But it was a good kind of pain.


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