The Golden Rule
Firstly, there are exceptions to every rule, and this one is no different. The bouncer, the yorker, the slower-ball – they can all be magnificent, awe-inspiring, wicket-taking deliveries. However, line and length is the key for any successful bowler, and this Golden Rule applies to Indoor Cricket too.
Disappointed? As unglamorous as it may sound, a bowler’s aim in Indoor Cricket should not necessarily be to take a bag of wickets, but rather, to restrict run-scoring, and this is where line and length (L&L) is paramount. Data compiled by Spawtz software has confirmed that run-outs are the highest method of dismissal in the Indoor game, so it makes sense to dry up the runs, and create desperation for the batting pair in the middle.
So where exactly should a bowler be placing the pill in order to achieve this?
Bowlers have the best success in Indoor Cricket when hitting the knee (or just above) of the batsman’s leading leg (which generally means a line of middle and leg). This all but eliminates scoring opportunities to the off-side, and makes a firm on-side stroke quite difficult.
But the margins for L&L are tight. Any fuller than this length, and you could well find yourself going to the back of the net. Any shorter, and the batsman is free to pick you off for ones and twos.
Of course, smart batsmen will move around their crease, as they back to the leg-side to generate width, and come down the wicket to meet the ball on the half-volley. It is then up to you, brave bowler, to adjust accordingly. Keep your head up at the crease when delivering, and follow them with the ball should they move back, or bowl a touch shorter when they’re advancing towards you, so that you’re still hitting that knee length.
All the greatest bowling in the world, however, means little without a high-energy fielding performance to back it up. Don’t forget to have a proper pre-game team warm-up - it will make all the difference to your fielders’ anticipation, backing-up, catching, and throws at the stumps, and the scoreboard will thank you!
As we first mentioned, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t develop plans for some batsmen – spin bowlers may try and get a batsman who is constantly out of their crease stumped, for example. Just never forget that the ole L&L will always be there for you - dependable, reliable, unappreciated - but getting the job done.
Image courtesy of PowerShots Photography
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