The ball is coming out of the hand well

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We were reading about Australia’s latest call-up, Daniel Trevor Christian today. Aside from wondering whether a West Indian cricketer could trade him a surname for one of his first names, we were also struck by his use of the phrase ‘the ball is coming out of the hand well’.

We were struck by this, because it was the third time we’d read that phrase in the last week. Australian bowlers seem to talk about little else but their ability to release the ball.

Is this an issue in Australia? Is grade cricket awash with bowlers who neglect to let go in their delivery stride before pointlessly appealing for a catch when they then discover the ball in their hand?


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  1. I am sure Matthew Hayden, as ever, has all the answers. His lunchtime commentary at the Gabba was as lucid as ever.

  2. Bowling can be broken down into three distinct phases:

    1. Before letting go of the ball
    2. Letting go of the ball
    3. After letting go of the ball

    Phase 1 is also known as “running”, and can be done by anyone. Phase 3 is referred to as “stopping”, and again can be done by anyone. It is only Phase 2 that sorts out the test quality bowlers from the rest of us.

    Consider former test bowler Mitchell Johnson. I never saw anything wrong with his running – he correctly alternated which leg was in front all the way from the start to the end. And his stopping was effective also – does anyone remember him crashing into the boundary boards after bowling? No, the extent of his problems were entirely within the letting-go-of-the-ball phase. It’s certainly clear that his figures would have improved hugely if he’d not let go of the ball a bit more.

    1. Bert, You should consider employing Latin as a means to convert a comment into a thesis, thereby making sure nobody can disagree with you. Much like Issac Newton.

      I employed google translate and this is what I found:

      Augmenta in tres distincta bowling rescindi possunt:

      1. Ante dimittit in globum
      2. Dimittit in globum
      3. Post dimittit in globum

      Stated this way, even Mitchell Johnson would find it hard to disagree.

    2. I prefer to ensure nobody can disagree with me by being totally right every time I say something. Besides, using Latin on this website is a risk. I tried it once, and the Skollarz in these parts ripped it to pieces. Callidus nates illegitimis.

  3. “At the moment the way the ball is leaving my hand is nearly the way I want it to leave.” – Irfan Pathan

  4. Down my neck of the woods (Middlesex CCC territory), the name Daniel is considered to be a perfectly respectable surname for a West Indian cricketer without the need for a donation.

    This Christian character simply needs to change the sequence of his names, bowl terrifyingly fast during the hours of play, then play terrifyingly fast down the fruitiest clubs after stumps.

    It’s not complicated.

  5. According to the many physics deniers amongst cricket pundits, there is far more to bowling than Bert’s 3 phases. Bresnan, we are told is a bowler who “hits the bat harder than his pace would suggest” and the bowler of the “heavy ball” gave its name to his Majesty’s critically acclaimed Page 2 column. These pundits,are convinced that a bowler can impart Newtonian forces on a cricket ball above and beyond those which were a consequence of the manner in which it was released. Of course they are talking bollocks and Bert is quite right, but this would be countered with a contemptuous “who has 380 test wickets”?

    1. Would you prefer if his majesty wrote about their current opponents?

      As a New Zealander I wouldn’t.

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