Family playing cricket outdoors

The Best Ways to Practice Cricket Bowling at Home

Looking to stay on top of our game during your time inside? Check out easy to do at-home exercises.

The body of a bowler is a finely tuned machine. Without regular training, it is easy for the muscles essential to fast bowling to become tight and out of practice. That’s why, even when you're stuck indoors, it’s important to keep those muscles as active as possible, and these are some drills that will help you do just that.

Practicing your run ups

Great for: Leg muscle endurance, pacing your bowling run up.

What you need
• A large open, flat space.
• A way of marketing out your run up and the place from which you will perform your bowling action.
• Either a cricket, tennis or wind ball and a wicket. These aren’t essential, but certainly will help give you more of a focused run up.

How to
• Depending on the space you have, first mark out the line from which you will bowl.
• To get a sense of your run up, count your paces as you walk back from this mark. On average, a fast bowler’s run up will be between 10-25 paces in length.Once you’ve found the right length, make another mark.
• In a relaxed but focused fashion, learn how to pace your run in, building up your speed as you come to the end of your approach. Many fast bowlers hit top speed in their final 6-8 paces.

To simulate the workload of a bowler, try this exercise in sets of six reps, the same number of balls bowled in an over.

Girl throwing cricket ball up in the air

Wrist Positioning

Great for: wrist strength and improving seam movement.

What you need
A cricket ball with a seam.

How to
• Take the ball in the correct bowling grip, with your index and middle finger in on either side of the seam and place your thumb underneath on the side of the seam. Make sure there is a gap between the base of your thumb and the ball.
• Whilst holding the ball, turn your hand round so it is facing upwards.
• Bring your arm upwards and throw the ball in the air.
• As you let go of the ball, make sure your wrist is in a simple stable position. Focus on letting the ball roll off your index and middle finger, which will allow you to push the ball up into the air.
• If the ball rotates with the seam wobbling from side to side, your wrist isn’t in the right position. However, if it rotates along the axis of the seam, you’ll know your wrist is fully behind the ball.

Front Arm Drill

Great for: Bowling technique.

What you need
Either a cricket, wind or tennis ball.

How to
• With the ball in your bowling hand, take a step forward in your usual pre-release position.
• Practice the movement of pulling your arms down forcefully, allowing your bowling arm to rotate over the top of your as usual.
• Try to delay the pull down of your front arm for as long as possible, and continue to practice this.
• Once comfortable with doing this stationary, try it out whilst moving with your actual bowling action.

Kids celebrating while playing cricket

Stationary Target Practice

Great for: Hand-eye coordination and bowling technique

What you need
A large open, flat space.
Either a cricket or wind ball.
A wicket
Small targets (either coins or beer mats will work)

How to
• Place your targets in the areas of the track you are looking to hit.
• Go through your usual bowling run up, keeping your eyes on the target you are looking to hit.
• Release the ball, the aim being to hit the target.

Once you can regularly hit each of these targets, swap them around, and look for new options. If you can, why not get a family member or housemate to stand in as a batsmen. Remember, it’s not always about hitting the stumps!

Variation Bowling

What you need
A large open, flat space.
Either a cricket, tennis or wind ball
A wicket or something that can take its place (for example a large bag)

How to
• Before you bowl your first bowl, decide in order what your six deliveries will be. While there are other options, a good selection to start with the following:bouncer, yorker, slower ball, and a ball with good length.
• From then on, the drill is simple. Do your best to stick to the deliveries you decided upon at the start. Be very honest about the standard of each ball, and if you feel you could do better, start the six balls again.

If you are able to get a batsman in front of you, stick to the delivery schedule, but make it your main goal to reduce them to as little amount of runs scored as possible. It also might help if you don’t tell them what your deliveries are meant to be

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