Repeatedly in the post play or match interview we get to hear the bowler or bowling coach comment of “execution” that extends into:
“The ability to execute to the game plan.”
“The simplicity of the plan executed well.”
“The successful execution.”
Rather a harsh term execution.
The Oxford definition listing the mass noun as – “The carrying out of a plan, order, or course of action.”
This gives us a relatively simple interpretation, as it really is not much more that that. Now to apply this into cricket, skills and performance. Offered here is “The Equation of Execution” to allow any bowler of any level to contemplate the steps needed, firstly at training and then exercise as the game situation requires.
To demonstrate we can use the the last over of the T20 World Cup Final 2014 that Lasith Malinga bowled to MS Dhoni. Malinga kept it really simple. Yorkers outside off stump to prevent Dhoni from hitting him over the leg side fence. By slightly varying his pace and width he forced Dhoni into a hitting position that was uncomfortable and ultimately constricting. The other benefit was that it kept Kohli, in this case the “in batter” (76 from 57 balls) away from the strike.
The Equation of Execution allows the bowler to clearly focus on what he / she has to do to increase the probability of the required delivery for the situation actually happening. By simplifying the thoughts into a five step decision process allows the bowler to focus with clarity to minimise distractions.
To shift the thoughts initially to the task, all equations need to have reasoning, method and process:
(Line x Length) + (Angle x Pace) + Type
that flows into the ingredient elements of:
Team + Individual + Ability
Now to apply the science of the equation in a methodical manner:
1. Provides bowler clarity of options – applicable to game situation
2. Intent to decide upon delivery type – before arriving at bowling mark to begin run up
3. Improve probability to control outcome – as clear decision is made
TEAM = (Line x Length) – The status of the game, the type of batsman on strike, the tactics of the captain determine these elements.
Captain, Field Placings & Game Situation
INDIVIDUAL = (Angle x Pace) + Type – The known skill and ability of the bowler to alter and execute a delivery with variation that they control.
Skill, Reliability, Control
The ingredients are numerous and when fully considered the bowler has so many options available to consider.
The key is to initially recognise what is a reliable and consistent delivery type, then to practice upon variations to add.
LINE = Off stump, middle stump, leg stump, outside off, outside leg stump
LENGTH = Short, full, yorker, bouncer, full toss
ANGLE = Wide of crease, close to stumps, around wicket, over wicket, behind the crease
PACE = Stock, slow, fast, slower, fastest
TYPE = Seam, spin
When confident that the process is in place and the right decision making is flowing, extra components can come into consideration including:
1. What type of delivery does the batsman not want to face?
2. Where can the batsman be prone to error?
3. Where and how can the batsman be contained?
Please find below a copy of the presentation for reference. If I can be of any further assistance on this topic please feel free to connect. Thanks for reading and watching.