Run-up direction

Running straight to the point of delivery

Watch the run ups of all bowlers playing at the international level. One thing common among them, amidst diverse builds and diverse actions, will be that they run straight to the point of delivery. If you see the footmarks of the bowlers after a long spell on TV, you will notice that the strides are the same in every delivery. However, different bowlers have different lengths of strides. Another thing that you will notice from the footmarks is that these bowlers run straight from the point they start their run ups to the point of delivery. This gives them balance and helps get rid of the ‘no ball’ problem.

It doesn’t matter whether you bowl pace or spin, or have a straight (perpendicular to the bowling crease) run up or an angled run up. What is important is that you run straight from the point you start your run up to the point of delivery. This will give a balanced and smooth bowling action. Further, you will have control over your line and length for your stock deliveries as well as your variations.

Make running straight to the point of delivery a habit, in the nets and in matches. As we have seen, the length of strides of international bowlers is the same for every delivery. They accelerate from the same spot every time and the pace of their run up does not vary. If you count the number of strides they take to the delivery stride, it will be the same every time. This consistency gives them the rhythm as well as the mental equilibrium to perform under trying conditions.