July 8, 2012

English cricket

Targeting a 100mph

George Binoy

One of the ECB Academy’s missions is to develop a succession of players capable of reaching a ton. We are not talking batsmen here – England have plenty of men with an appetite for big hundreds – but bowlers, writes Simon Hughes in the Telegraph.

Much research is being directed into what enables a pace man to propel the ball at 100mph and Steve Finn, sustaining speeds of 94-plus through the last six months, is the first in the line. His four for 37 was the match-winning performance yesterday.

Fast bowling comes down to the synchronised contraction and expansion of a thousand tiny muscles. Rhythm and timing are crucial. Finn works relentlessly on his run-up before play, ensuring he is reaching the crease at the optimum speed to release the ball over a braced front knee, maximising his 6ft 7in height. Having done extensive strength and conditioning work in the last 12 months, he has become impressively consistent both in speed and accuracy.


George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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