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.

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