"Ten Percents" Part 3 - Reducing your Economy Rate

Our third "Ten Percent" focus is on bowlers reducing their economy rates.

The average bowler economy rate in one of our local junior leagues last season, for all bowlers who bowled, was 5.7 runs per over. That's a score of 114 in a T20 game, excluding byes & leg byes - so probably 120 or so would be an average score in these (non-pairs) matches.

If we can reduce the economy rates of all our bowlers by just 10%, down to an average of just over 5.1 runs per over, that reduces team average scores to around 103 instead of 114. 11 valuable runs from just a 10% improvement. That alone could be the difference between winning and losing matches, aside from the other 10% improvements you can make.

There are some key skills to bowling tightly and keeping the economy rate down: -

1. Understand what your "stock" (standard) bowling delivery is and look to bowl it accurately and consistently every ball.

2. Setting the right field for your bowling at the right time of the game.

3. Understanding how to adapt to changing circumstances

Let's break down these individual elements and examine them more closely: -

Bowling your stock delivery

Every bowler has a standard delivery.

For a swing & seam bowler it's moving the ball into or away from the batsman looking to take the edge or induce a false stroke for a Bowled, LBW or caught in the field.

Fundamental to this is to bowl full enough that the ball would hit the stumps if missed. I see many young swing and seam bowlers pitching the ball far too short to the extent that it completely rules out any chance of LBW and no chance of a clean Bowled therefore bringing their only potential dismissal modes down to one - Caught. If you only learn one thing from this - PITCH IT UP!

For a spin bowler, you are looking to bowl with flight and turn, pitching the ball just on the stumps or just outside of the off stump and turning in. Note Leg Spinners should not be looking to pitch the ball outside of leg stump for their stock delivery as that rules out LBWs. If you are lucky enough to be turning the ball that much that it can go from outside leg to outside of off, pitch it up instead so the batsman