Bowl “side-on” like Fiery Fred…really?

David Hinchliffe has just re-posted an article on bowling actions ( which features a short clip of Fred Trueman in action.

I don’t think I have ever properly watched FST bowling, but as David writes, this is the classic model for the side-on action:

  • Back foot lands parallel to the crease
  • Shoulders square on to the batsman as the back foot lands
  • Head looking over the shoulder as the back foot lands

But what happens next surprised me.

Fred does not use the “pre-turn” pivot on the back foot, as described by Ian Pont and Steffan Jones, to allow the back foot and knee to point towards the target, to allow the drop-step and block.

Instead he drags through his back foot and pivots at the same time, so that when his front foot lands (quite probably a foot or more over the batting crease – perfectly legal, until 1962) his legs and lower body are perfectly aligned to execute the drop-step.

OK – not a perfectly braced front leg, but otherwise this looks like a pretty effective transition from tp1 to tp2, to me, with the bowling arm delayed.

Did we lose something when the front-foot no ball law was introduced, and fast bowlers stopped dragging?

Published by Andrew Beaven

Cricket coach, fascinated by the possibilities offered by the game. More formally - ECB level 2 cricket coach; ECB National Programmes (All Stars & Dynamos Cricket) Activator Tutor; Chance to Shine & Team Up (cricket) deliverer; ECB ACO umpire.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: