Nottinghamshire’s bowlers will be increasing their pr-eseason preparations with an intensive eight-day bowling camp in Abu Dhabi.
Andy Pick, having worked as Nottinghamshire’s bowling coach for his first full year, is keen to see his players working outside as early into 2015 as possible.
“The thing I’ve been looking to try and do is minimize the amount of deliveries they bowl indoors, to reduce the amount of stress going through the body,” he said.
“The floor is unforgiving by the end, but groundsman Steve Birks has been excellent, he kept a wicket for Luke Fletcher before he went away to New Zealand.
“I had a chat with him and he thinks he can have an outdoor strip ready for us to use from the first of February, so depending on the outdoor conditions we might get outside to stretch our legs here at Trent Bridge.”
As unforgiving as the floor of indoor schools can be on the body of a bowler, conditions in English winter outside are often far from ideal. While they’re likely to be contending with low temperatures and biting wind, the stresses will be far reduced, reducing chances of injury.
“If we can get out two or three times before the tenth then get out to Abu Dhabi, then come back and maintain our outdoor preparation I hope that our lads don’t bowl too many, if any, indoor deliveries from the end of February,” added Pick.
“It’s just making the transition from bowling at 50/60% indoors to bowling closer to full pace outside.
“The challenge I’ll set the bowlers, is that when we get to Barbados and the batsmen first face them, there is a noticeable difference because of the way they have prepared in the previous three or four weeks.”
Cultivating friendly competition between batsmen and bowlers to drive better performances is nothing new in cricket, but as well as competing against their Nottinghamshire peers, Pick will look to relive harder memories in reminding the bowlers of their stats from the previous year.
“A lot of the drive has to come from the players but I‘d rather challenge the bowlers within what we can do, challenge them to get their percentages right, look to hit the right areas early,” added Pick.
“They’ll be the things that I’ll be looking for and the one thing that struck me, even though it was preseason last year, was how many balls the batsman didn’t have to play at.
“It’s important that we make people play more often and that’s going to be a big focus of what we do.
“It’ll be down to me to monitor that but those figures will be down for everyone to see in Abu Dhabi and we’ll use it to push them on.”