Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Remember How You Recovered Your Rhythm in the Past and Trust Yourself Again, Steve

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Remember How You Recovered Your Rhythm in the Past and Trust Yourself Again, Steve

Article excerpt

Byline: Jason Gillespie

ALL fast bowlers talk about rhythm. It's the quality you have when you're bowling well, when everything feels right and you're in a position to perform at your best.

So what happens when you lose it? I hear that Steven Finn admitted he was struggling to find it during England's win over Sri Lanka in the Second Test at Durham this week. When that is the case, how do you get it back? It is very important that when you are in good form, you have a clear idea about what you are doing and why you are bowling well. Then, if you lose rhythm, you have those good periods to fall back on.

Do you have a certain routine? Are there certain things you always find yourself doing when you are bowling well? Whatever they are, make a note of them and there's a good chance they will help you find solutions in tough times. Focus on the process, not the outcome.

In my career as a fast bowler, if I lost rhythm I tried to get it back through practice and repetition. An absolutely key aspect for me was to know every bit of my run-up. I believe you can bowl well only if you are completely clear about that.

You need to know exactly where you start and exactly where you finish. You need to know how many steps you take on the approach to the crease, what is the distance between the start of the run-up and the point of delivery.

I would actually count my strides in my head during my run-up. I would run on to my mark and count "One, two, three, four, five" -- five big strides -- until the moment at which my back foot landed and I was at the point of delivering the ball.

I'm not saying every bowler should copy what I did, but that was what worked for me and I trusted it.

Steven Finn has taken 117 wickets in his 31 Tests, so he will have something that works for him and he has to trust that and back himself. Whatever helps him get his rhythm back, he needs to remember it and follow that process. It's also very important that you learn to switch off away from cricket, whether you're doing well or you're finding it tough.

I believe in reflecting on your performance and analysing it, but when you leave the ground, I also believe it is important to turn your thoughts to other matters. …

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