I was a fast bowler when I was younger. I used to mark 14 steps for my run-up. It was a smooth and clean run-up with the most accurate line and length.

It has been more than 10 years since I gave up playing cricket, other than playing a few matches in leather ball four years ago. Now, I'm 32 and back playing tennis ball cricket. I look like a novice when I try to bowl, especially with my run-up. I tried making the same 14 steps and failed. I had to make so many adjustments before making it to the crease, and my line and length is totally off.

What changes should I make while bowling to get back to best of my line and length?

3 Answers 3


Did the same - took a lengthy break before getting back into club cricket in my 30s. A lot changes in 10 years! The length of your stride, your strength, your fitness...my advice would be, don't try to force your adult self into your youthful self's shoes. Trying to mimic the same run up is only going to frustrate you.

What worked for me, was remembering the rhythm of delivery - how it felt when I bowled a good ball. Delivery stride, upper body position, arm movement, head position...that moment of delivery. Then, I went to the nets and experimented with different run ups until I felt, not the same, but similarly comfortable, at which point line and length came back quickly with practice.

The key really being practice, though. Pound the nets until it comes back. Put markers on a good length and keep plugging at it until you can reliably put the ball where you want to, then build up the pace. And if you've lost a couple of yards of max pace, don't beat yourself up if it doesn't come back straight away or at all - work on variations instead. A surprising cutter mixed in now and then can be just as effective as a blistering yorker. If you end up with both in your bag, all the better!

Good luck!


Just Relax. Start with new Run Up with which you are comfortable now. Dont go with too much pace at start. Just practice with your line and length by hitting regular spots. You can do this by keeping some marks on the pitch and try to hit it. Once you master your line and length then you can think of adding pace and other variations. Try off-cutter and leg-cutter if you are very fast bowler.


Unfortunately, there's no secret - it will require dedication and time. However, there have been many instances of bowlers re-inventing themselves (at all levels of cricket). As a seamer myself, when I remodelled my action and approach earlier this year, I focussed on a few key things:

  • Wrist position - get it stiff, extended and (for an outswing bowler) angling towards 1st slip.
  • Maintain a strong left arm (for a right arm quick), keep it nice and high.
  • Try and be upright through your delivery stride.

Probably the key aspect for your return @andrew would be to clarify if you are a front-on or side-on bowler (either is fine, compare Dale Steyn and Jimmy Anderson for instance). This will allow you to align your shoulders and hips accordingly reducing the risk of probably the thing most likely to derail your return, which would be a back injury. Then echoing in the the words of the other comments, build your run-up up slowly and go from there! Wishing you the best of luck in your return!

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