Next gen quicks to counter batting blitz
Sixers mentor Ben Sawyer believes the next wave of bowlers can turn the tide in favour of pace in the WBBL
13 November 2019, 02:59 PM AEST
Sydney Sixers coach Ben Sawyer believes the next generation of young fast bowlers will balance out the rise of bat dominating ball in women's professional cricket.
Batting records were smashed in the last Rebel WBBL season with 39 totals of 150 or greater, which was more than the previous three seasons combined (37).
This summer, runs are on track to achieve the same numbers after just 30 matches.
Sawyer, who is also the fast bowling specialist to the Australian team, said it's only a matter of time before young quicks can bring intimidation into the women's game, but coaches need to be brave and encourage it.
"I definitely agree there is a gap and the batting has progressed more than the bowling has," he said.
"I think the reality of it is, in the men's game, batters are always conscious of a really quick ball that's short and aimed at their head, and players are fearful of that. There's a little bit of fear involved.
"At the moment, the girls don't have that pace, so you can't put that doubt in the batter's mind, so they're pretty free to get on the front foot quite often and relax a little bit. I don't doubt that that day will come."
Recently, Sixers pair Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry set a record for the highest partnership in domestic women's T20 cricket with 199 runs, while Adelaide Strikers allrounder Sophie Devine set a new WBBL record for most sixes off consecutive deliveries with five against Melbourne Stars.
Currently, few players in the WBBL can clock faster than 120km/h with the ball, with New Zealander Lea Tahuhu and Australian young gun Tayla Vlaeminck two of the quickest in the women's game.
Sixers teenager Stella Campbell is a right-arm pace bowler who was clocked at 119km/h at the WACA earlier this month.
Sawyer points to the 17-year-old as part of the new generation who can help turn the tide in favour of pace over the next five years with professional coaching, correct running techniques and strength training.
This is gold! 💖 Look at the @SixersBBL crew get around Stella Campbell after her first ever WBBL wicket #WBBL05 pic.twitter.com/Ubnzeudjmz— Rebel Women's Big Bash League (@WBBL) November 4, 2019
However, Sawyer says one of the most fascinating aspects of women's cricket is the use of creativity with the ball as a way to find wickets, rather than relying on intimidation as a tactic.
For him, it's a different game entirely.
"That's why I really enjoy coaching with the women's game, because you can't just use that as an out and out tactic. You have to think of other ways to get people out," he said.
"I don't think anyone in the world, and I mean this genuinely, has a better leg cutter than Megan Schutt.
"The variations the girls are bowling is unbelievable. I think the girls have to work harder on their variations and that's the development the girls can make over the boys because they can't just rely on pure pace.
"I think the quicks will catch up, and they're going to spend more time in the gym and we're constantly trying to push girls to be quicker and do those things, so I think it'll come."