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How to choose a best cricket bowling machine

By Ajay Subscribe to RSS | February 24th 2012 | Views:

Confused in choosing a Bowling Machine?

You are not alone!!

I would like to throw some light on the issues related to bowling machine selection.

Shoot the following questions, to the bowling machines manufacturer or supplier.To evaluate these answers, i have discussed each question in detail.

1. Is it two wheel bowling machine or three wheel bowling machine?

• Two wheel bowling machines are getting out-dated. Only for the basic level practice one should opt for two wheel bowling machines.

• Three wheel bowling machines are ideally suitable for professional batting practice. These machines can simulate all types of deliveries along with bounce simulating feature.

• With Bounce Simulation one can simulate bounce of Australia or South Africa pitches on any given reference pitch.

2. Is the Bowling Machine acclaimed by any higher cricketing body?

• If the vendor claims their bowling machine is acclaimed by the highest cricketing body of their country, ask for the proof.

3. Does it have international Players and coaches testimonials?

• International players must have seen a lot of bowling machines and must have practiced with them extensively.

• They use cricket bowling machines which are safe, accurate and of high quality standards.

• They use the machines which are very useful for the practice.Taking their opinion is always best.

• Ask the bowling machine supplier to provide the feedback of the renowned players.

4. Is it a Digital and self-Programmable, apart from pre-set Bowling variations?

• There are many advantages associated with digitalization in bowling machines.

• A digital drive is much better technology, compared to Analog drive (speed adjusting with knobs).

• Digital system is supported with sensors. With these sensors, it not only controls the speed of the wheels but also manages the desired RPM of the wheels with precision.

• In analog system, controlling the wheel speeds as desired is not possible.

• Apart from having digital system, there should be a provision for programming the delivery type.

• Otherwise, only preprogrammed (factory set) variations are possible to practice.

• With programming feature one can create his choice of deliveries on his own.

5. Is the machine equipped with Polyurethane (PU) Wheels?

• Polyurethane wheels are most important components in bowling machines. But companies use rubber wheels, as rubber is much cheaper and easy to produce compared to PU.

• PU wheels are non-wearing, and abrasive resistant. They can withstand the friction generated by the balls for years.

• Rubber wheels lose their properties very quickly. Rubber sleeve usually peels off into pieces. It is very dangerous, if it happens at the time of practice

6. Are the wheels Concave profiled or flat wheels?

• Concave profiled polyurethane is a must for a bowling machine. The gap between the wheels will be lesser than the ball diameter.

• When the wheels are rotating at high rpm, ball ejection imposes the thrust on the machine. Concave wheels curtail the thrust and balances it with their concave flanges.

• But the thrust will be direct on the flat wheels, which makes the machine shake and results in inaccurate deliveries and early wearing of the machine.

• Concave wheels grip most of the surface of the ball. This helps in getting accuracy and less ball wear.

7. Does the machine bowl CRICKET BALLS?

• Any bowling machine can throw any ball, even if the ball is made of wood or metal. But the question is, can it bowl the ball with proper gripping, accuracy and without any damage?

• Please note that throwing is not bowling!

• Polyurethane concave wheels cannot grip leather ball

• Bowling machine damages the leather ball. That is why people use poly foam dimpled balls of similar size instead of cricket ball in the bowling machine.

• Seam Grip wheels grips the cricket ball properly without harming it.

8. Are the wheels in the machine fully covered?

• A bowling machine with open Wheels can be extremely dangerous.

• Ball ejecting/throwing wheels rotate at 3500RPM, which is equal to 500 kmph ground speed.

• If the ball hit by the batsman goes straight onto the wheel or something dropped in the wheels while rotating, can seriously injure people around.

• The machine can collapse and damage the surroundings as well.

• The company which does not have proper engineering skills fails to produce the covers for the Wheels in the machine.

9. Is there a Robotic Alignment in the machine?

• The entire structure of machine needs to have a robotic alignment for a long lasting life.

• Without proper alignment, the machine is not effective and wears off early.

10. Is it a Baseball Pitching Machine which is being sold as cricket bowling machine?

• Baseball is a different ball game.

• In cricket, bowling at different lines and lengths is very important. In baseball it is not

• The baseball dynamics are similar but not same when compared with cricket ball.

• Pitching machines are meant for baseball gripping, not meant for cricket ball.

Before purchasing a bowling machine make sure that the above questions are justified with proper answers from a bowling machine manufacturer or supplier.

Ajay - About Author:
Professional cricketer and avid follower of technology in cricket. He is also a cricket analyst with experience in technical insights of cricket bowling machine and bowling robot

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