Friday, April 1st, 2016

Twohig Reaps Benefits Of Working With Worcs Legend Gifford

Twohig Reaps Benefits Of Working With Worcs Legend Gifford

Young spinner Ben Twohig says he has reaped the benefits from working with Worcestershire CCC legend Norman Gifford during the past two years at New Road.

And the former Malvern College pupil has his sights on a successful season with the Second Eleven as he targeted making a first team breakthrough this summer.

Former Worcestershire skipper Gifford, who amassed 2,068 first class wickets in his career, is now the County's spin bowling coach.

Gifford, who was 76 on Wednesday, has been putting Twohig, currently with the England Performance Programme training camp at Loughborough, through his paces and the former Malvern College pupil is delighted with the results.

Twohig, in his first year as a full-time professional with the County, said: "Up until about 15-16, I bowled a lot with Doll (Damian D'Oliveira) and picked his brain a lot.

"But then the last couple of years I've been working with Giff (Norman Gifford) which has been very helpful.

"He knows everything. That has been very good. I learn a lot from him and he just knows what people are going to do before they do.

"He'll say in the nets 'he's going to run at you and try and hit you over extra cover' and the next ball he did it! "I'm thinking 'how does he know that' but he has got over 2,000 first class wickets so he has all that knowledge.

"He is brilliant to learn off and has so much knowledge."

Twohig, whose first senior County wicket was ex England player Jonathan Trott during the pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi, is also grateful for the help he received off head coach Noel Brett when at Malvern College.

He said: "I worked a lot with Noel Brett at school. He is more of a psycologist than a spin coach and he was the first team coach at Malvern and he played for Surrey Seconds.

"I worked a lot with him and we pretty much got the pace on the ball that I needed."

Twohig admits that he learning to bowl quicker whilst not losing any control is a key factor in his development.

He said: "It depends on the batsman you bowl at but at the higher level, if you can still get the right amount of shape on the ball, and bowl it as quick as you can, then you are pretty much in the game all the time.

"It's when it's slow, it gives batsmen time to manipulate the ball. "You've got more margin for error if it is quicker because it is coming onto the bat a lot quicker and you don't have much time to move whereas if it is slower, you've got less margin for error and if you don't hit your good length, it can go for four most of the time."

As for his targets this summer, Twohig said: "Hopefully to make my first team debut this year – in any form of cricket really, to take a lot of second team wickets and try and make my way into the first team.

"It is very competitive at the moment. It is a very young squad and, because there is a lot of talent amongst our young pros, they are always going to be trying to bust their way into the first team really."