With many cricketers, you know what to expect. Whether it’s the raw pace and aggression of a tall fast bowler or the guile of a middle-order batsman, it’s easy to put them in distinct categories.
Nottinghamshire all-rounder Steven Mullaney, however, has been trying something a little different.
“Over the past few weeks I’ve been bowling a little spin,” said Mullaney.
“It’s something I’ve been practicing recently, to take advantage of the drier conditions at this stage of the season.
“I’ve been turning the ball the opposite way to Samit and Whitey, and it’s there to offer Chris Read another option in four-day games.”
Known for his ability with medium-paced deliveries that tease regular wickets, Mullaney’s move to bowling slower, turning balls came fairly easily, though he had a little help from one of the best.
“Its something I’d never worked on properly, but it has come quite naturally," he said.
“I had a chat with Swanny about it, which gave me a lot of confidence.
“The first piece of advice he gave me was just to take it steadily, don’t bowl too aggressively, and to look to bring the catchers into play,” added Mullaney.
"It’s an extra string for my bow personally, and hopefully something that offers a little extra for the team." Mullaney on his spin.
“He’s the best off-spinner in the world, and he’s always there on the end of the phone if we need anything, it’s fantastic to have someone like that available.”
Mullaney’s change in pace was noticed by many during Nottinghamshire’s recent outing against Somerset in the LV=County Championship, and his ability was rewarded with a vote of confidence from captain Chris Read’s attacking field.
“It went well, the conditions suited me and it was good to see Ready push some of the catchers forward to help keep the pressure on the batsmen,” he said.
“It has worked once and I got on top of the batsmen, they didn’t go after me and try and score with big shots.
“At the moment it’s just a four-day tactic, but it’s an extra string for my bow personally, and hopefully something that offers a little extra for the team.
“It’s not going to take over what I do most of the time, I still consider myself very much a medium-pacer, and that’s where I’ve been successful for Notts before.”
With this in his locker, and a Friends Life t20 quarter-final against Essex Eagles at Trent Bridge this Thursday evening, is it something that he’ll be incorporating into the shorter formats?
“I can’t see it happening,” said Mullaney.
“If selected for the quarter-final I’ll be bowling my seam deliveries, I’ll stick to what I know best.”
Tickets for the Outlaws' Friends Life t20 quarter-final are now on general sale from our online box office.
Supporters can also visit the Trent Bridge ticket office or call the ticket hotline (0844 8118711) during office hours.
Friends Life t20 Quarter-Final Ticket information
Notts Outlaws v Essex Eagles, Thursday 8 August, 7.10pm CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS
Buy before 4.30pm on Wednesday 7 August:
Members - Adults £15 / Under 16s £8 / Over 65s £8
Non-members - Adults £17 / Under 16s £9 / Over 65s £9 / families (2+2) £43
On the day:
Adults £20 / Over 65s £20 / Under 16s £10 / Families (2+2) £50