Hard work & physical fitness
If you want to become a genuine fast bowler and a terror on the field, you should be ready to put your heart, mind and body into it. You have to work extremely hard, both on and off the field. A batsman or a spin bowler can afford to be a little complacent about fitness, but fast bowlers have no easy way out.
To bowl fast without getting injured regularly, you need to develop certain muscles. Having strong thighs is crucial because they help you generate momentum while you run. You have to do certain exercises to strengthen your shoulders, back, ribs, arms, calves and feet (especially ankle and heels). It is always recommended you hire a professional trainer, who can help you enhance your physical strength.
In order to have a strong body, a fast bowler’s diet is very important, which should include milk, mutton, beef, fish, fruits and vegetables. You should look to eat more after training.
Bowl more & more in the nets
Some youngsters look to bowl less in the nets and work hard on their physical fitness. However, the best way to enhance your fitness is to bowl for hours in the nets every day. This will help you develop your bowling muscles and your body will get used to bowling long spells.
Bowling run-up gives you momentum in your delivery stride. A fast bowler’s run-up can make or break his delivery. You should practice sprinting to have a run-up like Waqar Younis, Dale Steyn or Shoaib Akhtar. Your run-up should start with small strides but they should get bigger as you approach the bowling crease.
Bowling action & follow-through
Bowling action is without doubt the most important aspect of fast bowling. It should be simple, even if you bowl with a side-on or open-chest action. Dale Steyn and Wasim Akram are pure examples of an ideal bowling action.
Follow-through is the last part of a delivery. If you do not have a proper follow-through, you will not be able to bowl with high speed and will risk back injuries.