What Is Bowling Technique in Cricket Sport | How to Do It?

Learn in this brief guide what a bowling technique in cricket sport and understand how it works.

The bowling technique in cricket involves propelling balls toward a wicket placed behind a batsman. Skilled players are called bowlers and use several techniques during games to outsmart defending hitters.

A bowler uses this bowling technique to deliver balls in sets, usually called overs. Different laws determine which bowling skills are allowed in cricket and outline how players can propel balls at opposition batters. Let’s check out several major bowling techniques in cricket and how you can use them like a pro.

Spin Bowling

Spin bowlers use their fingers and other hand movements to get the ball to revolve and achieve grip on surfaces for greater effect. Dry surfaces are especially ideal for spin bowling as they help the ball gain more swing during flight. Two major kinds of spin bowling exist – leg spin and off spin.

How to Perform Leg Spin

  • Grip the ball in its high regions with the middle and index finger
  • Make a delivery by wrist-flicking while turning the ball in an anticlockwise direction for right-handed bowlers. Left-handed bowlers can deliver the same ball in a clockwise direction.

Leg spin bowlers are in high demand and can confuse opposing hitters with the right swing.

How to Perform Off Spin

Right-handed: Use the fingers of your bowling hand and move the ball towards the leg side from the offside position.

Left-handed: Use the index and thumb to initiate movement on the ball for spin, moving the ball from the offside towards the batter’s leg side position.

Many bowlers use the spin delivery to confuse batters, especially when the spin hits a suitable surface and moves in an unexpected pattern towards the wicket. Professional bowlers usually rely on such methods as their stock option against opposing batters.

Other Spin Bowling Techniques

Top spinner: Twisting the fingers to generate an upward swirl; ideal to deliver better height and loop during spin bowling.

Doosra: Use a custom grip of the ring and index finger to generate a spin movement that deviates from its delivery direction; a tough bowling technique capable of unsettling even the most experienced batters.

Googly: Use an exerted finger flick to spin the ball towards a direction diagonal to the delivery position; some variations could involve a custom wrist movement to create a spin moving towards its opposite direction.

Arm ball: Keep the seam upright and roll fingers in a downward motion while propelling the ball; this usually results in less spin but could create surprising wobbles upon contact with the ground.

Carrom ball: Use the middle finger and thumb to flick the ball right after its release to create varying spin movements; it is a hard move but can create extreme spins difficult for batters to react to during overs.  

Slider: Roll your fingers along the ball’s side to create a side or back-spinning movement upon delivery.

Fast Bowling

Pace bowlers largely depend on the speed generated on balls to beat defending teams. Fast bowlers can get over 91 miles per hour on a ball; such speeds could unsettle even the best batters multiple times. However, professional batters are now capable of reacting to fast balls at neck-break speeds forcing pace bowlers to develop new techniques.

Medium Pace Bowling: Mid-pace bowlers deliver their balls at a slightly slower speed than fast pitchers. In some cases, medium-pace balls do not exceed 75mph. It could be an unpredictable move for batters, and some hitters react poorly to these balls when they carry heavy swings on their delivery.

Seam Bowling: Pace bowlers can adopt seams in their pitch to get better results during overs. Seam bowling aims to move quickly off the bounce in an unpredictable direction and speed towards defending batsmen.

Bouncer: Limited pace delivery that largely targets the wicket while moving towards the upper torso of batters; largely unpredictable, rapid, upward movement after ground contact makes it hard for batsmen to react on time.

Leg Cutter: Adopt the leg spinner grip while delivering the ball at a significant pace from offside to leg side; doesn’t adopt a similar move with spins but can deceive batters after ground contact.

Slow Ball: Place the ball on the knuckles to deliver a fast pitch but slow impact with a batsman’s position; fast-slow movement can deceive batters into responding with a poor hit.

O Cutter: Use the off-spin grip while running three or more fingers along the ball; move swings towards the leg side from the off region.

Yorker: Target the bat area with a full-on direct delivery; difficult bowling technique to master but quite hard for batters to react to on repeat during overs.

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