Monday, March 26, 2007

How to bowl a Doosra (without chucking)

Make it your stock delivery - with off break as a variation

The name 'doosra' means 'the other one' and it is used as a variation by off-spinners - but I believe the future of the delivery is to be learned from the beginning as a stock ball, by young bowlers.

Assuming that 'weak throwing' (see below) is not, after all, going to be legalized, then the only way to bowl a doosra without chucking is to model one's action around the needs of the doosra, and use the off-break as a variation.

The doosra would therefore be practiced against a right handed batter, delivered over the wicket from as close to the stumps as possible, with an arm action towards first slip, and with top-spin. The result should be that the ball bounces and spins away from the right handed batter. This is the stock delivery.

In other words the doosra needs pretty much the action of Saqulain Mushtaq - the doosra's inventor.

Then the off-break then becomes the variation, and one which might be almost impossible to pick, because it merely involves angling the wrist to point the seam down the leg side. I would expect that the off-break would turn more sharply than the doosra.

[Note: I cannot bowl at all - the above advice is worked out purely on theoretical grounds. Nonetheless, I hope someone tries it. Cricket need the doosra.]

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Extreme pace is over-rated

Who are the fastest seam bowlers in the world?: Shoaib, Brett Lee, Shane Bond.

(Bond is the fastest bowler with a 'pure' action - Shoaib and Lee both have hyper-extensible elbows; and both will chuck apparently deliberatley if not kept a close eye on; and Lee has bowled deliberate full pace beamers - which is despicable)

Shoaib and Bond are injured most of the time and have played very few tests. Lee... just isn't that good in test matches - he is expensive, and he doesn't take many wickets.

But who are the best seam bowlers in the world?: McGrath, Pollock (low eighties mph), maybe Ntini at present (about 85 mph)...

See - extreme pace is over-rated!

It is exciting (for the spectator, at any rate) - but pace above 85 mph doesn't appear to add very much, and the strain on the body is clearly too great for most physiques (Lee manages OK, he seems to be a superb athelete and very flexible).

So - don't worry about extreme pace, don't strive for extreme pace - if you are a selector don't be over-impressed by extreme pace - go for control and some variation.

My next item will be 'swing bowling is over-rated'.