Friday, May 21, 2010

The leg-spinner's straight deliveries

A leg spinner has at least five possibilities for straight delivery variations:

1. Top-spinner
2. Back-spinner
3. Faster back-spinner (flipper)
4. Non-spinner from back of hand
5. Faster straight delivery from front of hand

These all have the potential to disprupt the batter's timing.

The top spinner dips in the air to land further from the batter than he suspects then bounces higher and accelerates towards the batter.

The slowly rotating back spinner usually doesn't do that much but comes straight on.

The faster back spinner (flipper) does the opposite to the top spinner - it stays in the air longer than expected, then bounces closer to the batter than expected, then bounces lower than expected. I would have expected that this delivery would be easy to 'pick' - but this cannot always be true, since Warne and Kumble created havoc with their flippers.

The slower non-spinner is the back of hand straight delivery sometimes used as a slow ball by quick bowlers and 'death' bowlers in one day forms - some say it was perfected by Steve Waugh. Because it does not spin, it seems to float and wobble in the air as it approaches the batter - like a 'knuckleball' in baseball.

Or the leg break bowler can simply turn his palm to face forward at the last moment and bowl a normal straight, seam-up (and probably back-spinning) delivery - which comes out much faster than the leg-break - I saw Shahid Afridi surprise a batter with this, which came straight on about 15 mph faster than the leg-break, and pinned the batter LBW.