Monday, July 19, 2010

The perfect wrist-spin bowler

The perfect wrist spinner would be equally effective against left and right handed batters.

This means that they should have two stock deliveries - a leg-break for use against right anders and a googly/ wrong-un for use against left-handers.

To be effective, a spinner needs a good, sharply pun and accurate stock delivery and a well-disguised variation - either a straight ball or one that turns in the opposite direction. Both alternatives seem equally effective, so long as they are well disguised.

(e.g. for most of his career, Shane Warne had a leg-break plus a variety of well-disguised straight balls - he could not use the googly in the second half of his career due to a shoulder injury. The best current spinner, Graeme Swann, has an off-break and a straight-on undercut spinner - or gyro-ball!).

However, and this is the key, the stock delivery to the right and left hander might be bowled with a completely different action. This would not matter - so long as the variation was well disguised with respect to the stock delivery being used.

So that the leg-break for use against right handed batters might have a moderately round-arm delivery (like Warne’s) but the googly/ wrong-un for use against left handers might have a high arm delivery (more like Kumble and Mushtaq Ahmed - who bowled the googly as their stock delivery - pretty much).

The round-arm leg break for right handers might have a straight ball as its main variation (e.g. a top-spinner, a slider, or a flipper - as Warne used) - while the googly for left handers might have a leg-break as its main variation (as Kumble used).

My hunch is that having a completely different action against right and left handers might enable bowlers to develop better stock deliveries, and become equally effective against both right and left handers - which is very rare.

By becoming two bowlers in one, one might become the perfect wrist spin bowler.


Blogger bgc said...

I no longer believe that Swann uses a 'gyro ball' - I think he simply undercuts his off break so that it loans on the shiny part and misses the seam.

It seems that the gyro ball was wishful thinking, a fantasy - or some other spinner's variation, perhaps...

12:30 PM  

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