Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Index finger flicking - a potential new method for off-spin


The problem with off-spin bowling (or left arm orthodox) is that most bowlers cannot bowl a variation which turns the other way - i.e. most bowlers cannot bowl a doosra without either throwing it (a back-chuck), or having a very obvious change of action.

But it might be possible to do this if the spin was imparted to the ball using an index finger flick.

The ball would be held between the first three fingers (index, middle and ring fingers) with the index finger crooked.

The ball would be delivered with the heel of the hand (the side below the little finger) facing towards leg slip, and the the index finger would be straightened with a flick to impart spin.

I don't know of any bowler who has actually done this - but if someone had sufficiently large hands including a long strong index finger, I don't see why *somebody* shouldn't be able to do this!

The disadvantage is that this method would not impart as much spin as a normal off break action.

But the big advantage is that by angling the heel of the hand straight ahead then a top-spinner would result...

And by angling the heel of the hand towards the slips a doosra would result.

And this could happen:

1. without chucking, and

2. with only a barely perceptible change in the angle of the hand - which would be extremely difficult for the batsman to 'pick'.

A further advantage would be that such a delivery could probably be bowled faster than a leg-break - because the shoulder is in a more anatomically-neutral position.

I could imagine a Kumble-like or SF Barnes-like index finger flick bowler, medium paced, high action, plenty of bounce - able to bowl off-breaks, top-spinners and leg-breaks at will and without being picked.

The ball would probably not deviate *much* - but combined with bounce, and done with control, the result could be devastating!