When it comes to cricket, we at BattingLab are all about spin bowling. What is spin bowling you ask? Well, it’s a technique in cricket that aims to bowl the cricket ball with rapid rotation so it will deviate from its normal straight path when it bounces on the pitch. This, in turn, makes it difficult for the opposing batsman to hit the ball cleanly. Perfecting the technique is an art and there are a few things to consider, let’s explore them
The 5 principles of playing spin:
- Always watch the ball/hands/fingers
- Try to have a solid base to play form
- Keep the head still on contact
- Focus on a higher back-lift and slower downswing
- Keep the ball on the ground
One interesting thing about spin bowling is that it is actually divided into four different categories and is defined by the particular physical technique used. A spin bowler uses either predominant wrist or finger motion to make the ball spin around a horizontal axis that is at an oblique angle to the length of the pitch. Here are some popular combinations by category/name, what side arm they are using, whether it’s a finger or wrist spin, followed by the direction of the spin:
- Off spin: right finger left to right
- Left-arm orthodox spin: left finger, right to left
- Leg spin: right wrist, right to left
- Left-arm unorthodox spin, left wrist, left to right
Whether you are a finger spin bowler or a wrist spin bowler, the idea is to use a range of different angles of spin to confuse the batsman.
Mindset is everything
A good spinner is an attacking bowler. In order to truly be a good batsman and put the pressure back onto the spinner, the right mindset is key. You have to concentrate and be adaptable. Study the pace and flight of your spin bowler. You need to be adept at reading spin. What behaviour can you spot? How can you develop a game plan from your findings? Take the initiative and use your feet to manipulate the field. Try not to go early or give away any tells to the bowler as they could counter this and get you out. You want to take out close catchers and eliminate spin. Always adjust your mindset before you adjust your technique.