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Cricket for Beginners - Part 2


Spin bowling has had somewhat of a revival in England in recent years. With Monty Panesar bursting onto the international scene in effervescent fashion and masters of their art Murali, Warne and Mushtaq Ahmed having recently plyed their trade in County Cricket, spin is most definitely back in fashion.

Here are a few of the variations of spin bowling to help you get to grips with an art famed for its exponents’ guile and cunning.

Off spin
Off spin means turning the ball from off to leg, or left to right in layman’s terms. An off spinner can have several different balls in their armoury. The off-break is the most common delivery. It spins out of the hand and then the condition of the pitch determines how much it turns.

The arm ball is not spun out of the hand but merely guided by the index finger. The aim of the arm ball is to fool the batsman into thinking that the ball is an off-break – and they play for turn which never arrives.

The ‘wrong’un’ is a ball that spins in completely the opposite direction to that which the batsman expects. It is developed so that it looks almost exactly the same as an off-break when it leaves the bowler’s hand.

Left arm spin
Left arm spin – as bowled by Lancashire’s Simon Kerrigan – produces a ball that spins away from the right-handed batsman, or from right to left. The batsman is constantly in danger of edging the ball as the bowler strives to achieve huge turn.

The origins of the Chinaman delivery are obscure, much like the ball itself. A Chinaman is a ball from a left arm spinner which turns left to right – the opposite to his normal delivery.

Leg Spin
Sometimes known as wrist spin, this is an art perfected by Shane Warne, and seen at Old Trafford being bowled by Simon Marshall. The leg spinner’s stock ball spins from right to left.

The googly spins the other way to the leg break – left to right. To achieve this, the ball is released from the back of the hand. Not all leg spinners are able to master the googly as it is tricky to develop.