Spin bowling is made up of many different factors, that when put together can make you a great player, but because there’s so many different factors there are lots of different complicated terms that you will become more aware of the more you play, this page should hopefully tell you everything you need to know about “the basics” of spin bowling.
Leg Spin: Leg spin is the principle of getting the ball to move from right to left when pitching, if bowled well the ball should move away from a right handed batsmen. Leg spin is often referred to as wrist spin, this is because the wrist is used in order to generate spin on the ball. Batsmen are known to be bad at playing leg spin, however it is a difficult art to master, and it’s no surprise that leg spinners are typically inaccurate.
Off Spin (right handed): A good off spinner will get the ball to move from left to right after pitching, in towards a right handed batsmen. Off spin is sometimes referred to as finger spin, because the fingers moving are the key to getting the ball to off-spin.
Drift: Drift is a spin bowler’s form of swing, the basic idea of drift is to get the ball to move in the air, before pitching, drift can occur from a number of reasons.
- Wind, if it’s windy enough the ball can be blown in one direction.
- Shine, like swing, drift can occur when the ball is bowled with a straight seam, the ball will generally drift away from the shiney side.
- The amount of spin put on the ball causes the ball to drift, a leg spinner will usually get the ball to drift in to a right hander, and an off spinner will get the ball to drift away.
Accuracy: With accuracy a spin bowler would be worthless, “putting the ball in the right place” will stop batsmen taking runs, and also aid you getting wickets. “the right place to bowl” is often considered to be the place where the batsmen least wants you to pitch the ball.
Variation: Once you have become good at your stock ball (your off spinner, or leg spinner) it is worth trying out some variation balls, variation balls, are balls that behave differently from your stock ball, they might be quicker, slower, bounce more, bounce less, turn a different way, or be more flighted. Variation balls can often be good wicket taking balls, that when used correctly can confuse the batsmen. It is a good idea to make your variation ball(s) look similar to your stock ball, (in flight and out of your hand) this is so the batsmen cannot “pick” the ball that you are bowling. The most important thing to remember is not to bowl your variation ball too often, this can ruin your stock ball, you should only bowl your variation ball(s) about 10% of the time, and your stock ball the other 90%.
So now that you have the general idea of what spin bowling is all about, why not practice these types of spins?