Delivery (cricket)

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Muttiah Muralitharan bowls to Adam Gilchrist in a One Day International in 2006. Muralitharan bowling to Adam Gilchrist.jpg
Muttiah Muralitharan bowls to Adam Gilchrist in a One Day International in 2006.

A delivery or ball in cricket is a single action of bowling a cricket ball toward the batsman.

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During play of the game, a member of the fielding team is designated as the bowler, and bowls deliveries toward the batsman. Six legal balls in a row constitutes an over, after which a different member of the fielding side takes over the role of bowler for the next over. The bowler delivers the ball from their end of the pitch toward the batsman standing at the opposite wicket at the other end of the pitch. Bowlers can be either left-handed or right-handed. This approach to their delivery, in addition to their decision of bowling around the wicket (from the sides of the wicket on the bowler's end) or over the wicket, is knowledge of which the umpire and the batsman are to be made aware.

Types of delivery

Deliveries can be made by fast bowlers or by spin bowlers. Fast bowlers tend to make the ball either move off the pitch (‘seam’) or move through the air (’swing’), while spinners make the ball ’turn’ either toward a right-handed batsman (as in the case of off spin and left-arm unorthodox spin) or away from him (as in the case of leg spin and left-arm orthodox spin).

The ball can bounce at different distances from the batsman, this is called the length of the delivery. It can range from a bouncer (often bouncing as high as the batsman's head) to a yorker (landing at his feet).

There are many different types of delivery that a bowler can bowl. These deliveries vary by: technique, the hand the bowler bowls with, use of the fingers, use of the seam, how the ball is positioned in the hand, where the ball is pitched on the wicket, the speed of the ball, and the tactical intent of the bowler.

Tactical considerations

The variations in different types of delivery, as well as variations caused by directing the ball with differing line and length, are key weapons in a bowler's arsenal. Throughout an over, the bowler will choose a sequence of deliveries designed to attack the batsman's concentration and technique, in an effort to get him out.

The bowler also varies the amount of loop and pace imparted to various deliveries to try to cause the batsman to misjudge and make a mistake. As the crease has a width, the bowler can change the angle from which he delivers to the batsman in an attempt to induce a misjudgement.

Usually, the bowler decides what type of delivery to bowl next, without consultation or even informing any other member of his team. Sometimes, the team captain will offer advice or even issue a direct order regarding what deliveries to bowl, based on his observations of the batsman and the strategic state of the game. Another player who occasionally offers advice to the bowler is the wicket-keeper, since he has a unique view of the batsman and may be able to spot weaknesses of technique.

Another piece of information important for the bowlers to consider prior to their deliveries is the state of pitch. The pitch is a natural ground and its state is subjected to variation over the course of the cricket, some of which are multi-day events such as test matches. Spinners find an old pitch, one that has been frequently used, more suitable to their deliveries rather than a fresh pitch, one that has not come under use as much such as a pitch at the start of the match.

The batsman's anticipation of the delivery

While a bowler, with the use of variations in their delivery aims to target the concentration of batsmen as well as their skill and technique of batting, anticipation of the delivery is crucial for the batsman, as emphasised by Jodi Richardson. [1] Richardson reveals the world class batsman's dilemma while facing fast bowlers, stating that the time between the batsmen's anticipation of the trajectory of the ball and positioning themselves for the appropriate shot can be twice as long as the interval between the ball leaving the bowler's hand and reaching the batsman's crease. Side by side, Richardson alludes to the research undertaken by Dr. Sean Müller in Australia which was partly funded by Cricket Australia's Centre of Excellence. The results of the research demonstrated the importance of anticipation of the delivery for batsmen in cricket. They revealed that experienced batsmen possessed a unique ability which enabled them to adjust their feet as well as their positioning on the crease accordingly based upon their reading of the body language and movements enacted by the bowler prior to the release of the ball. This foresight that batsmen use while on the crease is referred to as 'advance information' by Richardson. Moreover, Müller's research outlined that the presence of this 'advance information' was not as evident among the lesser skilled batsmen in comparison to the experienced ones.

Controversies and debate involving deliveries

Underarm bowling

Underarm or lob bowling was the original cricket delivery style, but had largely died out before the 20th century, although it was used until 1910 by George Simpson-Hayward, and remained a legal delivery type. On 1 February 1981, when Australia was playing New Zealand in a One Day International cricket match, and New Zealand needed six runs to tie the match from the final ball. Greg Chappell, the Australian captain, ordered the bowler (his brother Trevor) to bowl underarm, rolling the ball along the ground to prevent the Number 10 New Zealand batsman (Brian McKechnie) any chance of hitting a six from the last ball to tie the match.

After the game, the then Prime Minister of New Zealand, Rob Muldoon, described it as "the most disgusting incident I can recall in the history of cricket." [2] At the time, underarm deliveries were legal, but as a direct result of the incident, underarm bowling was banned in limited overs cricket by the International Cricket Council as "not within the spirit of the game." The 2000 Code of the Laws of Cricket declares that an underarm delivery is illegal unless otherwise agreed before the match. [3]

Suspect bowling actions

A recently retired cricketer who was greatly embroiled in controversy and under scrutiny from critics over his method of executing deliveries was the Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan. Michael Selvey describes the accusations placed on the bowler in relation to his widely disputed bowling action and delivery, stating the Australian prime minister's reference to the Sri Lankan as a 'chucker.' The controversy linked to Muralitharan's delivery emerged in 1995, when the umpire of the test match between Sri Lanka and Australia deemed Muralitharan's delivery as illegal on the suspicion that he was throwing the ball. Selvey acknowledges this as the factor sparking an 'international cricket incident,' with critics and some extremists going as far as insisting on the exclusion of all of the Sri Lankan's accomplishments throughout his career from the records of cricket. However, Suresh Menon takes an adamant stance on the topic of the controversy surrounding the spinner by displaying appreciation for Muralitharan's actions. Menon suggests that investigation into Muralitharan's deliveries led to the revelation of imperfections present in the bowling action and deliveries of the previously considered 'picture-perfect' fast bowler, Glenn McGrath. This was made possible with the usage of technology and its replacement of the earlier system, which Menon refers to as 'the naked eye.' Eventually, it was declared legal for the bowlers to bend their arm fifteen degrees for deliveries in cricket.

Comparison to baseball

A delivery or ball in cricket is analogous to a pitch in baseball. The word ball in cricket usage does not imply anything about the accuracy of the delivery, unlike baseball's usage of ball to indicate a pitch outside the strike zone. The cricket equivalent of a baseball ball is a wide or a no-ball.

Related Research Articles

Leg spin Type of spin bowling in cricket

Leg spin is a type of spin bowling in cricket. A leg spinner, also called leggie, bowls right-arm with a wrist spin action, causing the ball to spin from right to left in the cricket pitch when the ball bounces, that is, away from the leg side of a right-handed batsman. The same kind of trajectory, which spins from right to left on pitching, when performed by a left-arm bowler is known as left-arm unorthodox spin bowling.

The flipper is the name of a particular bowling delivery used in cricket, generally by a leg spin bowler. In essence it is a back spin ball. Squeezed out of the front of the hand with the thumb and first and second fingers, it keeps deceptively low after pitching and can accordingly be very difficult to play. The flipper is comparable to a riseball in fast-pitch softball.

Muttiah Muralitharan Sri Lankan cricketer

Deshabandu Muttiah Muralitharan is a Sri Lankan cricket coach and former cricketer. Averaging over six wickets per Test, Muralitharan is one of the most successful bowlers ever.

Off spin Type of bowling in cricket

Off spin is a type of finger spin bowling in cricket. A bowler who uses this technique is called an off spinner. Off spinners are right-handed spin bowlers who use their fingers to spin the ball from a right-handed batsman's off side to the leg side. This contrasts with leg spin, in which the ball spins from leg to off and which is bowled with a very different action.

Bowling (cricket) Cricket delivery

Bowling, in cricket, is the action of propelling the ball toward the wicket defended by a batter. A player skilled at bowling is called a bowler; a bowler who is also a competent batter is known as an all-rounder. Bowling the ball is distinguished from throwing the ball by a strictly specified biomechanical definition, which restricts the angle of extension of the elbow. A single act of bowling the ball towards the batsman is called a ball or a delivery. Bowlers bowl deliveries in sets of six, called an over. Once a bowler has bowled an over, a teammate will bowl an over from the other end of the pitch. The Laws of Cricket govern how a ball must be bowled. If a ball is bowled illegally, an umpire will rule it a no-ball. If a ball is bowled too wide of the striker for the batsman to be able to play at it with a proper cricket shot, the bowler's end umpire will rule it a wide.

A topspinner is a type of delivery bowled by a cricketer bowling either wrist spin or finger spin. In either case, the bowler imparts the ball with top spin by twisting it with his or her fingers prior to delivery. In both cases, the topspinner is the halfway house between the stock delivery and the wrong'un - in the wrist spinner's case his googly, and in the finger spinner's case his doosra.

In cricket, underarm bowling is as old as the sport itself. Until the introduction of the roundarm style in the first half of the 19th century, bowling was performed in the same way as in bowls, the ball being delivered with the hand below the waist. Bowls may well be an older game than cricket and it is possible that cricket was derived from bowls by the intervention of a batsman trying to stop the ball reaching its target by hitting it away, though bowling per se continued as in bowls.

Glossary of cricket terms Wikimedia list article

This is a general glossary of the terminology used in the sport of cricket. Where words in a sentence are also defined elsewhere in this article, they appear in italics. Certain aspects of cricket terminology are explained in more detail in cricket statistics and the naming of fielding positions is explained at fielding (cricket).

In cricket, a no-ball is an illegal delivery to a batsman. It is also the Extra run awarded to the batting team as a consequence. For most cricket games, especially amateur the definition of all forms of no-ball is from the MCC Laws of Cricket

A doosra is a particular type of delivery by an off-spin bowler in the sport of cricket. The doosra spins in the opposite direction to an off break, and aims to confuse the batsman into playing a poor shot.

Pace bowling Bowling technique in cricket

Pace bowler is one of two main approaches to bowling in the sport of cricket, the other being spin bowling. Practitioners of pace bowling are usually known as fast bowlers, quicks, or pacemen. They can also be referred to as a seam bowler, a swing bowler or a 'fast bowler who can swing it' to reflect the predominant characteristic of their deliveries. Strictly speaking, a pure swing bowler does not need to have a high degree of pace, though dedicated medium-pace swing bowlers are rarely seen at Test level these days.

Spin bowling Bowling technique in cricket

Spin bowling is a bowling technique in cricket and the bowler is referred to as a spinner.

An arm ball is a type of delivery in cricket. It is a variation delivery bowled by an off spin bowler or slow left-arm orthodox bowler. It is the finger spin equivalent of a wrist spinner's slider or zooter.

Off break Type of spin bowling in cricket

An off break is the type of delivery in the sport of cricket. It is the attacking delivery of an off spin bowler. Off breaks are known as off spinners.

In the sport of cricket there are two broad categories of bowlers: pace and spin. Pace bowlers rely mostly on the speed of the ball to dismiss batsmen, whereas spin bowlers rely on the rotation of the ball.

Baseball and cricket are the best-known members of a family of related bat-and-ball games.

The Bangladeshi cricket team toured Sri Lanka for three One Day International cricket matches and two Test cricket matches in August and September 2005. The Bangladeshi team is coming off a moderately successful tour of England, by their standards, as they pushed Australia close in one ODI and beat them in another. However, they still lost five out of six matches in the NatWest Series, and both of the Test matches, and remain at the bottom of both the ICC Test Championship and ICC ODI Championship. The hosts Sri Lanka, meanwhile, are undefeated in home ODI tournaments since February 2004, and in home Test series since March 2004, both against the top-ranked Australia. Their win in the Indian Oil Cup a month before this series saw them into second place in the ODI Championship, but they are only ranked sixth in Tests.

Wrist spin Type of spin bowling in cricket

Wrist spin is a type of bowling in the sport of cricket. It refers to the cricket technique and specific hand movements associated with imparting a particular direction of spin to the cricket ball. The other spinning technique, usually used to spin the ball in the opposite direction, is finger spin. Wrist spin is bowled by releasing the ball from the back of the hand, so that it passes over the little finger. Done by a right-handed bowler, this imparts an anticlockwise rotation to the ball, as seen from the bowler's perspective; a left-handed wrist spinner rotates the ball clockwise.

Finger spin is a type of bowling in the sport of cricket. It refers to the cricket technique and specific hand movements associated with imparting a particular direction of spin to the cricket ball. The other spinning technique, generally used to spin the ball in the opposite direction, is wrist spin. Although there are exceptions, finger spinners generally turn the ball less than wrist spinners. However, because the technique is simpler and easier to master, finger spinners tend to be more accurate.

In the sport of cricket, throwing, commonly referred to as chucking, is an illegal bowling action which occurs when a bowler straightens the bowling arm when delivering the ball. The Laws of Cricket specify that only the rotation of the shoulder can be used to impart velocity to the ball – a bowler's arm must not extend during the bowling action. If the umpire deems that the ball has been thrown, they will call a no-ball which means the batsman cannot be given out from that delivery. Current regulations of the International Cricket Council (ICC) set the legal limit of 15 degrees of permissible straightening of the elbow joint for all bowlers in international cricket. This law applies between the point at which the bowling arm passes above shoulder height and the point at which the ball is released. The limit is to allow some natural flexing of the elbow joint which happens during the course of legal delivery.

References

  1. Richardson, Jodi. "The art of anticipation" . Retrieved 11 January 2012.
  2. "The Underarm incident". Melbourne Cricket Ground. Retrieved 29 October 2009.
  3. Laws of Cricket #24 re no ball Archived 27 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine