Wrist spin

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A leg spin (right arm wrist spin) delivery. Slow left arm small.gif
A leg spin (right arm wrist spin) delivery.

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.

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The name wrist spin is actually something of a misnomer, as the wrist is not a vital part of the mechanism for producing the characteristic spin on the ball. A wrist spin delivery is released with the arm held in a fully pronated position, with the fingers on the inside of the ball (to the left for a right-handed bowler). If this pronated position is maintained through the release, the fingers will naturally cut down the side of the ball and produce an anti-clockwise spin. The great Australian leg-spinner Bill O'Reilly is famous for bowling legspin in this manner. [1] Additional spin may be put on the ball through two other means: the active pronation of the arm from an initially supinated position just before the ball is released, and the extension of the wrist at the moment of release. Both techniques increase the effect of the cutting mechanism. The slower a spin bowler delivers the ball, the more actively he must attempt to impart spin onto it in order to maintain the same rate of revolution. [2]

Although the biomechanical details of wrist spin are the same for right and left handed bowlers, such bowlers are often discussed separately, as the direction in which the ball deviates as it bounces on the cricket pitch is different:

Types of delivery

Shane Warne bowling a leg spin delivery Shane Warne bowling 2009.jpg
Shane Warne bowling a leg spin delivery

Leg break

To grip the ball for a leg-spinning delivery, the ball is placed into the palm with the seam parallel to the palm. The first two fingers then spread and grip the ball, and the third and fourth fingers close together and rest against the side of the ball. The first bend of the third finger should grasp the seam. The thumb resting against the side is up to the bowler, but should impart no pressure. When the ball is bowled, the third finger will apply most of the spin. The wrist is cocked as it comes down by the hip, and the wrist moves sharply from right to left as the ball is released, adding more spin. The ball is thrown up to provide flight. The batsman will see the hand with the palm facing towards them when the ball is released.

Googly

A googly is a type of delivery bowled by a wrist spin bowler. It is occasionally referred to as a Bosie, an eponym in honour of its inventor Bernard Bosanquet.

While a normal leg break spins from the leg to the off side, away from a right-handed batsman, a googly spins the other way, from off to leg, into a right-handed batsman (and is distinct from an off break delivery). The bowler achieves this change of spin by bending the wrist sharply from the normal leg break delivery position. To achieve this bend requires maximal pronation of the forearm prior to delivery, as well as inward rotation of the shoulder: the tip of the elbow, which would normally face the right of a right-hand bowler at the point of delivery, faces upward, and the back of the hand, which would normally face the rear of the bowler, faces the front. When the Cricket ball rolls out of the hand (from the side near the little finger, as in a normal leg break), it emerges with clockwise spin (from the bowler's point of view). A googly may also be achieved by bowling the ball as a conventional leg break, but spinning the ball further with the fingers just before it is released.

The change of wrist action can be seen by a skilled batsman and the change of spin allowed for when playing a shot at the ball. Less skilled batsmen, or ones who have lost their concentration, can be deceived completely, expecting the ball to move one direction off the pitch, only for it to move the other direction. If the batsman is expecting a leg break, he will play outside the line of the ball after it spins. This means the ball can either strike the pads for a potential LBW appeal, or may fly between the bat and the pads and hit the wicket.

The googly is a major weapon in the arsenal of a leg spin bowler, and can be one of the bowler's most effective wicket-taking balls. It is used infrequently, because its effectiveness comes mostly from its surprise value. The grip is identical to that of a conventional leg-break: the only difference is the additional wrist and shoulder rotation, so that the batsman will see the back of the hand when the ball is released.

Topspinner

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.

A topspinning cricket ball behaves similarly to top spin shots in tennis or table tennis. The forward spinning motion impedes air travelling over the ball, but assists air travelling underneath. The difference in air pressure above and underneath the ball (described as the Magnus effect) acts as a downward force, meaning that the ball falls earlier and faster than normal.

In cricketing terms, this means that the ball drops shorter, falls faster and bounces higher than might otherwise be anticipated by the batsman. These properties are summed up in cricketing terms as a "looping" or "loopy" delivery. Also, the ball travels straight on, as compared to a wrist spin or finger spin stock delivery that breaks to the left or right on impact. A batsman may easily be deceived by the ball, particularly given that the action is quite similar to the stock delivery.

In delivery, the topspinner is gripped like a normal side spinner. For a legspinner the back of the hand faces the cover region and the palm of the hand faces the mid wicket region at release. For an offspiner, these directions are reversed. The ball is then released either with the seam going straight on to the batsman, or with a scrambled seam. A spinner will frequently bowl deliveries with both top spin and side spin. A ball presenting with roughly equal amounts of both is usually called an "overspinning" leg break or off break.

Tactically, a bowler will bowl topspinners to draw a batsman forward before using the dip and extra bounce to deceive them. In particular, batsmen looking to sweep or drive are vulnerable as the bounce can defeat them.

Slider

A slider is a type of delivery bowled by a wrist spin bowler. Whereas a topspinner is released with the thumb facing the batsman, a slider is bowled with the thumb facing the bowler. On release the wrist and ring finger work to impart backspin to the ball. A topspinner tends to dip more quickly and bounce higher than a normal delivery. The slider does the opposite: it floats to a fuller length and bounces less than the batsman might expect. The classic slider heads with its seam aligned towards the batsman and may tend to swing in slightly. Sliders may also head towards the batsman with a scrambled seam (with the ball not spinning in the direction of the seam, so the seam direction is not constant, unlike in conventional spin bowling). This has less effect on the flight and bounce but absence of leg spin may deceive the batsman.

It is claimed that Shane Warne invented this type of delivery. However, this is inaccurate. The Australian spinner Peter Philpott used the technique in the 1960s, calling it simply an orthodox backspinner, while Australian allrounder and captain Richie Benaud used what he called his 'sliding topspinner' which appears again to have been similar. Since he was taught the technique by Doug Ring, [3] it may be more accurate to suggest that Ring is the originator. Either that, or the ball is one of those deliveries with no easily identifiable point of origin.

Although there is often a good deal of confusion on the subject, the slider is thought to be more or less an identical delivery to the "zooter". [4]

It should also be noted that finger spin bowlers commonly bowl an exactly equivalent ball, which comes out of the front of the hand with backspin present. However the name slider has not passed over into common parlance for its offspin cousin, and the terms arm ball, backspinner or more recently teesra are used instead.

Flipper

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 slow-pitch softball.

By putting backspin on the ball the Magnus effect results in air travelling over the top of the ball quickly and cleanly whilst air travelling under the ball is turbulent. The lift produced means that the ball drops slower and travels further than a normal delivery. The slower descent also results in the ball bouncing lower.

The flipper is bowled on the opposite side to a slider, much in the same way that the top-spinner is bowled. On release, the bowler 'pinches' or clicks the thumb and forefinger, causing the ball to come out underneath the hand. There must be sufficient tension in the wrist and fingers to impart a good helping of backspin or underspin. In doing so the flipper will float on towards the batsman and land on a fuller length than he anticipated, often leaving him caught on the back foot when he wrongly assumes it to be a pullable or a cuttable ball. The back spin or underspin will cause the ball to hurry on at great pace with very little bounce, though this may be harder to achieve on softer wickets. A series of normal leg spinners or topspinners, with their dropping looping flight, will have the batsman used to the ball pitching on a shorter length. The batsman may wrongly assume that the flipper will drop and loop like a normal overspinning delivery, resulting in the ball pitching under the bat and going on to either hit the stumps or result in leg before wicket.

Much of the effectiveness of the flipper is attributable to the "pop", that is, the extra pace and change in trajectory that is imparted to the ball when it is squeezed out of the bowler's hand. Occasionally, the term 'flipper' has been used to describe other types of deliveries. The Australian leg spinner Bob Holland employed a back spinning ball that he simply pushed backwards with the heel of his palm. Sometimes this form of front-hand flipper is called a ’zooter’. It is easier to bowl but not as effective as the amount of backspin is much less.

Related Research Articles

Leg spin Type of spin bowling in cricket

Leg spin is a type of spin bowling in cricket. A leg spinner bowls right-arm with a wrist spin action. The leg spinner's normal delivery causes the ball to spin from right to left in the cricket pitch when the ball bounces. For a right-handed batsman, that is away from the leg side, and this is where it gets the name leg break, meaning it breaks away from the leg. The turn is mostly when the ball pitches.

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.

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. Their normal delivery is an off break, which spins from left to right when the ball bounces on the pitch. For a right-handed batsman, this is from his off side to the leg side. The ball breaks away from the off side, hence the name 'off break'.

In the game of cricket, a googly refers to a type of delivery bowled by a right-arm leg spin bowler. The googly is a variation of the typical leg spin type of delivery, in that the cricket ball is presented from the bowler's hand in such a way that once the ball pitches, it deviates in the opposite direction of a leg spinning type of delivery. It has also been colloquially and affectionately referred to as the wrong'un, Bosie or Bosey, with those latter two eponyms referring to Bernard Bosanquet, the bowler who initially discovered and began using the googly.

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.

Glossary of cricket terms

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).

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 an unavoidable shot.

Fast bowling Bowling technique in cricket

Pace bowling 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, in which the ball is delivered slowly but with the potential to deviate sharply after bouncing, 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.

An inswinger is a type of delivery in the sport of cricket. It is bowled by swing bowlers.

Leg cutter

A leg cutter is a type of delivery in the sport of cricket. It is bowled by fast bowlers.

Off cutter

An off cutter is a type of delivery in the game of cricket. It is bowled by fast bowlers.

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.

In the sport of cricket, a slower ball is a slower-than-usual delivery from a fast bowler. The bowler's intention is to deceive the batsman into playing too early so that he either misses the ball completely or hits it high up in the air to offer an easy catch. It is analogous to a changeup in baseball.

Delivery (cricket) Single action of bowling a cricket ball

A delivery or ball in cricket is a single action of bowling a cricket ball toward the batsman. These terms can also refer to the events that occur after the ball is bowled while the ball is not dead.

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.

Topspin

In ball sports, topspin is a property of a ball that rotates forwards as it is moving. Topspin on a ball propelled through the air imparts a downward force that causes the ball to drop, due to its interaction with the air. Topspin is the opposite of backspin.

In cricket, a slider is a type of delivery bowled by a wrist spin bowler. While a topspinner is released with the thumb facing the batsman, a slider is bowled in a similar manner to a legbreak, but instead of imparting sidespin with the third finger, the bowler allows his fingers to roll down the back of the ball, providing a mixture of sidespin and backspin. Whereas a topspinner tends to dip more quickly and bounce higher than a normal delivery, a slider does the opposite: it carries to a fuller length and bounces less than the batsman might expect. The sliders will typically head towards the batsman with a scrambled seam. This has less effect on the flight and bounce but absence of leg spin may deceive the batsman. Frequently the slider is bowled with a mixture of side spin and backspin. This has the effect of making the ball harder to differentiate from the leg break for the batsmen without reducing the mechanical effects caused by the backspin. This delivery may skid straight on or it may turn a small amount.

Carrom ball

The carrom ball is a style of spin bowling delivery used in cricket. The ball is released by flicking it between the thumb and a bent middle finger in order to impart spin. Though the delivery was first brought in use in early 1940s, it was re-introduced by Ajantha Mendis in 2008 as well as by Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin later. Varun Chakravarthy is among the newer players to use it.

References

  1. Brian Wilkins, "The Bowler's Art"
  2. Brian Wilkins, "The Bowler's Art"
  3. Atherton, Michael "The Mighty Craftsman", Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2007 via Cricinfo, 24 March 2007
  4. Thompson, Dave. "The Orthodox Back-Spinner, Slider & Zooter". Legspin bowling. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  1. The rare and difficult art of wrist spin - THE HINDU
  2. Wrist Spin the Ball - wisdomtalkies
  3. Wrist Spin Basics - MCA