Cricket Bowling Technique
The bowler in cricket is similar to a baseball pitcher and here are some of the cricket bowling techniques the bowler might use. Behind the batsman is a wicket with three bales. If the bowler hits the wicket and knocks one of the bales down the batsman is considered out. If the cricket bowler is aiming for the batsman and hits the wicket accidentally, the batsman has better access to the ball. Bowlers often alternate between defensive and offensive techniques when bowling.
- Grips. The grip the bowler uses depends on his cricket bowling technique. The basic cricket bowling technique is where you place the seam of the ball between your index and middle finger, your thumb is over the seam on the bottom, and your ring finger supports the side. The leg spinner technique and the “wrong ‘un” technique in cricket bowling is where you grip the ball with your index and middle fingers across the seam with the fingers slightly apart, and your thumb is placed against the ball by the index finger. The flipper technique is also similar except the fingers extend a half inch over the seam and reach toward the front of the ball, while the thumb tip puts some medium pressure on the ball. The zooter technique is where the ball rests in the palm and the thumb and pinkie and ring finger steady the ball. The index and middle finger form a “v” over the ball.
- Spin Techniques. Each cricket bowling spin technique requires a different spin. The leg spinner needs a 30-degree twist when it is released. By cocking your wrist a little towards the inside of the arm you can get a top spinner. The flipper technique requires a calm delivery which will give the ball an underspin. The wrong ‘un (also called a googly) uses a wrist snap making the ball off-spin from your hand. As it leaves your hand hit it with your fingers for redirection. The zooter, on the other hand, requires very little spin by using the palm to push the ball, as in a shot put release. Speed is not as important as the spin on the ball. The ball is usually thrown between 45 to 55 miles per hour. They often use the wrist spin or the finger spin.
- Pace Bowler Techniques. The cricket bowling techniques used by pace bowlers are comparable to fastball pitchers in baseball. They use the out-swinger or the leg-cutter which moves the ball away from the batsman, and the in-swinger or the off-cutter which moves the ball towards the batsman. The majority of cricket bowlers throw the ball in the medium-fast to fast range which is from 70 to over 90 miles per hour. Anything less than that makes it easy for the batsman to hit the ball. Swing bowlers are not only fast, but use the seam of the ball to make it curve one way or the other, confusing the batsman. Seam bowlers try to land the ball on the seam which makes the ball deviate on the bounce. Pace bowlers often use deception and variation to get the batsman to misread the ball.
- Bowling Lengths. One of the strategies of the bowlers is to vary the length of their bowls. The Yorker length keeps the ball in the air, dropping in a regular pace, and then hits the bat near the ground. The full toss hits the middle of the bat without bouncing. There are two bouncing lengths: the long hop where in the middle of the throw the ball bounces toward the batsman, and the half volley where right after the bounce, the ball hits the bat.
- Left-handed Bowlers. Different terms are used for left-handed bowlers. An off-spinner by a left-handed bowler is called an orthodox spinner, and a leg-spinner is called an unorthodox spinner. The left-handed bowlers who use the unorthodox spinner are the rarest cricket bowlers. Top-spinner and flippers by left-handed bowlers retain the same name as right-handed bowlers. A left-handed bowler who uses the wrong ‘un is called a Chinaman, after a famous Chinese cricket player.