Leg Spin | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

How to Bowl Faster... as a Spinner

Let's talk about a dirty little secret of spin: Pace matters. As a spinner you don't have any need to get the ball up the other end as fast as you can. You leave that to the real quick bowlers. But you also know there is a speed that is right for spin.

How to Bowl Perfect Line and Length

Let me ask you something; how much better a bowler would you be if you could hit a perfect line and length?

It's a challenge that takes a lifetime to master, and a road that is littered with distractions.

Wrist Spin Variations

Filed in:

This is a guest article from Harry Shapiro

Because of the nature of the delivery there are several variations that the wrist spinner can use by changing the position of his wrist.

Coaching Different Kinds of Leg Spinners

Do you have to have the gift to be a good leg spinner? Or can little bits of spin both ways work?

Terry Jenner, Shane Warne’s bowling mentor, used to call the ability to bowl a big spinning leg break "The Gift". He was absolutely right. However, very few can do it well. That's why we can name all the really Gifted Test leg spinners in about 10 seconds:

Subhash Gupte, Richie Benaud, Bill O'Reilly, BS Chandrasekhar, Abdul Qadir, Stuart MacGill and Shane Warne.

I have deliberately missed out the great Indian spinner Anil Kumble and my mate "Mushy" Ahmed from this list because their "gift" was a different one to that Jenner explained to me in 1998. These two bowl with little bits of spin both ways, always with over spin that creates dip, drift and extra bounce even from the most benign of surfaces. To me they were different types of bowlers to the guys that I listed above.

As you will note, my beloved England, does not feature at all in the Gift List. And we invested significantly to try to identify, then develop one in the early 2000's. It was a fruitless pursuit.

Whilst we have all been looking for the next Shane Warne, I wonder how many Kumble's and Mushtaq's we have missed.

Have our minds and coaching eyes been side-tracked by the search for the elusive Gift?

How to Bowl a Googly

Filed in:

Watching a good leg spinner operate against an average batsman is like watching a lion play with its prey before going in for the kill. The helpless beast has no idea what’s going on and no way to combat it.

The googly is the lethal blow for the poor creature.

Spin is all about outsmarting the batsman and the googly puzzles batsman by turning the wrong way with the same action, leaving him walking back to the pavilion with a confused look and spread-eagled stumps.

Here is how to bowl that destructive googly.

2 Simple Drills to Improve Your Spin Bowling Flight and Guile

"He approaches the wicket and releases the ball. I'm about to find out what it's really like to face a top class bowler.

It hangs there in the air.

If someone bowled a ball like this to me in a Baldwin match, I'd probably stop it with my glove, sling it back to the bowler and tell him, 'Never mind, have another go...' In fact, I might say it anyway, once it's been retrieved from the far stands.

Perhaps age has caught up with the Indian master. Or perhaps he was never quite as good as we all thought. Perhaps none of them are.

But then something inexplicable occurs. The ball, having seemed suspended in the air from some invisible string with the words 'Hit Me' on it, suddenly dips and loops at the last second. It pitches just short of a length, spits like a cobra and climbs at a scientifically unfeasible angle. Striking the outside edge of my bat it balloons gently into the air and is caught with pathetic ease by the wicketkeeper."

Michael Simkins – Fatty Batter.

 You won't find many better descriptions of a master spinner totally deceiving a batsman than that. The great Bishan Bedi at work.

Can you do the same?

Mastery of flight or loop can take many years. However you can speed up the process with some simple practice methods that can be done alone.

6 Proven Bowling Practices That Are Better than Having Nets

Nets are used poorly by bowlers.

The net is the "Swiss Army knife" of cricket training: Players who stick to just using the knife are ignoring the screwdriver, corkscrew and bottle opener at their cost. With the right drills, nets develop technical, tactical and mental skills as a bowler.

But it doesn't happen by magic. If you turn up to nets, wait for your chance to bowl and fire a few balls down for the batsman to slog you won't get better at bowling. In fact, the best you can hope for is just to stop from getting worse.

So don't waste net sessions. Use the right tool for the job.

Set Up: Knock Down: A Leg Spin Field Tactic

Max Andrews is a freelance coach on PitchVision Academy, in this article he talks us through the mysteries of spin bowling tactics.

There is a lot of information on the the correct action to be able to bowl well. But it is very difficult to find information on how to bowl in match scenarios, and what fields to set.

Is There Really One Simple Change That Corrects Almost Every Bowling Technical Error?

I'll cut to the chase; there is a simple change to your bowling action that is a big hitter in fault correction.

Straighten your run up.

You see, when it comes to technique, so much that goes wrong can be traced back to an earlier point. That's why batting coaches focus on the grip and stance first, and it's why your bowling coach should look at your run up before he starts with the "business end" of the action.

Of course, a straighter run up will not fix everything, and there are exceptions to the rule. That said, there is plenty that can be done without ever worrying about 6 months of corrective drills and rebuilding your action.

So, spinner or seamer, Here are some of the things a straighter run up can correct:

Streetwise Bowling: The Warne Rounder

This article is part of the "Streetwise Bowling" series from PitchVision Academy. To view the full list of tactics click here.

Bowling accurate leg spin is hard enough, but to bowl a whole over accurately and also to a plan is the skill of a master craftsman. Someone like Shane Warne.