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.
"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."
You won't find many better descriptions of a master spinner totally deceiving a batsman than that. The great Bishan Bedi at work.
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.
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.
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.
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. Yet the simplicity is appealing: Put the ball on the spot, hit the seam again and again and watch the wickets tumble.
You don't need to be quick. You don't need to rip it square. You don't need to swing it round corners or even have a clever mystery variation. Those things are nice, but accuracy... accuracy is within reaching distance.
It's so tantalisingly close that you can almost taste the success it will bring.
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:
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.
Every bowler needs a plan.
For most, especially the inexperienced, it doesn't get more complicated than "hit the top of off stump". Of course, there is nothing wrong with that plan. It often works. But batsmen are canny. They don't always do what you want.
That's why the really good bowler is able to bowl to a plan that goes beyond the basics and into the wicket-taking stratosphere.
This drill comes to you from Harry Shapiro's Leg Spin Association. For your free trial membership, click here.
Elvis is a member of the leg spin association and he turned to Harry Shapiro, the coach, for assistance with his action. Harry spotted a problem and came up with a drill to help him become better balanced and aligned.
Here is what Harry said,
This is a guest article from Harry Shapiro, spin bowling coach. To get your free trial membership of the Leg Spin Association, click here.
Planning your over is hard. It take plenty of practice and control. No wonder young spinners get despondent when it doesn't quite work. That's no excuse to abandon good planning.
Part of the reason spinners don't plan their overs well is because the state of the game brings in a lot of different ways to approach things.To make it easier, here is a basic guideline from which you can start thinking about your bowling. You may adapt it to the state of the game on the day, but start here if you want to plan well.
There are two ways to look at planning an over: