The arm ball, or floater, is probably the single best weapon an orthodox finger spinner can have. Ray Illingworth says he once took 41 wickets of 135 in a season just with the arm ball.
At first the ball seems counterproductive. Spinners should spin the ball hard, hoping to impart enough revolutions on the ball for it to dip late in its flight and move off the pitch. This is true for the stock delivery and is what you should do at least 80% of the time.
Will playing attacking cricket get you better results than playing the percentage game?
You can have both.
Fast bowling, big spinning and hard hitting are fun, but cricket is a subtle game. Even Twenty20 has nuances. The best brand of aggressive cricket you can play is the selective type. Aggression is a mindset, not an on/off switch.
Yesterday we examined how batsmen can adjust to playing in wet weather. Today we talk about bowling in the rain.
As yesterday, the situation is the same: The outfield is wet but playable, the light is poor and there is a risk of showers. This time you are bowling.
Being English, I'm used to playing cricket in most conditions. One of the worst is the wet and overcast day.
It's harder work for everyone. Cricket is much more fun when the rain stays away.
But let's say it's been raining before your game. The outfield is wet but playable, the light is poor and there is a risk of showers throughout.
Thought I might write down a few thoughts regarding some basic guidelines for bowlers who are starting to think about developing bowling plans.
Firstly, bowlers should always remember: YOU START THE PROCESS! this means, while a batsman may arrive at the crease with a plan, and he may even have some idea about what he is going to try to do to you as you are running in, he must ultimately RESPOND to the delivery you produce. This knowledge should encourage you to select each ball carefully but with confidence.
The Third XI captain (Sundays) of my old club side was called Dave. He was a large man in his forties without pretention. He loved beer, cricket and Brighton and Hove Albion FC.
He called himself a batsman, but his real talent was his 'occasional bowling', which caused chaos.
I can't seem to get the South African first Test recovery out of my head. Most comments have been negative: That old fashioned defensive cricket does no good in this big hitting, big money world.
But batting out two full days for a draw requires almost superhuman concentration.
Test cricket doesn't throw up a lot of old fashioned 'bat out for the draw' situations these days, but it's something club cricketers face with regularity.
Your team might only need to last 50 or so overs to rescue a draw, imagine how hard it would be to see off 160. The South African second innings in the first Test against England was an education in how to save the game.