This article is part of the 'Classic bowling dismissals' series. To go to the start, click here.
Often thought of as the easier type of swing bowling, the inswinger can be a devastating weapon when used effectively.
When bowling to a right-handed batsmen, here are the classic ways to get a wicket:
The ball that starts it's line outside off stump and ducks back in between the bat and pad is dramatic and effective.
You are trying to deceive the batsman into playing down the wrong line only for the ball to come back in. This overhead view demonstrates the difference:
The red line is going straight on and can be left. The yellow line starts on the same trajectory and ducks back in forcing the batsman to play the ball.
The other key is bowling a length that makes the batsman want to play forward. Ideally on the drive when they are more likely to play with loose technique. The other reason you need to bowl full is to make sure the ball will hit the stumps if the batsman misses it.
The exact length will vary depending on the pace of the wicket, your speed and the reach of the batsman but as long as you are on target with the stumps you have a chance.
To illustrate that point, here is a beehive graphic using PitchVision to demonstrate:
As you can see, the red dots show balls that are hitting the stumps, making the batsman play (and hopefully miss, or get trapped LBW). The purple dots are wasted inswing balls. The good batsman will be able to leave them and any he plays and misses at will not hit the stumps.
The yorker is a variation of the "bowled through the gate" dismissal. The aim again is to hit the stumps or get an LBW. The line is the same as before but the length is very full, pitching around the toes of the batsman. It's almost unplayable at high speeds:
It's also useful for medium pace bowlers, especially at the death of a limited overs match.
Aim for the batsman's popping crease but practice it hard before trying it because if you get it slightly wrong it becomes a simple half volley or full toss.
Three very useful catching positions for inswing bowling are short midwicket, short leg and backward short leg/leg gulley. When the ball swings in it is natural to go more on the off side, especially against limited club or school batsmen who favour that area.
On quicker pitches the short legs can be in place to catch balls that are defended or pushed at from a shorter length. Short square leg can also be in for the ball that is defended on the front foot and goes from bat to pad then in the air.
Short midwicket is more common on slower pitches or more medium paced swing bowlers. These players are in place for the thick edged drive that doesn't quite get through.
The inswinger can also be used as a surprise delivery rather than a stock ball. To do this you need to set the batsman up.
This can be done over a number of balls or overs but most commonly is done with three balls:
- Ball 1: Good length, outside off stump, not swinging.
- Ball 2: Good length, wider outside off stump, not swinging.
- Ball 3: Fuller length, just outside off stump, swinging back in to hit the stumps.
This fools the batsman into playing the wrong line and getting bowled or LBW. Perhaps even better is when the batsman leaves the ball altogether only to get bowled. Round here we call that 'village'.
With left-handed batsmen the inswing bowler becomes an outswing bowler and can use their classic dismissals. The main difference is the angle, which will take the ball across the left handed batsman (if the bowler stays over the wicket). The ball that swings will be difficult to hit away.