Which Type of Slower Ball Works Best for You?

At club cricket the slower ball is Marmite. 

People either love it or hate because there’s a thin line between bravery and stupidity. Deciding when to use a slower ball is subjective and relative to the situation.

I see most people (and I myself am guilty of this too) bowl a slower ball after they have been hit for a boundary as a comeback ball.

This is pointless.

The element of surprise is key in delivering an effective slower ball. After hitting a boundary the batsman is in a more defensive mode to face the next ball. He’s looking to take the single.

So your first thought should be to ask if the batsman in the right mindset to be surprised by a slower ball. Let’s face it; some are easier to deceive than others.

But once you have avoided this trap, how do you decided what type of ball to bowl and – perhaps more importantly – how to bowl it?

1. Cutters

A cutter is a great place to start whether you are new to slower balls or a Jade Dernbach bowling chameleon.

As you know the trick of cutting deliveries is to put spin on the ball so it cuts around his defence or to pop a catch up.

That means fielding positions like cover and midwicket see the benefit of this turn and change of pace in creating a chance.

Either way, the length of this ball is vital: look to bring the batsman forward as a short cutter is much easier to play.

The easiest slower ball to master is the off-cutter, as this is the least adjustment from a standard delivery wrist position. You roll your fingers down the ball.

A leg-cutter - a delivery bowled out the back of the hand - requires much more practice. A great practitioner of this was Ian Harvey, a man who quite possibly mastered the art of variation in pace to great success.

2. Grip position slower balls

Your other option is to bowl slower balls that are bowled with the same action but a change in grip allowing it to loop out of the hand. These are all about the change of pace rather than movement off the pitch.

They bowl the batsman through pure deception.

Or they create lofted chances to mid-on and mid-off; so the field should be set as a trap for this delivery.

The most popular grip position delivery is the split finger technique used by Glen McGrath; where the index and middle fingers are split very wide around the ball to create and anti-grip of the ball.

However there are a great many that you can try; you can get instant access to videos the explain 5 of them from Ian Pont here.

These techniques take a lot of practice but create some of the best slower balls I have used and seen.

Get it right and prepare to receive a massive pat on the back.

Get it wrong and prepare for a massive clip around the ear.

So which slower ball are you?
 

Leave a comment and let us know your slower ball thought process. 

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Comments

The simple off-cutter works for me! I bowl outswing from the wrist so when I bowl the off-cutter, it looks like a normal delivery.

What line and length are you aiming for Paul? Also, how often do you use it and how successful is it (honestly)?

I usually bowl back of the hand slower one! it works out terrific in the nets but I dont bowl in the matches too often as it sometimes turns out as an extra!

I bowl the leg cutter out of the back of the hand as my main slower, but tbh I think it does too much.

First of all its a massive change of pace, it cuts away off the pitch, and swings away in the air if the ball is in good nick. So if it comes off right the batsman gets nowhere near it, good for a t20 I spose where dots are gold...

I think rolling the fingers down a side of the ball is a more probable way of getting a batsman caught, or just split fingering.

one of the lads in our side has converted me to splitting fingers method purely just from how brilliantly it works for him, taking a lot of practise to get it right but on the odd occasion its came out of my hand the right way its devastating! haha

i bowl the slow balls by the technique of "back of the hand" ball... it is very much effective.. another thing is every time when you bowl a slow ball, bowl it in later stages of the game.. or it may be the 5th or 6th ball of the over.. also, never bowl a slow ball, at full length coz it becomes easier for batsman to contact it.. bowl it a bit at good length so dat connection becomes weak... all the best..

Tricky one to get right but it's a good one. I'm not sure about putting it on a length, I can see it vanishing over cow corner!

Has anyone got tips on how to bowl a back of the hand delivery?

I find the SLOB most effective as it looks exactly like a normal ball but only your index finger and middle finger grip the ball. If you bowl aiming to bowl a Beamer but for some reason it dips quickly bowling eventually a slow Yorker.

That really is a great slower ball. You can learn the technique from Ian Pont in his online video here: http://www.pitchvision.com/cricket-coaching/course/beating-the-odds:-how... (Chapter 5 - How to Bowl 5 Different Slower Balls)

For my slower ball, I just grip the ball deeper in my hand and bowl with the same action and arm speed as a normal delivery. It is very effective and very hard to pick.

i live in pakistsan in lahore i am a poor man my age 19 i am speen bowler and good bestman

To bowl a off cutter or leg cutter, first u have change action and angle of arm swingging to bowl, u have slightly bend ur hand to make a deviation. With same i bowled the both deliveries, u have to do is same grip, same action, same angle, but change ur fingers pressure. And if u want to know how to bowl a perfect clean bowled deliveries which i bowled oftenly, then contact me on kik messenger, download it from google™ search.

My contact address on kik messenger is Reborned_soul

Profile picture is aprilia bike.

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