Classic bowling dismissals: Away swing | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Classic bowling dismissals: Away swing

This article is part of the 'Classic bowling dismissals' series. To go to the start, click here.

Bowlers who can swing the ball away are a precious asset to a team: They take wickets. No matter what format you play, wickets win you games and moving the ball away from the bat in the air is one of the best ways to deceive a batsman.

As I previously mentioned, late swing is literally unplayable.

But the swing bowler has to be canny. He can't expect to let conditions do the work, even when they are in his favour (humid, overcast and ideally rain the previous evening).

For now let's assume our outswing bowler is right handed. Let's examine the common ways he can swing a batsman out:

Caught behind

For the ball to swing it needs to be a fuller length than the standard seamers delivery. It's just physics: The longer the ball is in the air the more it is exposed to the forces that make it wobble.

Get it right and the batsman is forced to play forward in defence, or even drive at the ball if it is getting close to a half volley. The ball moves in the air, the batsman misjudges and the waiting keeper or slips take the catch.

The line and length looks something like this:

This strategy is also carries a higher risk of being hit. If the ball over over-pitched the batsman can drive through the covers. For this reason, away swing bowlers are usually seen as ones who buy their wickets more than back-of-a-length seamers.

3 card trick

An extension of this plan is to set the batsman up for a bowled or LBW. This can be done over any number of balls, but the classic set-up take three:

Ball 1: Good length, just outside off stump, swinging away

Ball 2: Good length or fuller, slightly wider line, swinging away

Ball 3: Fuller length, similar line but not swinging, the batsman is used to going off side or leaving, plays down the wrong line and is trapped LBW or bowled when the ball carries on its line.

If you are a bowler with enough pace and a bouncy wicket you can try a similar trick with bouncer, bouncer, yorker.


With left handed batsmen the outswing bowler becomes an inswing 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.

Image credit: Andy Genders

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