Field Setting: Leg spin, old ball, any wicket, long format, right handed batsman | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Field Setting: Leg spin, old ball, any wicket, long format, right handed batsman

This article is part of "The complete guide to cricket field settings" series.

Leg spin is dangerous on any pitch because there is greater turn, drift and dip in the standard leg break than orthodox spin. However, the leg spinner also tends to be less accurate and when combined with variations like the googly it makes for an interesting challenge when setting a field.

This is very much a standard leg spin field to a right hander that has been designed to be customised depending on the style of the spinner and the match situation. Don't use this field for left handed batsmen.

Bowling to this field

You are looking to dismiss the batsman through bowled or caught behind as the batsman misjudges the turn, especially playing forward. If you have a googly as an option you open up bowling your foe through the gate between bat and pad or getting a thick inside edge to a leg side catcher.

The leg break is best pitching somewhere around middle to middle and leg and turning to hit off stump. The exact line and length will vary considerably depending on the turn and bounce. The aim is always to get the batsman playing forward as tentatively as possible. The later they play the more chance you have of taking wickets.

Most balls will be played with the spin into the off side so you have protection in that area, especially from extra cover and gulley/short third man. The deep square leg also offers some insurance against a poor ball or a batsman who sweeps.

Bowling variations

Variety is the key to getting wickets for the leg spinner as it prevents the batsman getting into a rhythm of timing against you:

  • Googly. Bowl the one that goes the other way a little wider and fuller. This will tempt the batsman into driving and turn back onto the stumps.
  • Flight. The ability to vary place the ball in the same spot but with different heights on the ball is very deceptive on any wicket. If the batsman is in a rhythm try a mixing in a flatter or loopier ball.
  • Drift. If you can give the ball a 'rip' and you get it right the ball will drift in the air like an inswinger to a right handed batsman. It will also dip later in its flight than your stock ball. The batsman will often misjudge this ball if you can get it above his eye line with plenty of loop.
  • Around the wicket. If there is rough on the pitch you can go around the wicket to land the ball there. This will impart a great deal of turn and bounce.
Avoid bowling

This field is designed to take wickets while giving you some insurance.

  • Wide outside off stump. There is lots of protection in the covers, but too much width (especially short) has no cover in the deep.
  • Outside leg stump. Unless the ball is turning a lot (say, out of the rough) then balls pitching outside leg are easier to sweep and pull without fear of LBW.
Field Variations
  • Accurate leg spinners can move silly midwicket to the offside to make a 6/3 split field.
  • Googly bowlers will need a fielder behind square on the leg side. This can come from silly midwicket, gulley or the covers.
  • Faster leg spinners with less spin may benefit from a deep midwicket instead of silly midwicket.
  • Gulley can go a little deeper or move to short third man but always keep someone behind square on the leg side as the ball goes there a great deal.
Batting against this field

This is a compromise field for the average club or school level leg spinner so there are gaps for the patient batsman to exploit.

Early on against an accurate spinner your best line of attack is to sweep fine where there is no protection. If you do this a couple of times the field will change and you will need to rethink. Apart from this, its best to avoid hitting across the line to anything but very short bowling as the extra turn, dip and bounce can deceive you.

If the bowling is poor (and leg spinners usually bowl more bad balls that other types of bowlers) you can drive, cut and pull. Look out for the googly and other variations before driving at balls outside off stump.

You can use your feet to turn a good length ball into a half volley to disrupt the accurate leg spinner, but as the ball is turning away this carries a greater risk. Avoid it early in your innings.

Hitting over the top on the off side is an option but you would need to get to the ball on the half volley to smother the spin effectively.

Images supplied by PitchVision - Coach Edition software


If you want to learn everything there is to know about playing spin, check out Gary Palmer's interactive coaching course - The Complete Guide to Effectively Playing Spin Bowling. Gary is a coach with over 20 years experience teaching players to become first class cricketers. For the first time he has put his drills online, only at PitchVision Academy.


Broadcast Your Cricket Matches!

Ever wanted your skills to be shown to the world? PV/MATCH is the revolutionary product for cricket clubs and schools to stream matches, upload HD highlights instantly to Twitter and Facebook and make you a hero!

PV/MATCH let's you score the game, record video of each ball, share it and use the outcomes to take to training and improve you further.

Click here for details.


save this is impartant

save this is impartant

i want to have a control on my line and length.....i m a leg spinner and i have a lot of turn in my i dnt have cntrl on my bowling...........please help me to get control over my bowling.........

Watch how early you release the ball and how fast u bring your arm down.
releasing the ball earlier at a slower pace wil pitch up fuller than one u tend to drag down and release a bit later ( i dont mean rip your arm down, just drag it quicker than what i described as a full ball. you need to feel ths movement in your wrist so you can learn when to let go for each type of delivery you want to bowl.

hi sir, my name is praveen . i am a leg spinner . talking about my bowling , i have the ability to turn the ball heavily ie either way leg spin or googly. i have great control over spin . i can bowl top spinners . zooters , flippers . i have troubled every one in the nets. i am a master of this art in the nets .. ... but my problem is that i cant do this in matches. i dont know what happens to me when am in the field. every one says that while playing am bowling too slow , huge flight , over pitch , fultoss ,short ball. only able to bowl one or two good balls. i need help . i have uploaded some clips of my bowling may be that will help you understand my action.

MSG for Sumant - you've got to practice and practice more than any other type of discipline in cricket if you're a Wrist Spinner. Have a look at this drill on youtube
Set your self a target to aim at and put something in front of the stumps so that you have to turn the ball round the stumps and keep practicing. It takes hours and hours or practice over several years, but the rewards are good when it all comes together.

MSG for praveen - Mate you've either got the yips or you need to bowl with more accuracy see the clip above and do the drill as well!

Most of the issues here are a matter of practice. If you're getting the Yips or you can't land the ball, the answer is practice on your own until your confidence levels are good enough to allow you to bowl with a relaxed and rhythmic manner. It'll take several years, but it will come good in the end so just keep at it.

Hi dave, i'm a budding legspinner, I am getting some turn, but i bowl too many short bowls....and thats not helping my cause......!! Help me!!

How should i practice??

You need to do a lot of target practice. Use PitchVision, or if you are going low tech just put a marker on a length and try to hit it over and over. You should look to get your accuracy up a little bit every time until you can hit it 5 out of 6.

this is my problem too. try the stand up bowling drill. this will help.

This field set is not that good. the traditional on drive can be used to score a lot of runs.

That's the point Naman - on driving a leg spinner is exactly what he wants you to do. Its a high risk shot driving against the spin, the odds are in his favour that before you've scored too many runs you'll miss one or get an outside edge.

take three markers if u are righty batsman from the crease take a defense position and make a circle . then adjust three markers on that circle . and try to pitch the bowl in that circle