Menno Gazendam is author of Spin Bowling Project. Get your free 8 week spin bowling course here.
It's a growing trend these days for spinners at the top level to be able to spin the ball to off or leg side.
This is great but batsmen are now doing their best to read what delivery is on its way. They usually try to read it from the hand, but failing that they must read it in the air.
But if the seam is scrambled during flight then it becomes almost impossible.
The likes of Ajmal and Narine do not bother with making the seam look pretty in flight (like a seamer should). They scramble the seam and make it a mess, as the ball will still spin that way. It’s just that the batsmen do not know which way it will turn.
Tahir from South Africa has a very effective googly as he scrambles most of his deliveries and it becomes very hard to pick.
So, if you have the ability to make the ball go either way with doosras, carrom balls or googlies, then try and scramble the seam sometimes.
If the batsman did not pick you from the hand he will have no chance of picking you in the air with a scrambled seam.
How do you scramble the seam as a spinner?
You can change the angle of the seam on two ways:
- Change your grip (the position of the ball in your hand before release), so that the ball is released at a different angle.
- Keep the same grip but change the release angle on your wrist.
The best way to practice this is with a two-coloured ball: one with white and red halves. That way you can clearly see if you are managing to scramble your seam in flight.
For more detailed spin bowling advice, tips, tricks, tactics and training drill for spinners in all formats of cricket, get the Spin Bowling Project free 8 week email coaching course.