How Finger Spin can Push RPM into the Red | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

How Finger Spin can Push RPM into the Red

Menno Gazendam is author of Spin Bowling Project. Get your free 8 week spin bowling course here.

Finger spinners spin with their fingers. And so, they cannot generate as much spin as a leggies.

This statement is nonsense and sounds like my old high school coach or a bog standard cricket manual.

It is one of the reasons why we have so many bad offies in the game. Even England's Swann thinks we should ban these spinners who do not spin the ball.

Finger spin does not mean you cannot get huge turn and push those revolutions into the red.

Finger spin is a complete misnomer

The only reason it is called such is because more of their spin is generated with the fingers than the wrist spinner.

But, that does not mean a finger spinner should not leverage turn with is hand, wrist, arm, shoulder and upper body. A finger spinner must use all the levers available to him to extract proper turn.

Not, old-man-of-the-club-roll-over-the-fingers-a-bit type off-spin. No, off-spin you can hear fizzing down the track as the revolutions make the ball do magic in the air.

Finger spinners have an easy excuse for not spinning the ball as there are so many mediocre offies out there. They start to think it is ok not to spin the ball a lot.

Real offies spin the ball

Graeme Swann gives the ball an almighty rip and knocks up 2000 revolutions per minute to be precise; more than any other english off spinner.

Part of the misconception is that wrist spinners will in general produce more side-spin with their stock ball. Especially bowling with a rounder arm and across the right hander. It appears that they spin the ball more than the offie.

But, it could be that the offie is putting as much revolutions on the ball and making it dip and bounce. Having put just as much revolutions on the ball as the leggie but with more overspin and straighter at the batsman (due to he natural angles).

How to get more spin

  • Do not try and bowl with a perfectly straight arm. The no ball Law whether you like it or not allows for a small bend in the elbow. Use it. Bend your arm a little. You will gain more leverage and whiplash action, allowing for more turn.
  • Do not try and break the rules; respect the game and stay within the limits.
  • Do not try and bowl with your arm as close to your ear as possible. Yes, you get more height but you lose the opportunity to whiplash it. Slight round arm is good.
  • Turn your wrist in the release as quick as possible. Make an effort to keep it as supple as possible during the release.
  • Explode through the action by driving with your back leg and turning your body 180 degrees through the delivery stride.
  • Try to give the ball a flick and not just a turn (as you would turn a doorknob). Flick it.

Give it a try and you can see you can get just as many revolutions on the ball as the wrist spinner.

 For more detailed spin bowling advice, tips, tricks, tactics and training drill for spinners, get the Spin Bowling Project free 8 week email coaching course.

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Hey Menno,

I've had your spin bowling project guide since you first put it up here, I play club cricket in Sydney and have transformed myself from a poor off-spinner to a decent one through your guide.

Lately since I've been satisfied with my run-up, stride, release, loop etc. I've gone further and stretched out my grip to get that extra zip on the ball, it has worked fantastically.

My index finger now needs 2 good minutes of stretching before I can even grip the ball because I might have done some ligament damage. Once stretched I can bowl for hours, but the next day I cant grip the ball even with my fingers just a few centimeters apart unless I stretch them.

Is this the normal course of things? Should I take a break from bowling and allow to heal? Or is this the stage where my fingers are evolving to allow for that extra stretched out grip?

Is there a left arm spinner in the world that can get more than 3 nanometers of turn? If there is one, you could put him on the Ripley's believe it or not show and nobody would belive it anyways. Laughing out loud

Ranagna Herath of Srilanka and Abdul Rehman of Pakistan turn it miles. Monthy gives it a good rip too.

Well they are in Pakistan and Sri Lanka aren't they? (pitches that are conducive to spin) And no Monty Panesar only clocks 1500 revs per minute on the trackman, not really the stuff that real rip is made of.

Jadeja is the only left arm offie that I have seen getting a lot of turn, and by that I mean without bowling on pitches that look like the surface of Mars!

A left hand offie is a wrist spinner like Hogg, spinning the ball from the off side Smiling

Your original question was are there any out there that turn it. I gave you three that do turn it and at an international level, you can only bowl in the conditions you're given!

You didn't ask are there any that get high revs AND get turn on flat wickets. Herath and Monty have both done well in Australia and SA on wickets that don't really turn.

That being said there isn't a finger spinner that spins it as much as Swann at the mo. When Shane Warne says you give it a rip then you're doing something right.

Also, I wouldn't put too much faith in trackman, It's currently saying Lyon gets more revs than Swann. It's a tool for the cameras to make things more interesting, it's not exactly scientific.

I didn't really ask a question, I made a statement that there aren't any left arm offies that turn the ball a lot, except Jadeja which started turning the ball a lot very recently.

But I think it's because left arm offies usually try to bowl more accurate than other spinners, so they don't really try to rip the cover off the ball like Swann. They much rather rely on change of pace, arm balls, flight and bounce etc.

And no left arm OFFIES are what the name actually says they are: off spinners!!! Brad Hogg was a chinaman or left arm wrist spinner / leg spinner. You don't call a spinner the direction in which he spins the ball, but what his stock ball is, ex. Off spinner / leg spinner.

Well if the trackman isn't scientific, neither is the speed gun, since recent studies show that it could be out by quite a few miles.

Fair enough, I love watching Jadeja bowl.

I also think it has to do with drift. Left arm spinners really try a drift the ball in and turn away using side spin. Most right arm spinners don't try to get the same drift away from the batsmen and concentrate on spinning it hard and getting drop (over spin).

Read the first two paragraphs -

I've never believe the speed gun and neither do most commentators and players

Yes I have seen left arm spinners bend the ball around corners, it just doesn't make sense, they can drift it that much but only straighten it most of the time!

It's a generalization to say that all offies use over spin and all left arm spinners side spin, I've seen lots of international left arm spinners using over spin and even more right arm off spinners using side spin. Spin bowling is all about individuality, every spinner is unique and that's what makes us so special.

There are millions of variations which I've never seen bowlers use and hopefully spin bowling can become a few new balls richer when one of the world class spinners decides to try them out!

I bowl off spin. My grip and action is very different from others but I get good turn and control. I recently learnt the wrong one (took me six months of serious practice), hopefully will be perfect before next season starts. Check my youtube video. Some of you may find it interesting:
Feel free leave a critical comment or a question.

40 revs per second ? Has anyone (particularly Trackman) verified this scientifically using an ultra high-speed camera.

Hello, how to stretch index finger my finger pain next day and I cant grip bowl properly like yesterday I grip and bowl and I required 6 ball to perfect my pitching but in a match it cannot possible so help me by your answer on my questions....
Thank you

how to increase rpm for finger offspin bowling to get sum good turn please suggest me some trick or a finger exersice pls rply me