When a spin bowler bowls outside of leg stump commentators always call it a negative line. While this is the case most of the times, it is not always so.
There is no such thing as a defensive line just outside leg stump. It only becomes defensive if,
You are not actually spinning the ball
The batsman is not interested in attacking you (and you persist)
If the top two points are applicable then, yes, you are bowling negatively.
However, if the ball is spinning big out of the rough then you are certainly attacking in my opinion. Most of the rough forms outside the right hand batsman's leg side, and so it only makes sense to exploit that line and side of the wicket.
Have a look at Shane Warne do this by bowling Pat Symcox around his legs back in the 90’s. I don’t think we can call that a negative line! Start watching at 2:45 (although the res is not too bad either, just very painful if you happen to be a South African that can remember the 90’s)
Also, if the batsman is attacking you and offering shots (not just kicking it away), then you are always in with a chance of getting a wicket.
The defensive line is not where you bowl, but more the match situation. Just darting it into the legs when there is no need for it can also be a very negative line.
So, do not feel you are being negative because you are bowling around the legs. As Warne has shown this is a very attacking option depending on how the pitch is turning and if the batsman is attacking you or or not.
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