Make the most of this awesome leg spin variation.
Watching a good leg spinner operate against an average batsman is like watching a lion play with its prey before going in for the kill. The helpless beast has no idea what’s going on and no way to combat it.
The googly is the lethal blow for the poor creature.
Spin is all about outsmarting the batsman and the googly puzzles batsman by turning the wrong way with the same action, leaving him walking back to the pavilion with a confused look and spread-eagled stumps.
Here is how to bowl that destructive googly.
Grip and wrist position
Hold the ball in the identical way as you would hold for a usual leg spin delivery:
Most leg spinners place index and middle finger on the seam while thumb place adjacently to them along the seam. The ring finger is often placed slightly wide of the seam and used for holding the ball.
From here you’ll see the difference between a googly and a standard leg break. As you bowl, the palm of your hand carrying the ball points up. The back of your hand faces towards batsman so they cannot point out the difference. If the googly is picked, it is less effective.
Twisting the wrist at around 180 degrees towards the ground will cause the ball to spin into the batsman. The ring finger plays an important part as it rotates the ball in an anti-clockwise position. This will cause the ball to turn like an off spinner after pitching.
All this takes a lot of trying, so don't expect to master it in a weekend.
Avoiding the ‘googly syndrome’
The control, precision and accuracy in bowling a googly come with time and practice. However, there is a risk associated with too much googly practice.
You can lose your leg break and end up only being able to bowl googlies.
This has been coined the googly syndrome and has been recognised by leg spinners and their coaches for many years.
The best way to avoid it is to be careful how much you practice. A typical club leggie might bowl 10 overs a week in the nets. Of that, you can avoid getting stuck only bowling a googly by keeping the practice down to 6-12 balls. On top of that, look to finish with 2-3 overs of pure leg breaks with no variations).
This limited practice time is why it is so hard to master the googly, especially for young spinners.
If you stick with your practice, keep firing the ball at a target without a batsman.
Also make sure you throw it in when a batsman is facing so you can see the response.
Before long you will be confident to use it in a crunch moment of a game. Your team-mates will consider you some kind of leg spin genius when you bowl the hapless batsman with a perfect bosie.