How to get your leg break back | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

How to get your leg break back

You know all good leg spinners have a well disguised googly; the one that goes the other way.

So you practice hard in the nets, trying to get the perfect ball.

So hard in fact, that somehow you forget how to bowl a normal leg break. You are stuck in the hell of only bowling wrong ‘uns.

Are you destined to become a googly bowler for the rest of your life?

Not if you take fast remedial action.

1. Stop bowling

The very start is to stop.

Your muscle memory needs to be rebooted like a computer and you can’t do that if you are still using it every day.

Don’t bowl in nets, don’t bowl at all. Take yourself off somewhere quiet and go back to basics.

That means under-arming the ball with a leg break action, in the same way as you would teach a youngster how to bowl a leg spin delivery. Keep working away until you get the feel right of leg spin again.

From an underarm position you can watch what your hand is doing and can see where the back of your hand is facing.

When you are stuck bowling googlies you will quickly see that your wrist had got in the habit of going too far around, bowling underarm shows you this and allows you to reset the memory banks.

Patience is the key here, it may take some time to get back to where you were. More than one session. Don’t get down if you are seeing little progress.

2. Try again, without the batsman

When the feel is right, go back to nets but do it without a batsman at first. They just get in the way.

Bowl from a standing position about 18 yards away. There is no need to confuse things with a run up and you can focus on your wrist action rather than accuracy.

You may find you go straight back to bowling wrong ‘uns again.

Don’t panic; just go back to underarm for a bit. Everyone is different and some people take longer than others to adjust.

3. Take care

Once you have the basic leg break back, go back to bowling of a full 22 yards with a run up. Things should be working fine.

But take care because this problem can easily come back.

Stay away from googlies for a while.

Then, when you do decide you are confident enough to go back to them (and you should go back), practice by bowling 1 wrong ‘un to every 10 leg breaks.

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Ah the Googly Syndrome! Yep I had this, and tried to live with it for a season and tried to argue a case for being a Googly bowler. Don't bother it's a lost cause, you have to get your Leg Break back. Follow all of the advice as listed above and consider this as well.......... What you're probably doing is bowling unintentionally out of the back of your hand, when in fact as far as you're concerned you know and can feel that you're bowling out of the front of your hand. The thing is you're almost certainly not. The one piece of advice that I've given to people with the Googly Syndrome that seems to work that I discovered and usually fixes it really quickly is this. Think about your wrist position and turn the wrist so that when you bowl your Leg Break, you do so with a the wrist turned round so far that you release the ball with the wrist coming over in a position where you'd be bowling with a karate chop action. So, in theory the batsman wouldn't see the palm of your hand as you released - he'd see the underside of your hand coming over in a karate chop position. Sounds bizarre? Try it - it works for most people. What will feel like you're trying to bowl a karate chop with actually be a leg break - because as David has said you've re-wired your brain bowling too many googlies and you know longer know what you're doing - so now you have to massively over-compensate with this Karate Chop approach.

Great tip Dave, and if you are a leg spin fan you can do yourself a favour and join the conversation on BigCricket.

Growing up in the West Indies, my favorite cricketer was never the likes of Brian Lara, Walsh, or even Ambrose, but Shane Warne, mainly, because I learned to play cricket watching him bowl.

I watched and practiced to bow like him so much, before you knew it, i was ripping the leg break, kids my age could not stand six balls in a game or net practice against me, i never had much coaching, but one day i find myself bowling in the nets and the ball was not going where i wanted it to go, instead of getting leg breaks, the ball was going the other way....GOOGLEY, this was devastating to me, it got so over bearing, i stop bowling completely and give up cricket .

About 5 years later i tried again and it was the same thing, so instead i started bowling off spin, but i longed for the big ripping leg break, i moved from spin to bowling pace, this never worked for me either, so i give up cricket again.

15 years later I come upon this article, wish i was 15 years younger, this would of definitely worked, but none the less I'm now 27. however I would try again and take up cricket.

Thanks for the article


Go for it Allen, at 27 you are just a pup when it comes to leg spin!

Unfortunately wenever i bowl leg break it is becoming a off spin ..what should i do to get rid of this

Pramod - it sounds to me as though you are bowling googlies/bosies, assuming you are bowling with the classic leg-spinner's action. Often the difference between the two is down to the release point - you may want to try bowling from an arm position closer to your ear (slightly less round arm) and see if this helps.

If you're already bowling with a high arm, it may be that your grip isn't quite right. Have a look at some of the standard coaching manuals for the orthodox leg-spinner's grip (try Google).

Can i use tennis hard ball for practice?

Better to use a cricket ball - the seam position is important.

Plus the weight is important too. You may mess yourself up if you switch between the two balls.

Hello mr. David
You clearly have a lot of knowledge in wrist spin bowling and I was hoping you could help me. My 10 year old cousin has started to bowl leg spin a few months ago and he bowled a few magical deliveries to start with, when I showed him how to bowl the top spinner it took him one ball to bowl the perfect top spinner. His bowling action is indescribably perfect. It's flawless in every way even though I have only showed him the basics of bowling leg spin. His action is exactly the same as Shane Warne's action and their physical properties are also similar. His grip is a bit strange, I showed him the correct grip for maximum spin but it looks like his ring finger is wrapping around the ball. I don't know why but all his deliveries spin with a scrambled seam. They spin about at 45-70 degrees. He gets very good turn but he struggles with accuracy, a lot. Why do you think that this is?

I bowl quite leggies with substantial turn with a wind ball but skiddy googles with a hard ball why