Being able to bowl leg spin well is rare quality; if you do that then you are valuable to any captain at any level.
But where do you start?
Good leg spinners seem to need so much; a canny tactical awareness, steely personality, and a phalanx of variations on top of a fizzing, dipping leg break that turns a foot on any wicket.
It’s not as bad as it seems.
Leg spin bowling may be an art, but it’s one that can be learned.
If you are a young bloke who wants to master this art but have little experience, start simple and build up. You can learn some of the secrets of where to begin here.
Before you start
But the first thing you need to do before bowling your first leg break is ask yourself a simple question:
Are you prepared to throw yourself into becoming a leg spinner?
Without passion and dedication to the art you will always be the comedy occasionally leggie who bowls a series of long hops and full tosses interspersed with the odd magic ball from nowhere.
You need to be ready to:
- Practice longer and harder than anyone else
- Put up with batsman in the nets and matches slogging you all over the place with no respect
- Get through the early period of having no control of even your stock ball
- Deal with unique issues, like the ‘googly syndrome’
- Have captains who don’t understand spinners and under bowl you, or take you off after you get hit for a four.
- Keep spinning the ball hard, even when things are going wrong.
If you can work your way through all these issue and still love running up and giving the ball a rip then you can call yourself a true leggie.
Welcome to the club.
The basics of leg spin
So what are the basic rules when you are starting out?
Start by gripping the ball with your fingers across the seam like this:
When you bowl, do it from sideways on and make your wrist and fingers roll over the ball to it spins in the air and turns off the pitch.
You are looking to land the ball, according to the leg spin maestro Shane Warne, 6 feet from the batting crease so the batsman is playing forward but not quite full enough to drive.
Anything too short will give batsman the time to pick it whereas anything too full won’t allow you spin for the batsman will play it before it starts turning.
The best line is the ball pitching on middle and off stump and moving away from the right handed batsman. This line increases the chances of batsman getting an edge. On turning wickets you may have to bowl middle stump or even middle and leg.
Of course, all this is easy to say but awfully difficult to do.
Fortunately, the answer to how you get the right attitude and technique to bowl accurate, fizzing leg breaks can be found on PitchVision Academy.
Click here to buy the online coaching course Leg Spin for Beginners and Juniors from former first-class leg spinner Muhammad Haroon. It teaches you the essentials of technique, field settings, how to stay committed when things are going badly and has a discussion forum to air your questions to other like-minded leggies.