How to Use the Arm Ball to Defeat All Batsmen from Sachin Tendulkar to Club Players | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

How to Use the Arm Ball to Defeat All Batsmen from Sachin Tendulkar to Club Players

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

The arm ball.

Or as some like to call it, the floater.

Bowled by the off spinner to either leave the right hand batsman or come into the left handed batsman. Vice versa for the slow left arm orthodox bowler.

Look at Monty Panesar in this video bowling a beautiful arm ball to the great Sachin. You can see the shiny side on the off side in the slow motion, helping him drift it in.


The arm ball is called so because it just go on with the arm. It doesn't drift like a normal spinner would. But, goes straight on with the line of the arm or even swings a bit like a seamer.

I have had a lot of success with the arm ball against left hand batsman on big turning pitches.

They all leave the ball as they think it will spin away from them. Only to keep going on with the arm and swing late into them. Many a 'did-not-offer-a-shot' LBW I picked up this way.

you grip the ball almost like a seamer, but not quite. And the shift in grip is made at the last possible moment. I have some nice sequenced photos of this in my full guide.

Massively useful at club, school and Academy level

This delivery, when bowled right, causes havoc at lower levels. They simply do not pick it. This is because so few of them are use to facing good off spin bowlers with proper variations.

It is a less effective delivery against the very top players, but there are notable exceptions as Panesar showed above.

So, do not rely too much on the arm ball if you happen to play a club game and the opposition batsman is an ex-Test player.

However, 99% of us do not bowl at test players for a living and you will have great success if you make this part of your repertoire.

Arm ball tips

For the right handed batsman you want to bowl this on the off-stump line. Even middle will do. You need him to try and play straight or through mid-on. The ball will then go away from him.

Do not bowl this ball too wide to get him to drive. You lack the speed of a quick or medium pacer and this will usually not be effective. So, try and get the right handed batsman to play straight.

For the left handed batsman you him to drive at the ball. So, start about a foot outside the stump on off-side. The batsman will either drive or most probably pad up and leave the ball. It will swing in and catch him by surprise.

Bowl it anytime as part of your normal bowling plans. But, ideally make sure the conditions (ball and weather) are favourable for a bit of swing.

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

Broadcast Your Cricket Matches!

Ever wanted your skills to be shown to the world? PV/MATCH is the revolutionary product for cricket clubs and schools to stream matches, upload HD highlights instantly to Twitter and Facebook and make you a hero!

PV/MATCH let's you score the game, record video of each ball, share it and use the outcomes to take to training and improve you further.

Click here for details.


The seam in that video appears to be pointing at gully.

That's Monty's Normal Delivery, It Just Didn't Spin As Much. I Would Be Great If Someone Posted A Link To A Video With An Intended Arm Ball.

There's some old footage of Tim May bowling one. Off-spinners don't bowl them much nowadays, they're too easy to pick.

Armballs don't seem to be used to take wickets in pro cricket these days as they tend to swing from the arm and can be played as such.

Swann uses a flatter side spinner that skids on as an alternative to his ripping off breaks which is why he does so well against left handers. Ajmal seems to scramble the seam and turns it small amounts in either direction. John Embury used to bowl beatiful arm balls and curving off breaks but took his wickets more by containment than deception.


"Look at Monty Panesar in this video bowling a beautiful arm ball to the great Sachin"

Not out. Smiling

That wasn't really an arm ball, but it might also not be a normal delivery. Normally you would want to keep the rough side on the inside of your hand, for a better grip and because most off breaks that come out right have the seam very slightly angled like an undercutter. That means that the ball will have a better chance to hit the rough side of the ball when it lands to maximize the turn. Maybe Panesar deliberately switched the two sides so that there would be a chance that the ball wouldn't grip, since Sachin would probably pick the arm ball? Or it was just a fluke. Well either way it was still a good delivery.

Recently I saw a video of Rangana Herath bowling a similar ball, and now I'm almost convinced that they deliberately lowered their release point and switched the sides so that the ball would land on the more shiny part of the glance and skid on. Clever variation!

how would i have to pick an arm ball as a batsmen.