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.