Menno Gazendam is author of Spin Bowling Project. Get your free 8 week spin bowling course here.
Why is Ajantha Mendis one of only 3 international bowlers to ever use the Iverson style grip?
And why is Graham Swann the only international off spinner to grip the ball using the lower knuckle on the middle finger to impart spin?
Because it's just not comfortable bowling with those grips.
Unique grips are everywhere, because the most important thing with grips is that you must be comfortable. No matter how the grip actually looks.
As long as the game of cricket has been played spin bowlers have used unique grips. Maybe they were not all as obviously different as a Mendis or an Paul Adams, but the amount of variations in grips is almost as numerable as all the spinners that have played the game.
There is no standard grip - orthodox, maybe - but no standard.
Coaching manuals love to show you the 'correct' way of gripping a delivery. This kills creativity. Coaching manuals should rather show the different ways in which you can grip the ball.
And if they show just one method then they must label it 'orthodox' and not 'correct'.
Orthodox is simply the grip most people find comfortable.
But not everyone.
And anyway, success is not determined by type grip you use
It's what you do with your grip that will decide if batsmen fear you or lick their lips when you come on.
How to find a comfortable grip
When trying to find your grip, simply go for what feel comfortable. Remember though, your grip must enable you to comfortably spin the ball hard.
Do not worry if you do not grip the ball like your coach thinks you should. Or think you must grip the ball like Graham Swann just because he is so successful.
The only criteria when I consult a spin bowler is to ensure the ball feels comfortable in his hands.
If this stop him from spinning the ball I will step in.
But, if the ball is fizzing from a spinner’s hand then I could care less which finger he uses to impart the spin.
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.