Lesson #5: Why Spin Bowling Is Like Driving A Ferrari... Except When It Isn’t | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Lesson #5: Why Spin Bowling Is Like Driving A Ferrari... Except When It Isn’t

t's time we get to the good stuff.

Googlies, sliders, doosras and all that.

But you have to earn your crazy variations. Even Shane Warne with all his spice needed a boring old stock delivery. So let us first discuss your stock ball.

The stock delivery is not sexy. It's safe and dependent. If it was a car it would be a station wagon, where the flipper would be a Ferrari and the doosra a Lamborghini.

Now, I'm sure you would like to take the Ferrari and Lamborghini out for a spin every day, but it is just not practical.

You can't go grocery shopping in a Ferrari. And if people see you in it every day then no one gets impressed anymore.

That's way you have a stock delivery. It does the grunt work. The hard work. It runs your errands.

A good stock delivery needs to be perfected. Shane Warne took a lot of cool wickets with his flipper, but he took much more with his normal, slow, looping big turning leggie (his stock ball).

Same with Ajmal and his doosra.

Ensure that you work hard at your stock delivery. You have to become comfortable it. You must trust it. It must become your best friend.

You see, your variations mean nothing if your stock delivery is not perfect.

That is because you use your stock delivery to set up the batsman and put him under pressure. A great flipper/doosra is useless if you cannot land your stock delivery.

You get the point: before you start trying to bowl any and every variation under the sun, make sure your stock delivery is perfected.

You first learn to drive the station wagon before you take the Ferrari for a spin.


Variation, ah, the rock and roll stuff. But first let me ask; you got a good stock ball? You can rip it big and place it on the spot six balls in a row?

Sure? Not lying to me are you?

OK, then we move onto our little bag of tricks and see how we can change it up with a few variations.

It's impossible for me to explain to you how to bowl all the variations here (that's why I wrote you a whole guide on this), so to keep this practical I will just list what is available to you.

Now, remember, this is a dark art.

Some people might differ about what you can bowl and even what to call the variations. So, if you can think of something different to bowl or want to name one of these deliveries something else, then that is cool. No worries. I don't really care what you call it.

As long you take wickets with it.

The common off spin bowling variations are

  • Doosra (very few people can bowl this, but I show you a few ways how it is done)
  • Top spinner (Harbajan Singh does this incredibly well)
  • Slider (undercutter) (Swann is genius against lefties with his slider)
  • Arm ball (floater)
  • Faster ball

and those of the leg spinner are

  • Googly (Abdul Qadir from the 80’s had more than one version)
  • Flipper (a few variations, Warne, Benaud, Grimmett)
  • Top spinner (this was Anil Kumble's stock delivery)
  • Slider (backspinner)
  • Faster ball (Shaid Afridi has the best in the business)

That should get your mouth watering. Oh yes, before I forget. You get the Carrom Ball as well, bowled by Ajantha Mendis and Herath (and originally by Jack Iverson in the 1950's), but that falls in its own class (I do cover it in the Spin Bowling Project guide though).

One final thing to remember is to never practise variations continuously.

You do not want to 'lose' your good stock ball. Always bowl the stock ball as well when you work on a variation to make sure you maintain it.

That was quite a lot. Take your time over it, and I’ll catch you next time.


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