Streetwise Bowling: Show a Bit of Leg | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Streetwise Bowling: Show a Bit of Leg

This article is part of the “Streetwise Bowling” series from PitchVision Academy. To view the full list of tactics click here.

Bowling at leg stump has a bad rap. It's seen as defensive and, by many, as almost against the spirit of cricket. So much so that in many formats, the leg side wide has all but killed the tactic.

But in the right situation, this plan is an excellent variation to the usual line for a left arm bowler. The batsman is not used to the lines. More importantly, there are few gaps in the field meaning the batsman is going to have to do something unusual to get you away.

As such, it can be used in both attacking and defensive roles.


  • Name: Show a Bit of Leg
  • Bowling Type: Left Arm Orthodox
  • Difficulty Level: 5/10
  • Success Level: High

The key to this tactic to know when to use it. Most left arm bowlers see it as a last resort when they are getting destroyed. It can work this way but also can be used when:

  • Run rate needs to be controlled.
  • A new partnership comes together (especially left/right hand combinations).
  • A very strong off side batsman.
  • A very strong leg side batsman.
  • Wickets are not falling with the orthodox of stump line

In other words, any situation where you think a change of line will be disruptive to the batting team.


You will use natural variations in loop, dip and turn, but maintain the same line throughout the over: good length, hitting the top off middle and leg to leg stump.

left arm spin line

Yellow line: left arm round, leg stump line

Bowl dots (or singles at the death) with a packed leg side field.

To stop a maiden, the batsman has to take some action. She may hit out and be caught on the boundary. She might look to go 'inside out' and hit through the off side, risking a catch at the wicket, or a stumping.

Naturally, with this approach you take LBW away, and so there is a compromise to be had. However, there is also a lot to be gained, so don't consider it a pure tactic of last resort. As long as you stay accurate in your line, you will ask the batsman to make a move and that means taking a risk.


Your variations can still be used throughout the over. This will give you a better feeling of control in a situation where the basic plan is do fire the ball at leg stump with metronomic accuracy.

By all means throw in your arm ball. Try variations in pace and flight. Yorkers work especially well.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on.

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