Tactics you should be using: Bowl around the wicket | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Tactics you should be using: Bowl around the wicket

Bowlers please tell me; what is exactly so scary about bowling around the wicket?

I've played club cricket and kept wicket for over 20 summers. I've watched dozens if not hundreds of bowlers from the prime position behind the stumps yet only a few have bowled round the wicket.

And those that have are mostly left arm spinners.

Right arm around umpire?
No chance.

What causes this Around the Wicket Aversion Syndrome (AWAS for short)?

Maybe it's because it doesn't feel right to change what has always been done. If so, that's a shame because it's a brilliant way to slow down scoring and upset a batsman's rhythm.

It's harder to score runs

When a right arm bowler goes around the wicket to a right arm batsmen it becomes much harder to score runs.

Think about it from the point of view of an off spin bowler (although this also applies to in swing). The angle is much wider coming from way out away from the stumps. The ball then spins back and straightens ideally so the line is perfectly straight pitching on off, hitting off) when it gets to the batsman.

Like so:

And if the ball is pitched up on off stump there is only one place a proper batsman will try and hit it; straight.

And you can set a field to that.

And the batsman needs to take risks to score.

It upsets the batsman

Just as bowlers are not used to going around the wicket, most club and school batsmen will have less idea how to face it.

It's uncomfortable and upsets rhythm. And we like doing that.

Balls that he or she can usually work off the legs for easy runs become risky. Will they swing back in and hit the off stump or stay on the same line going across the batsman?

Many batsmen won't think to open their stance when you go around the wicket and are closed off when you deliver the ball, making them prone to LBW or hitting very square on the leg side.

It seems to me to be a no-brainer to go around the wicket as a variation if you want to either dry up runs or break a big partnership.

So how do you get over your fear of the other side?

How to get used to bowling around the wicket

It's pretty simple because there are no major technical changes to be made. You use the same action, you just do it from the other side of the wicket, so it's purely a 'feel' thing.

If you don't like the feel of bowling around the wicket, then practice it until you do.

Start by going down to the nets without a batsman and take out your run up, bowling from the 'set' or 'one step' position standing at the crease.

Start from 15 yards if you are really struggling.

Get the feel for how much more you have to get your body round to make the ball land in the right place.

Then gradually move back to 18, 20 then 22 yards before walking in and bowling, jogging in and finally running in.

How long should all this take?

You can probably get a feel for it in 1 or 2 sessions of half an hour or so. Most experienced bowlers can get good enough to use it in a match in 2-5 sessions.

Once you can do it well, always finish a net session with a few balls around the wicket so you don't lose the feel.

Try it. It opens up a whole new side to bowling. 

image credit: Gary_T_W

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I like bowling my offspin round, because with 2 or 3 variations (arm-ball, topspinner...) you can get rid of sloggers when no-one else can! High risk tactics, of course, but it usually pays off.

Off spin around is one of my favourite types of bowling. It's hard to keep to with the line and turn spending a lot of time in the way of the batsman, but it can be very difficult to get away for a batsman and if the ball is turning a lot brings in short leg for catches. Then you just need someone brave enough to go under the lid!

paul collingwood said, one of the main tactical reasons why england won the word cup was because he had a left arm quick, bowling over the wicket.

also, the ipl stats show that several of the highest wicket takers of the 2010 series were left armers.

going around is certainly one of the best variations.

In a school match, one of the openers was very weak off his pads so I went around the wicket to him to try and get him LBW. The problem was that the umpire said that he couldn't see the batsman because I was running across the pitch and was making it hard to give him Lbw. How can I solve this problem because if I run in and follow through straight then I will bowl leg side, which is a wide.Any Tips?

Try the one step drill I mention in the article to get the feel for bowling then following through off the wicket. The key is to get out of the way AFTER you have bowled the ball, rather than thinking about it during the action.

well i prefer bowling round the wicket..if you bowl round the stumps you can get very good angel of ball(drift)which is not easy to play..you can also bowl arm ball from round the wicket...you can create an angel if you have good flight,spin,dip..we can say WICKET TAKING BALL..

I bowl left arm orthodox for the BARBADOS U15 team here in the Caribbean and i would like to no how I can increase the amount of drift I get when I am bowling.

The more you spin the ball the more likely it is to drift.

I like bowling off spin to left handers from around the wicket. The drift in towards the pads followed by the outward movement does the trick 9/10. And if it doesn't? Just slip in an arm ball

Im a left arm chinaman bowler should i bowl around the wicket to right handers or go over the wicket to lefties

I've been bowling around the wicket off spin to right handers for some time now, and every now and then the ball of its own mind spins toward the off side. If it's on the right line it almost invariably takes a wicket, so I was wondering if anyone had any ideas how I'm actually doing this

i'm a right arm bowler and coming round makes me concerntrate more to bowl at the stumps and occasional comes back in to the batesman now taking his leg stump - should i continue and coming over?

Hello Smiling
As a left arm wrist spinner shoul I be bowling from over or around the wickets bowling to right handers? I have never bowled over the wickets in my life except to left handers, I just don't feel comfortable doing it. Why I say this is because I constantly feel as if my left leg is going to hit the stumps while pivoting and I hold the record for most times hitting the stumps with my bowling hand in a match (7) When bowling to right handers around the wicket I feel much more comfortable because I can make the ball drift away from them even with a very wide angle so the ball is going zig-zag all the time. And if they are double stepping me trying to slog through the leg side I just adjust my arm at the last moment so it goes past the vertical (I have practiced doing this) and the ball angles to the off side and it is nearly impossible to hit it to the leg side. I also bowl off breaks around the wicket (drifting in and spinning past the edge) and all my other variations. When I go over the wickets it feels like I am not spinning the ball and it feels really negative like I'm trying to bore the batsman out. I prefer to keep the batsman interested and make him concentrate more than he wants to. So do you think this angle is the best for me? (it certainly feels like the best angle)

I think you may have answered your own question there!

Laughing out loud yeah! Like Shane Warne always said: "There is no perfect way of doing something, the style that suits you best is the one your comfortable with"

I bowl left-arm leggies and I feel more comfortable bowling around the wicket to righthanders. I've tried bowling over and a) I'm subconsciously worried I'll hit the stumps at the bowling crease and b) I get too straight (on leg stump) and the ball spins down leg. I know bowling O.T.W A3gives you more wicket options but for a chinamen it's more comfortable around, plus it's easier to get the big angle coming in to right handers.

using thumb when delivery point while bowling off spin around the wicket ball some time turn other way.