What to do When You Lose Your Leg Break | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

What to do When You Lose Your Leg Break

Menno Gazendam is author of Spin Bowling Project. Get your free 8 week spin bowling course here

Hardik enrolled on my course, and had a follow up question:

"I used to spin a ball big, but then I tried to learn the wrong one. So I kept practising but then I lost my leg spin. How do I get that my leg spin back and then learn to bowl wrong one?"

Oh boy. That does not sound good!


It’s a very common thing to happen when leggies lose their leg break when trying to learn how to bowl a wrong ‘un.

The thing that happens is that your body and muscle memory lock into the wrong pattern. Do something for a long time and the movement becomes instinctive.

Practise the wrong ‘un and your body remembers the muscle movements, losing the memory it had for the normal leggie movements.

How to get your leggie back?

You need to go back to basics.

Break your action down all the way to the simplest actions and build it up from there.

Start by just spinning the leggie from one hand to the other. Do this over and over and over. You are trying to teach your muscles to re-form a memory of the actions.

Next step is spinning it hard against a wall. Do not worry about your action. You need to build things slowly. Do not even worry about a straight arm. Just use your wrist action to spin the ball hard against a wall.

After that you move on to standing still in the crease and bowling leggies. No runup yet.

Once you mastered that you can go onto a run-up again.

Take it slowly and carefully. If at any point you find yourself bowling wrong ‘uns you need to go back a step.

Do not advance through the steps if you did not master the leggies at every level.

Trust me, your leggie will come back, although it may take some time.

Once the leg break is back you can carefully try a googly again, but make sure you keep bowling leg breaks and just spend a few minutes in a net session with googly bowling before returning to finish with leg breaks.

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Hi, Googly Syndrome Laughing out loud almost had it myself once!
Is it possible to have "slider syndrome"? I once read about a leg spinner who lost his leg break and everything was coming out as a slider but I really don't understand! Warne 's method of bowling the slider is just sliding his fingers down the back of the ball at a 45 degree angle so it has 45 degrees side spin and 45 degrees back spin which makes it drift slightly and straighten or not turn at all (its also scrambled seam which makes it skid) But how can you lose your leg break by bowling to much sliders? After all your ring finger should spin the leg break and you don't use it at all in the slider so once you use it in the leg break it should automatically turn! I think he was confused or he was probably just bowling top spinners or some other straight ball, what do you thank?

Hi there , sounds like a problem I've been bowling legspin for about 11years now, I can't say I've been through everything but I know quite a bit about the art. You have to go around the loop as a legspinner and practise going rond the loop : from side spin the front of the hand to :legspin with oveverspin a 45 deg angle , to the overspinner or as I call it the toppie, then to the wrong one with a little over spin, to the the wrong one the back of the hand faceing the batsman , to one of the best weapons of a leggie the slider which is simple although a lot of ppl try to complicate it, its the reverse of the topspinner which on dry dusty pitches turns square but on the hard surfaces tends to skid on and hurry batsman! It is probally impossible to incorperate everything in a practice session , I tend to bowl about 10 overs in practice which in each over I bowl 4leggies and two variations more or less on less on a middle off line depending on if the wind is pumping bowling into the wind I tend to drift to leg stump or just outside . But I guess its all down to always incorperating the legspinner into your practise more than 70 % of the time to eliminate the googly or slider problem...... Cheers


11 years is quite a long time! No doubt your very experienced in the art. And from reading your comment I know you must have read Peter Philpott's "The Art of Wrist Spin Bowling" !

Don't you think 2 variations for every 4 leg breaks is a lot? Richie Benaud and all the other successful leg spinners in the history of the game are great believers that you should practice your stock ball 90% of the time.

There isn't just one type of slider, the one your using is the OBS or karate chop slider (Orthodox backspinning slider) but if it turns a bit it isn't clean backspin, must have a bit of side spin. I use the 45 degree OBS and Warne also used it but not with a finger flick. He just pushed the ball out of the front of the hand.

Do you always need a wind to drift the ball or does it happen without the wind occasionally?

I dont believe tht wind is much helpful or creates swing or drift we occasionally play street cricket and there is no wind element there yet the talented bowlers swing a dirft it alot so it all boils down to skill...wht do u think Jacques.

Yes drift is a result of revolutions on the ball, although wind does help to achieve it. I get drift without any wind assistance, but if there is a head or cross wind it does increase the drift. Street cricket balls are a bit lighter aren't they? If so they drift more, but it's probably more difficult to make them swing. A good bowler can manage it though.

Yes indeed I read the book about 6 or 7 years ago think its a good book to learn from! Drift would be equal to the amount of revs you put on a CRICKET ball and the angle the seam comes out , swiveling over your left foot would also help with a big fast hip drive can also help! And with thew slider issue , whatever works for you I think I feel I got better control over it that way , and the more I want it to straighten the more I'm gonna flick it out infront of me ! Why I practise that way is because the way cricket is going now a days is variations you can't in a game once the batsmans feet is moving bowl the same ball all the time , I agree with the 90% the first 5 to 6 overs when batsman comes in and to the tail it will work ya , but that's the way I think , some other way will work for you I guess. Cheers

I bowl leg spin. Recently I bowled perfectly in the hard ball games, but due to some problem I couldn't practice for about a week. Now every bowl I pitch is sliding down the leg side for a wide. I also lost my flight delivery. Plz help.

I am leg spiner i do gogly n falipar but the lenth problam my all balls ples help me improve my lenth

Keep practicing. Force ur self to pitch the ball up. U will eventually get ur length. Remember legspin bowling is a mind game.