Wrist Spin Variations | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Wrist Spin Variations

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This is a guest article from Harry Shapiro

Because of the nature of the delivery there are several variations that the wrist spinner can use by changing the position of his wrist.

Your main weapon and wicket taking ball is your leg break. Anything else is merely a variation to keep the batsman guessing and possibly set him up. The following variations should only be used once you have established complete mastery of the leg break and have full control of your wrist.

The following variations require changes to the wrist position.

Top spinner:

The top spinner is released with the palm of the hand facing the leg side (for a right hander) so that the ball spins in the air with the seam upright and rotating toward the batsman. If bowled properly the ball should dip and bounce off the pitch higher than the leg break, causing the ball to hit the splice of the bat. The ball can be pitched in line with the stumps or just outside the off stump.


The Googly - also called the wrong 'un - is released with the back of the hand facing toward the batsman so the ball is spun with the seam rotating in a clockwise direction. On pitching the ball will turn from off to leg (to a right hand batsman). The ball should always be pitched outside the off stump enticing the batsman to either cut or leave the ball. The googly requires a lot of practice but should be used sparingly. If overused it can cause a bowler to lose his leg break.


The ball is delivered with the palm facing inward toward the bowler. The ball is spun so that the seam rotates back in the air causing the ball to keep low and skid onto the bat after pitching. This delivery is difficult to master but causes far less strain on the shoulder than any of the other deliveries.

Use of the crease

Bowling from different variations on the crease is a very simple but effective variation as it requires no alteration to the bowlers action. It is sadly often neglected by bowlers and coaches.

Change of flight and pace

This important variation is difficult to master and requires a lot of practice. The bowler needs to release the ball at different positions. What bowlers need to remember is that the stock ball should always be above the batsman's eyes.

For more coaching tips from Harry Shapiro, click here.

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