How to bowl

NO LOFTING OR THROWING!  Doing this will severely damage the fragile lawn.  The bowl is rolled from the hand.  The bowl rolls in an ark or curve.  It is not weighted.  It is made with a bias on the side with the small circle and will arch or curve in that direction.  You should aim a couple of feet either side of the Jack.

When It’s Your Turn

Place the mat with the leading edge at least 2 meters from the ditch edge and centered in the RINK. This is done by turning the mat, the long way, over twice, starting from the edge of the ditch

You must stand on the mat with at least one foot touching the mat when you roll the jack and your bowl.

The game begins by rolling the jack down the rink.  It must go past the second hog line! The hog line is the small white marker on the edge of the rink.

Next, the jack is moved to the center of the rink.  Stand on the mat and have your teammate move the jack to centerline, the Rink Number Marker is the center.

Stand with at least one foot on the mat during delivery.

Aim your feet at the corner of the Rink

Aim at the RIGHT corner if you want the bowl to curve to the LEFT.

AIM at the LEFT corner if you want the bowl to curve to the RIGHT.

Make sure the SMALL CIRCLE is on the side you want to have the bowl curve. If the small circle is on left side, aim right and the bowl will curve to the left. If the small circle is on the right side, aim left and the bowl will curve to the right.

Crouch down so the bowl touches the ground.  Next, swing your arm back and deliver the bowl rolling from your hand onto the rink without lofting.  Follow through with your hand.

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NOTE: You do not have to throw the bowl as it does not take more than the back swing to move the bowl down the rink.

Beyond that, you’ll just have to practice!

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How it works

how to bowl a hook

As you can see, the red line is the axis along which the ball rotates. You can imagine the red line to roughly be pointed towards the pins. If you are holding the ball properly on release, your ball should be oriented similarly to the one shown. Imagine holding the ball like this and letting your thumb slide out of the ball. The only forces still on the ball will be the upward force of your fingers. If you keep for fingers tense, the ball “falls” around the axis, and inward rotation is created. Let’s break it down a bit.

Mastering The Leg BreakCricket Coaching Camp North Balwyn

The first part of becoming a great spin bowler is learning how to actually spin the ball. The leg break is the most important bowl in a leg spinners arsenal and is the first bowl you need to master.

As Shane Warne explains himself “You talk about accuracy, line, length, but the thing you have to do first is spin the ball. If you can do that, you can take wickets whatever grade you play at. The basic thing is the grip – two fingers down, two fingers up.”

So what is the “two fingers down two fingers up” grip mean?

It means your index and middle fingers stay up and your ring and pinky fingers stay down. You then slot the bowl into the two fingers that are up and it is the third (ring) finger that produces the spin by flicking the ball over and out of the two “up” fingers.

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Keep a nice, relaxed grip and as your bowl arm goes over keep the back of your hand facing your body which is important to get the most spin on the delivery. Using your ring finger your aim is to get as many revolutions going on the ball from right to left (for a right handed leg spinner) as the ball leaves your hand.

Drifting The BallSA Cricket Camp, Novar Gardens

“Drift” in spin bowling refers to when the ball drifts through the air in the opposite direction which it will spin when it bounces. This can make a ball appear to turn even more than it does and makes it a nightmare for the batsmen to play against.

For example, when a right handed batsmen would face Shane Warne the ball would drift in towards their body, they would then adjust to this and then often play inside the ball resulting in an edge going through to the wicket keeper or slip fielder.

The 3 elements that allow you to maximise drift when spin bowling are

  1. Making sure your arm is not too high or too low. You want to have a nice relaxed arc and let the wrist and fingers generate the spin.
  2. Maximising the revolutions on the ball as it flies through the air by combining your wrist spin and the flick of your ring finger as the ball leaves your hand.
  3. Ensuring you get a string shoulder rotation aiming for a full 180-degree rotation on your follow through.

Focusing on these elements will help you generate more drift and make your balls much harder to judge.

Bowling PaceVIC Cricket Camp, Hawthorn

There is no one size fits all when it comes to pace in leg spin bowling. It’s important to find your natural speed that feels comfortable. As mentioned earlier your focus first and foremost must be on maximising spin because if you can spin the ball you will take wickets no matter what grade you play. So you want to bowl at a pace that allows you to generate maximum spin.

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Some days this will differ depending on the wicket or the conditions but you don’t want to bowl too fast and allow the batsmen to use your pace. By keeping you bowls a little slower the batsmen will have to force the issue and potentially make a mistake.

Using VariationsCricket Coahing Camp in Wembley Downs, Perth

Shane Warne had some great variations that used to take wickets time and time again. “The Flipper” and “The Wrong Un” were two of his favourites.

The Flipper is a hard ball to bowl and is something Shane Warne worked on for years to perfect. The aim of the flipper is to get it to stay low and skid on in a straight line instead of turning like a leg break.

Hold the ball like a traditional leg break but instead of using your ring finger to generate spin use the thumb to get your revolutions up so it spins backwards and creates the skidding effect.

The Wrong Un again start with the same grip as a leg break yet turns the opposite and also generates a bit more bounce creating great confusion for the batsmen.

The perfect the Wrong Un you turn your wrist so that instead of coming out the side of the hand it comes out the back. This change in wrist position allows the ring finger to be spinning the ball the other way.

So there you have it Spin, Drift, Pace and Variation. The four main tools that made Shane Warne the greatest leg spinner of all time. Now it’s up to you to practice and the best way to practice is under the guidance of an expert spin coach who can ensure your technique is perfect for fastest results.

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