THE ART OF LEG SPIN BOWLING IN CRICKET


THE ART OF LEG SPIN BOWLING IN
 CRICKET


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You need to take wickets to win a match for your team. And you need Leg Spin bowlers in your team who can turn around a match very much in your favour. Here we remember the great leg spin bowlers of the modern era in Shane Warne, Abdul Qadir, Anil Kumble. Who can forget Anil Kimble’s feat of taking all ten wickets haul against Pakistan conceding just 49 runs in one spell of 21.3 overs at Ferozeshah Kotla ground in Delhi on 8th February, 1999. 


Leg spin is the most intriguing and comparatively difficult art of bowling in cricket. We can simplify the definition of this type of bowling as “a leg spinner bowls right arm, with a wrist spin action, causing the ball to spin from right to left from the point of pitching”. The same bowling when performed by a left arm bowler is called left arm unorthodox bowling.
The ideal grip is to rest the ball between the ring finger and the middle finger with the index finger and middle fingers providing support. The ring finger and wrist are the key elements to impart a lot of spin, which in turn will make the ball dip and zip off the pitch. The ring finger should complete an anti-clockwise half circle in that it has to start at the position where 6 is on a clock and finish at where 12 is. It is even better to finish the circle at where 9 is, as this will complete the wrist action. 
 
But, can a leg spinner afford to ball all his six deliveries in the over in the same way? If variations are the mantra for success to any bowler in general, it is the essence to a leg spinner in particular. As a young leg spinner goes on practicing the art, he develops varieties such as googly, flipper, topspinners and may be a slider. 

Googly is an art of bowling where the leg spinner disguise the batman by resorting to the action of  bowling a leg break but spins it like an off spinner at the point of delivery from left to right of a right handed batman. If the batman does not read it at the right time, he tends to play it like a leg spin and gets bamboozled. The leg spinner bowls the topspinner with his original action which does not turn and goes straight with more bounce. A flipper is similar to a topspinner but floats in the air before dipping low after skidding. A leg spinner can also have a variety at his repertoire in the form of a slider which is primarily a leg break ball but pushed through faster so does not spin more and goes straighter. 
 
These varieties are better said than done. A young aspiring leg spinner has no room for complacency and needs to master these arts through rigorous practice and hard work. I would like to give some simple tips below for the upcoming leg spinners:

1) Start mastering the basic and conventional leg spinners initially;

2) The run-up has to be gradual and the important thing for a leg-spinner is that he has to land with the left knee flexed and then transfer the weight while using the wrist and fingers to give a good rip;

3) Leg-spinners should dip their leading shoulder a bit and this is possible only if the left knee is flexed.

4) Unlike the off-spinners, the leg-spinners can be slightly round arm with the back of the hand facing skywards and the ball towards the ground. A slightly round arm will enable a leg-spinner to impart a lot of spin and finish the action with his bowling arm coming right across his body;

5) It is essential for a young leg-spinner to develop the ability to spin the ball as length can be mastered in due course;

6) As a leg spinner, you may have to go for a long spell. Be patient in reading the batsman’s mind all the time and change your line and length all the time. The stock ball needs to be bowled as a surprise;

7) Concentrate hard and the level has to be 100%;

8) The killer instinct to win which is to make the batsman out irrespective of his stature.

Happy playing cricket bowling leg spinners and be happy to win matches for your team.



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