- Types of Variations in Off-Spin Bowling | My Cricket Coach | Green Team - November 4, 2021
- Types of Variations in Fast Bowling | My Cricket Coach | Green Team - October 20, 2021
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A fast bowler can be described as one who takes a long run-up and throws the ball with some serious pace at the batsman. He is a key weapon to defend the totals or to restrict opposition within the par score. He is vital with the new ball and no other type of bowler can be trusted in the death overs. Guess why? Because there are plenty of types of variations in fast bowling and no other type of bowler has this versatility of deliveries to deceive the batsman.
A fast bowler can generate some movement and swing from the pitch, can ball a 110 km/h delivery right after a 150 km/h bouncer. He can clean bowled the batsman right after having set him for short delivery. This makes him a very important aspect of every team.
In this blog of the weekly series of articles to educate our readers about their favorite sport, your cricket coach is going to teach you about the different types of variations in fast bowling.
Variations in Fast Bowling:
1) In Swinger
There are three types of swing bowling and the first and most important of them is the “In Swing.” This is an art and every fast must master it. No fast bowler can have a career in cricket if he can’t bowl an inswinger.
An inswing delivery moves towards the batsman after pitching. A fast bowler creates this type of swing due to the variance in the pressure that is created due to the smooth and rough sides of the cricket ball. Bowler holds the rough side of the ball towards the batsman to create inconsistency and movement.
2) Out Swinger
Another type of swing bowling is Out Swing and bowlers often choose it to bowl. This type of delivery moves away from the batsman. As it goes out, it is called out-swing.
The purpose of an in-swing is to LBW or clean bowled but an outswing is bowled to set up the batter for an in-swing or to deceive him through the length and get caught behind the stumps.
If the bowler would choose to keep the rough side of the cricket ball in the off-stump direction, the ball would swing in the opposite direction of in the swing. Sometimes, such delivery moves very fast in the outward direction after pitching and cleans the stumps without allowing the batter to react.
3) Reverse Swing
A reverse swing delivery is the opposite of the swing ball. In principle, a cricket ball swings in the direction of the rough side of the ball. When a ball reverses, it creates magic; the ball swings in the direction of the smooth side. This is a totally unexpected rather abnormal behavior of the cricket ball and it was this one of the types of variations in fast bowling that had destroyed the English batting line-up back in 1992.
Sarfraz Nawaz was the inventor of this delivery. Imran Khan learned this art from him in the 70s and 80s and transferred this skill to Waqar Younus and Wasim Akram. Therefore, Pakistanis were the innovators of this art, and teams like England, Australia, and West Indies learned from Wasim and Waqar.
A bouncer is always considered to be a useful weapon in fast bowling. When a fast bowler pitches the ball short, say makes the ball bounce nearly halfway on the pitch, and the ball reaches the batter at a head or shoulder height and makes him hook, pull or leave it as a result.
This type of ball can be a surprise delivery as well as it can be a trap or set up to make the batter pull. Some batters are weak against short deliveries and get very uncomfortable against the bouncers. Oppositions use bowlers experts of bouncers to neutralize such batters. This is one of the most important deliveries of the types of variations in fast bowling.
5) Slower Ball
Cricket has also evolved much just as modern technology, civilization, and everything else also has. With the introduction of the T20 cricket in 2005, cricket got much much faster – So much that fast bowlers had to slow down their pace.
Slow delivery is used to deceive the batter through a sudden change of pace. Like a fast delivery, a slow ball also surprises the batters and makes them lose their wickets in many situations. If the pitch is slow and the ball is not coming on the bat, taking the pace off from the ball helps the bowler use the conditions fantastically.
When a fast bowler tries to hit the stumps directly instead of using a swing or other variations, he bowls right in the base of the stumps of the batter. Such delivery is called “Yorker”. This one is another useful delivery of the types of variations in fast bowling.
In the past, it used to be impossible for batters to play good yorkers. It hits the base of the stumps or toes and for a batter, it’s almost impossible to reach there through his bat. In the contemporary era when batting has also evolved and modernized, with the innovation of scoop and ramp shot, batters have learned to neutralize this delivery and that’s why the use of knuckleballs and slow yorkers has also increased. Things keep evolving and modernizing you know.
7) Knuckle Ball
Knuckleball is also similar to slow delivery, it is also a change of pace. It also takes the pace off from the ball and confuses the batter with the use of another one of the various types of variations in fast bowling.
Its only difference is the way a fast bowler holds the ball before bowling a knuckle delivery. When the bowler intends to bowl a slow delivery, he holds one finger across the seam. The batter spots it on the pitch and gets prepared to face a slower one.
While bowling a knuckle delivery, the bowler holds the ball between the tip of the index and the middle finger, supported by the tip of the thumb. It would look much like holding the ball with the knuckles.
8) Off Cutter
Suppose you decide to bowl an off-spin with a run-up of a fast bowler. What would you do? You would simply roll the fingers on the cricket ball just as the Off-Spinner does. It would result in a decrease in pace and off-spin of the cricket ball.
There is not much decrease in the pace but it’s the movement it creates, the change in direction that inspires fast bowlers to use this one of the many types of variations in fast bowling at their discretion.
9) Leg Cutter
Another delivery in the different types of variations in fast bowling is called leg cutter. The purpose of this type of delivery is also to use the change in the direction of the delivery after it pitches.
Suppose as a fast bowler, if you decide to bowl a leg-spin. What would you decide to do with the cricket ball? You would simply use the fingers like a leg spinner. As the ball cuts after pitching, it is called a cutter as well.
The automatically drops down when the ball cuts but the reason this delivery is used is its change of direction that makes it a surprise ball.
When a cricket ball reaches the batsman at the chest or head height directly, it is called a beamer.
Bowlers don’t bowl beamers intentionally because it is not a legal delivery. It is considered to be a no-ball and the next delivery is given a free hit. Runs scored are added into batter’s and teams account.
If it is found that the bowler bowled a beamer on purpose, say out of frustration or grudges for the batter, he is penalized for bowling a beamer or even suspended in some cases. It does depend upon why the beamer was bowled?
Mostly, it’s an unintentionally bowled delivery because of the slip out of hand.
We have done the types of bowling in cricket in the previous article. In this article, I have used many terms that are the types of Variations of spin bowling and types of shots played by the batters. In the next articles, I would explain all of these aspects of cricket as well.
Written by Faraz Ahmad Watto
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