Types of Variations in Off-Spin Bowling | My Cricket Coach | Green Team

Importance of Variations in Off-Spin Bowling

Just think as a captain you have a wrist spinner in your side who takes wickets but leaks a lot of runs as well. What would you require as a skipper? You need another spinner who would bowl with more control and accuracy as well as would have some variations in off-spin bowling.

Off-spinners are supposed to bring control. They are supposed to bowl quick overs and are vital in team combinations to rotate other bowlers around them. Off-spinners have played as the most important bowlers of the side as well but you need to be Saeed Ajmal or Sunil Narine for that. 

In this article of the weekly series of articles, your cricket coach will be teaching you about the different types of variations in off-spin bowling.

Off Break

An off-spinner uses his off-break delivery as his bread and butter. This type of bowl turns towards the stumps when a right-arm off-spinner bowls it to a right-hand batter. In the case of a left-hander, it will turn away from the stumps.

If a left-arm off-break bowler bowls it to a right-hander, it will turn away from the stumps but will turn back into the stumps if bowled to a left-hander. This is the most basic type of variation in off-spin bowling, a delivery bowled by the off-spinners now and then.

Top Spin

Topspin delivery gets more bounce through its upward motion. The Cricket ball is gripped in such a way that its spin is in the upward direction with fingers over the top of the ball. It is a deceptive delivery as the batter expects a rapid spin towards him but the ball bounces at pace to go past the batter.

Arm Ball

When the ball is not spinning, batters are smashing everything out of the park, a spinner like Andrew Symonds would increase his pace from 90km/h to 120km/h with the same run-up and arm speed to deceive the batter. Spinners mostly bowl at a speed of 90km/h so this sudden increase of speed becomes a surprise for the batter.

To bowl a faster delivery with the same run-up and action requires faster arm movement as well as the use of the strength of the shoulders. That’s why it is called an arm ball, an important type of variation in off-spin bowling.


Saqlain Mushtaq invented this delivery back in the 1990s. He was a right-arm off-spinner but found a way of spinning the ball away from the right-hander. This delivery looked like a typical off-spin delivery but spun in the opposite direction.

Batters mostly did not judge the ball and often missed or mis-hit the delivery. Saeed Ajmal also became a nightmare for his oppositions in the early 2010s due to his Doosra.

Carrom Ball

This delivery was introduced with the same grip in 1940s but Ajantha Mendis of Sri Lanka reintroduced it in 2008. Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin also adopted it later on. This is a difficult delivery to bowl.

An off-spinner holds the ball between his thumb and middle finger. Ball has to be squeezed out of the hand of the bowler to be flicked like a carrom disc in the carrom board game. This is a tough ball to bowl.


Like “Doosra”, “Teesra” was also introduced by Saqlain Mushtaq of Pakistan.

To bowl this type of delivery, an off-spinner holds the ball in the normal grip of a typical off-spinner but at the point of release, the bowler moves his wrist without rolling his fingers.

Batters think the ball is going to spin a lot but in reality, it is a typical off-spin. This delivery of an off-spinner is similar to the slider of the leg-spinner which will be discussed in our next article that is on the “types of variations in leg-spin bowling”. These are the types of variations in off-spin bowling.

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Written by: Faraz Ahmad Wattoo

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