Thursday, 26 October 2017

Intro - Someblokecalleddave's wrist-spin bowling

Welcome to my latest Wrist-spinning (Leg-spin)Blog. I’ve been blogging about wrist-spin bowling for about 10 years now.
What you need to know is that I’m not an expert or a coach, I’m just a run of the mill bloke who just likes writing stuff on the subject. Over the 10 years though, I’ve written a bunch of articles/posts that have been viewed thousands of times and seemingly are useful. Additionally, Stuart Macgill was so impressed with my dominance of the subject on the internet, he spoke at an Internet marketing conference about my blogging activities and how I have complete dominance of the subject on the internet. Stuart was so impressed with my total dominance of the subject he occasionally helps me out with questions about the subject.

 This particular blog is the ‘Best of’ posts’. You’ll see in the side bar to the right links to the main themes. The intention is this may become the main blog and hopefully one with an active comments facility. If you're viewing it in Oct 2017, be aware that it has only just been formatted and over the coming months and years the content of my old blog and websites will be gradually transferred to this blog.
Left to right - Joe Thompson - Dave Thompson (Me) and Ben Thompson May 2016

Please note The owner of the blog is in no way responsible for you getting carted around the park for 4's and sixes. Seek professional guidance if in doubt.

Batsmen of SEDCB region and how to get them out.

This blog page is gradually being deleted and transferred to this blog here
20/2/19 - 20,350  views        Last Updated 02/1/19 -   18,000 views                     12,561 views;                29.07.18 - 8784 views:      

Keval Suchak Hutton CC 4th XI (July 2018) 
(Hopefully I've got the right bloke in the photograph)? Suchak's innings was short and sweet see here From the outset he looked like a walking wicket with one shot - a big heave - playing across the line to the leg-side. Which, goes to explain why on the Play cricket website (Double click his name above his photo) he's recorded as being bowled more times than any other dismissal (38%). Coming close behind is caught with 36% dismissals.  
The field setting for him and the conditions are slightly different to Mike Astles with some tweaks for the fact that he has one primary shot from what we saw...
I didn't have a slip, he was moved to the deep mid-wicket position having seen the previous over where every ball was intended to be a four through the leg-side. I got him LBW with full-ish Leg-Break that didn't grip and he'd already played through the shot - again trying to hoik it over mid-wicket.

The field-setting above were the Captains (Lee Dutton). I only got to bowl 2 balls at him a dot ball and then out


John Hearn   Benfleet 3rd XI (June 2018).
His records on play cricket go back to 1995, so he's experienced. He played well in our game as you can see from his wagon wheel. He was able to manoeuvre the ball into the gaps with some really nice shots. The late cuts I thought were pretty clever.
At no point did he look like he was going to get himself out and as you can see he had a good cover-drive. Unfortunately I didn't write this up at the time and I've had to play catch up, so some of this may be a bit vague. As I recall he didn't move his feet that much, but played me with soft hands fending the ball off into the pitch if it looked threatening - he may have stepped or reached forwards to the ball. Anything loose and he had the ability to manuovre the ball into very precise gaps. Several of my balls went through the 3rd man zone via a nice little late cut that he has.

William Dale RHB 
Billericay 4th XI (June 2018)

William Dale has been moved to

Check him out there as well as a load of other blokes.

Geoff Davison RHB - Opening batsman for Hadleigh and Thundersley CC

Below - Davison's primary scoring area...
On the day we played, the strip that had been prepared was the one closest to the artificial wicket and therefore one of the shortest boundaries. I bowled from the Graveyard end, but could have asked for the Estate End? The only thing is, dependent on how long the grass is, or how wet it is, the opposite end provides a slope for the ball to run down, but on balance it may have been the better option?

Geoff Davision if you look him up on Play Cricket, you'll see that in the past he's been no slouch with the bat over his career and this year (2017) he was captain of the 4th XI and this game he was one of the openers. For us this was a season at our new Ground at Holy Cross in Basildon. Davison was out of for 23 trapped LBW to Ryan Davies who swings the ball. Perhaps one of his weaknesses is swing bowling?

In the first 12 overs, where he faced medium and medium/fast bowling the run-rate was 2 an over, all of the balls on or around the off-stump line seemed to cause him a problem - he erred towards caution with these. His strongest shots were leg-side, where had the advantage of a short boundary and most of his - if not all of his 4's were through that region... square-leg and through fine-leg (See illustration above). We were at a big disadvantage as we were at least a fielder down through-out their innings. 

Against me, despite bowling poorly because of an injury picked up in the first game of the season - he again, chose to play with a high level of caution looking to get off strike to allow the more aggressive John Newman (See below) to play his attacking role. On an extremely bad day for me he managed to score one run off of me in 3 overs looking to hand the strike to the other bloke who was looking to ruin me. Whether his approach is usual or not is speculation, maybe it was down to the fact that it was one of the earliest games in the season? But, the overall sense was that he massively favoured leg-side shots and appeared to be weak on the off-side - looking to leave the ball when possible. 

Historically he looks a good player - last year he scored 279 averaging 17.44 with a high score of 37. Looking at his data over the last 3 or 4 years it appears that as a batsman he is on the wane and progressively scored less runs year on year. The data on play cricket is as follows...

Bowled - 28.8%

Caught 40.76%
LBW - 14.13%
Stumped 1.63%
Not out 7.6%

This is his all-time data and takes into account his good years 2004 and 2005. Other info of interest is that in 75% of his games he scores 0-9 runs and the last time he had a good innings was 2015 where he scored 78 against Belhus cc. 

I have to reiterate that he almost exclusively scored his runs in our game through the regions as illustrated, clipping the ball off his legs. As with most batsmen at this level, you're going to starve him of runs if you can keep the ball off the leg-side and pads. Anything leg-side for this bloke is obviously playing to his strength. 

Cautious approach - plan #1

Players 1 and 8 - make sure these are on the boundary at the start and use your players who are going to be quick off the mark and willing to put in the dive to save a boundary. Keep these blokes there until you're sure you're bowling a half decent line - look to bowl as I and our openers did - on or outside of the off-stump. I don't recall the ball being in the air much for his leg-side shots, but the stats would suggest otherwise (40% of his dismissals historically being down to catches) so have your blokes on the leg-side agile, with the ability to take catches. 

For Davison look to try and get him to hit the ball through the area 'Zone A' and have your fielders ready for the catches (40% of his dismissals are from catches). When I bowled at him he was happy to not play the ball, just watch it and see if it turned. At the start of the season I was already injured and was bowling poorly and slowly, so he had plenty of time to see what the ball was doing. If you are bowling well, after your first over, bring up 1 and 8 onto the edge of the ring and mid off (9) close in as well. Given that he goes for so high a percentage to catches, it kind of indicates that he doesn't time the ball that well, so variations in speed might be a tactic along with bowling with more over-spin intermittently. In this instance he was happy to sit back and watch the ball, so a straighter ball (Top-spinner if bowled sparingly) may have been a good ball, as would a surprise straight ball like a Flipper or if you've got one a Googly. 

If the ball is turning as it was on this occasion, another approach would be to bowl at him from a position close to the wickets stump to stump with your stock ball, especially if he's sitting back watching it turn away from the off-stump. Remember though he's looking for the loose ball to put away down the leg-side, so try and bowl consistently - vary these deliveries in speed, but keep them spinning and turning away, then come wider on the crease and then try pitch one angled across the stumps that might then straighten up and get him LBW or bowled. 

Jonathan Newman.
Looking at the data on Play Cricket he's been playing since 2005 and plays across all the teams from 1st XI up to the 4th XI where I've had to bowl against him. In the game I came up against him in, he scored 54, eventually bowled by Sam Good and caught by younger sonJoe. In 2017 he was ranked the 10th highest batsmen in the club. He averaged 31.56 in 2017. His all time average in 19.75.

Historically he's usually bowled - 47.83% of his dismissals.
Caught 37.2%
Stumped 0.48%
LBW 2.9%

Caught 70%
Bowled 20%
Not out 10%

In our game back in May he opened along with Geoff Davison (See above) and struggled with the bowling of my Younger son Joe and Tim Edmonds. Both bowlers bowling a good line just on or outside of the off-stump. In the first 10 overs the run rate was kept very low at 2.3 and over. The fours as I recall were all off of loose leg-side balls and like Davison, Newman didn't seem to have any shots through the off-side and looked to be struggling against both of the openers in that region. Again, as with Davison, the balls on the leg-side were put away for four easily.

Admittedly when I came on the I got off to a poor start - bowling leg-side and was hit through the on-side for a 4 and a six by Newman in my first over (See diagram below). 

I don't recall any decent off-side shots and where I went for dots against him these were balls outside of the off-stump.

The image above shows Newnham's primary scoring areas. The 4's and 6's against me were all hit on-side in the zone indicated - between mid-wicket and mid-on.

Newnham was dismissed on 54 by Sam Good, Sam's a good bowler - seam bowler, accurate and pacy and Newham got under the ball and lofted it straight to my son Joe at Mid-on half-way. Possibly a slightly slower ball being his un-doing.

Goes well against poor leg-spin (Very poor leg-spin in this instance!) I reckon on a different day I'd have had him, Any balls on and around the off-stump are going to cause this bloke problems. He seemed to be very reluctant to play any shots on the offside and left anything that was not threatening the stumps.

If you're accurate and you can target that area you're going to offer a threat it would seem? It may be that as the season goes on he gets better? If, you've got a couple of variations, it may only take a change of pace and you're going to be in the game. Other options to consider would be to subtly move around the wicket, especially with your stock ball, bowl from close in to the stumps, so that the ball goes away from him and load up your field on the off-side. Then creep wider still turning the ball, just don't get it on his legs. A top-spinner if you've got it will be useful, especially if he's still looking to be aggressive and starts to get to the ball, just put a load of top-spin on one of your small leg-breaks or bowl a one with just over-spin and he should be a candidate for one that'll just go straight-up, If you do this move you field so you've got a deep mid off and on. Needless to say a Wrong-un, is going to be an asset if bowled sparingly.

 If I meet him again I'll be looking at using a field along the lines of the illustration below...

I'd start with this field pitching it on a length to induce the drive,  He didn't seem comfortable with driving on the off-side or have any shots for the off-side especially for the quicks. With me, even though I was bowling really badly he waited for the balls on the legs and wide of the legs and these were dealt with aggressively. Towards the end of my 3 over spell he was dancing down the wicket hitting 4's and a 6. I'd already surrendered at this point and was happy to be taken out of the attack.

If he was timing the ball well and coming down the wicket and I wasn't injured, I'd go for the top-spinner and an over-spun leg-break and put 8 and 7 in the deep at mid-on and mid-off.

Please note you set these fields at your own risk, the owner of the blog is in no way responsible for you getting carted around the park for 4's and sixes. Seek professional guidance if in doubt.

PicturePaul Howlett - Orsett & Thurrock cc 
I've faced this bloke before and Dutton our captain has too and we knew that he was half decent. If you check him out on Playcricket the data for last year is as follows...

In 12 innings he scored 326, his high score was 104 and he had two innings of 50+.
It seems that there's a collective sense amongst their team that Wrist-spin is their nemesis? This info came about from having a conversation with one of their players.

The analysis here is somewhat flawed in that we only had 8 players, so he was able to play with a degree of freedom and scored 74 not out on what was a pretty good wicket. The observations that I made (See the illustration below) was that he had two dominant scoring areas. Primarily leg-side between mid-wicket and mid-on, so this is where you want your fastest and most agile fielders, The shots in this area were either along the ground for 4 or big 6's.

The other shot that I saw was really nice late cut, not hit aggressively, but deftly between point and slips, so a man in at Gully would negate this shot. The key thing though is that he doesn't have a good off-side shot to any bowling - spin or pace given the evidence I saw in our first match of the season against Orsett and Thurrock, with only one strong shot being played through that region that I cut off and kept to a single fielding at Mid-off about 1/2 way out.

Update August 2017.

See match report here

This time around thing were more weighted on our side, we had a full team and a helpful wicket and one that was offering some turn off the wicket if you spun it enough. Unlike J.Hart especially who batted well Howlett was in a rush, as mentioned before he's quite aggressive and is looking to go big leg-side. In this game almost every shot was legside in the region indicated. No sixes were scored - the ball falling just short of the boundary. I nearly had him caught at conventional square leg (Covered up in this diagram) in my first over with a ball that didn't turn much and cramped him up and looped up in the air, but the ball was put down. The ball that got him was on the off stump line and he was looking to get it over the leg-side as usual. The ball was easily taken by one of our younger players Josh Debond. 

Plan A I'd set the field as below. (Bowler is No.1). The observations that I've made this season would indicate that he sees himself as an aggressive player that looks to get on with it - especially against spin. He sees his strength as being able to go big on the leg side through the zone indicated by the darker shade in the diagram (A). So a key point for me or anyone bowling at him is to starve him of these leg-side shots, try and get him to play through the off-side, which he seems to be reluctant to do. As in the game on the 19th, he'll then try and sit back in the crease, see where the ball is spinning and attempt to hit it through the leg-side - playing it late.

Bowl over the stumps using your stock delivery. If you playing against him at home, the wicket is good for spinners with variable bounce and it turns if you're putting revs on the ball. I'd start wide on the crease angling it in at the off-stump, varying the amount of over-spin with side-spin. I'd then move across the crease bowling in from a position tighter to the stumps, so that the ball turns away from the bat more and the straighter variation threatens the stumps. This should then frustrate him if you're drying up the runs and he might then go looking for his leg-side shots. With this off-side line he then struggles and the ball starts to get hit in the air all over the place and anyone close in on the bat has a chance.

Warne would take this a step further and would leave the bloke at deep mid-wicket (9) out of the equation leaving a gaping great hole on the leg-side - begging him to have a go. It's definitely an idea if you're able to bowl a tight off-side line, because he really struggles with fetching it from outside of off and getting it away - massive potential for miss-hitting it. Other factors that play into your hands are the state of the game - if he walks out needing to get runs, he'll try and go big, he doesn't seem to be the kind of bloke that's ready and willing to build an innings - he's looking to make a big impact quick.

My preferred option though would be to get him driving and get him edged to the keeper or slips.

Currently working on these blokes...

Horndon on the Hill Batsmen

Lee Kooyman – Primarily their opener. Experienced player been around since 1999, played for Orsett previously. At the time of writing had played 141 games and had 2249 runs to his name and an average of 24.18. His high score is 90 and has accrued 11 x 50’s. Aggressive player with 49 fours recorded.
Dismissals - 9% bowled, 60% caught, LBW 6%, Stumped 1%, Run-out 5% and 16% Not outs.

His weakness looking at this is that he is primarily dismissed being caught, this might be in part down to the fact that he looks to be aggressive with a lot of 50's to his credit. Looks as though he may be a solid player against spin and isn't easily drawn out of his wicket for a stumping?
Keith Hawkes
Another one of those players that they spread around the teams, sometimes plays 2nd XI, so is obviously considered a half decent player. But in comparison to Kooyman nowhere near the same calibre. Hawkes has played 40 games and accrued 550 runs. Has only ever scored 50 runs twice and has an average of 16.67. The records indicate that he's a more cautious player as he has never hit a 6 and has only ever hit 1 four in his career which spans only 4 seasons.
Dismissals - 16% bowled, 66% caught, LBW 5%, Stumped 2% and 8% not outs.

Keith Klein - Batsman Hadleigh and Thundersley cc 4th XI

Our game with Hadleigh and Thundersley was a miserable affair and was abandoned because of the rain. But off the back of it and digging around looking at the players on Play Cricket it's highlighted an obvious reason for it being so bloody miserable!

 Because the game was abandoned, the only real positive to come out of it was the research into the batsman who totally dominated the game. 

Anyway the bloke this week was good...

 Keith Klein
Keith Klein Hadleigh and Thundersley 4th XI batsman

Arrived at the game in humid sunshine with the promise of rain later via the internet weather reports. Looking around at the team with the exception of Jai and Tony we had no seam bowlers and definitely no-one of the kind of speed that Joe bowls at (This was written the first week that Joe moved up from the 4th XI to the 3rd XI). I was optimistic initially. The toss was had and we fielded first, which was a relief because of not having a lot in the bowling dept. we also had very little in the way of batting.

It didn’t go that well, 30 overs in and with the score at 190 for 5. The rain saved us and the match was abandoned. The only thing useful to come out of it was that we all got to see what their man Keith Klein could do with the bat. Initially, he looked a bit susceptible to being weak on the leg-side and that might be worth exploring when he first gets to the crease, but a couple of overs in and Klein having had a look and with me bowling, he moved up 3 gears. Looking at the diagram below - off of my bowling (this was generally true of everyone), he hit down the ground mostly on the on-side. Nothing massive – he didn’t seem to be looking to hit sixes, just nice tidy fours, hit hard and mostly along the ground – straight drives. With the other bowlers, he seemed to hit them through the 7% area (Covers) where I fielded later in the game and we were able to slow his progress by spreading the field out and allowing the single and getting him off-strike.

With my slow leg-spin he was coming  down the wicket and hitting me through the 90% area – he hit me for at least five fours through those areas. Needless to say, I was taken off after 3 overs having gone for 10 an over, but in the last over, my 4th ball was one of my off-spinning Flippers and I almost got him, the ball clipping the inside edge of his bat I think and almost hitting the off-stump. The bloke looked up and acknowledged it… “Good ball” he conceded.

I came on again later for the last over - just as the rain came when Klein was still there with another bloke K.Jenkinson, who’d seemingly gone up the order. Again, this bloke Jenkinson played with real intent looking to come after me, not quite as adept as Klein, but still looking to score runs and get on top of me.

Coming away from this and reflecting on it, the ball that made the difference was that off-spinning delivery which I’d pretty much given up on in recent games, partly because it doesn’t often turn that much, but on this occasion, it was spot on and it’s a delivery that I bowl a little faster. I’ve been looking at which deliveries to work on aside from the leg-break and this may be worth looking at along with a more top-spinning leg-break?
Post Match Trauma

To be honest I was feeling really down about this game and the fact that I was so ineffective and went for so many runs off of this one bloke. But, I’ve been able to console myself with the fact that this bloke is pretty good… Up until recently he’s generally played 2nd XI cricket, last year he played 5 or 6 games and at least half of those were 2nd and 3rd XI games. He’s got records that go back to 1988, so he’s got experience. Furthermore, in his recorded games he’s scored 7 x 100’s and 19 x 50’s. His all-time average is 32.02 and historically he’s contributed to 16% of the teams runs. His high score of 162 was in the 2nd XI. One of the things I noticed was that he was very low risk player – his fours were all pretty much played late and along the ground and this is further evidenced in that in his career, despite scoring almost 4000 runs the Play Cricket records suggest that he’s only ever hit three sixes, whereas he’s recorded as having scored 95 x 4’s. So I feel a lot better now in that he’s a really good batsman and I nearly had him with my off-spinning Flipper!

I kept digging further to see how good he was in comparison to our blokes. Our best batsman as far as I can make out is Paul Singleton AKA Elvis, he’s not played as long as this bloke, but Paul’s records go back to 1999, but Klein still runs rings round Paul so this bloke is really good, you kind of have to ask why the hell is he playing in the 4th XI? Our match was so miserable – no-one enjoyed it, because the bloke was so obviously playing on a different planet than us, strikes me as one of the easiest ways of losing kids from the game and adults too?

Anyway a bit of a plan if I ever face the nightmare that is Keith Klein...
Defensive plan for Keith Klein (Bowler is '1').

The key is variation. I was bowling stock leg-breaks and they were turning a little, he seemed to prefer playing off the front foot and he was prepared to come out of the crease to a lot of my balls and hit me through the area indicated by the diagram above. Having now seen how good he is I would be cautious about trying to attack via a wide ball outside of leg. Admittedly I bowl very slow, so if you bowl in the 40-45mph speed range and get the ball to turn you could use the Shane Warne approach where you try different lines of attack and move around the crease for your release point.

He's probably of a level where he watches the ball for the direction of spin and may be able to pick your variation from the hand. For this field bowl on the stumps - kind of middle and leg - force him to play. Don't show your hand early with your variation, save it for about the 3rd over in and then try it, because he is watchful and he admitted that I nearly got him because he wasn't concentrating and watching the ball.

The field above is primarily defensive, the idea being that you absorb the favoured shot through the 90% area allowing the single as we did eventually and then look to keep him off strike.

Attacking plan for Keith Klein (Theoretically).

 Some of the other bowlers including one of our younger players (No.5)  did a lot better than me (No.3) with really inconsistent bowling, especially outside the off-stump. Incidentally bowler No.2 was Tony Keep who bowls at the stumps - medium pace, varying the speed and length and uses swing and movement off the seam. He did really well.
So, it may be that you might fair better hiding the ball outside of off - as a 'Bob each way' approach. If you bowl consistently it might be a different story, so varying what you do could be key to any success, as I mentioned earlier I nearly got him with my variation.

Clive Franklin - Hutton cc has now been moved to the new blog...

Double click on the image below for the analysis of this bloke - Taylor Wood - Harlow Town CC

Looking for Clive Franklins analysis? Double click on Clive's image below...
Looking for Joe Owen of Benfleet cc - click on the picture below...

Looking for

Pragash Ganeshalingham - Eastwood cc click on the picture below.

Thanks to everyone that is viewing this post and blog, the amount of views it's getting is pretty impressive. 

Wrist-spin bowling what is it?

Wrist-spin bowling is the correct term for what many people refer to as Leg-Spin bowling.

Leg-spin bowling by virtue of its name suggests that it's restricted to one kind of bowling action... the Leg-Break but as you learn about this particular form of bowling, you come to realize it's the collective term for one bowling specialty within cricket.

Bowling within cricket has a number of different methods for dismissing the batsman, some through brute strength, speed and the threat of injury (fast bowling), others through what's describe as flight and guile, using variations in spin, speed, loop, dip and a couple of magical things called 'Drift' and 'Swing', where the ball changes its trajectory whilst in flight.

The form of bowling with the greater amount of variations with these attributes is Wrist-Spinning and it therefore is seen to be one of the more threatening methods of attack when utilized properly - for instance by the greatest exponent of the art - Shane Warne.

Unfortunately when not used properly against good batsman you have a tendency to get hit to all regions of the ground for 4's and 6's. Kids have a tendency to pick it up relatively easy when they're young and have high degrees of success with bowling it taking loads of wickets . As kids grow older and sort themselves out into specialties, the need to develop your bowling and take it as seriously (as the batsman do), seems to dwindle and that coupled with being hit all over the park tends to put kids off of bowling wrist-spin. This situation is further exacerbated by the lack of knowledge of wrist-spin at club level and a lack of coaches able to support wrist-spinners. But, if you stick at it and practice and can take the rough times with the good times, over a number of years you'll develop the skills and tactics to be a very effective member of your teams bowling attack.

The term wrist-spin comes about because the variations in the way that the ball spins through the air as a result of the wrist position at the point of release. Wrist spinners with the full range of deliveries have the ability to bowl the ball spinning both left and right, backwards and forwards and variations in between. The most common method performed by right-handed bowlers is known as a 'Leg-Break'  - this is a delivery that is released with the ball spinning clockwise as the batsman sees it coming down towards him. Amongst Wrist-spinners, this is known as your 'Stock-ball', the ball you bowl the most that generally gets you the majority of your wickets.

The way the spin is produced is through a combination of flicking the ball from the hand through use of the fingers and the wrist at a very basic level. Delve deeper and the you come to learn that the whole body is involved in order that you put the maximum rev's on the ball, but we'll come to that later.

Wrist Spinners that bowl left-handed have historically been known as 'China-man bowlers' but in today's increasing en-lightened times this term is being discouraged because of its history and derogatory nature and should be simply termed 'Left arm wrist-spinners'.
Some of best known exponents of the art...

My mate Stuart Macgill (Australia)
Clarrie Grimmett  Australia
Richie Benaud Australia
Mushtaq Ahmed - Pakistan
Shahid Afridi - Pakistan
Anil Kumble - India
Bhagwat Chandrasekhar - India
Abdul Qadir - Pakistan

Peter Philpotts Going around the loop - Wrist-spin bowling

Peter Philpotts 'Going around the loop'

In his book ‘The Art of Wrist Spin bowling’ the Aussie wrist-spinner Peter Philpott describes how the ball can be bowled with the seam rotating (Spinning) in pretty much any direction through the use of the Wrist position – hence Wrist-Spin bowling.

If you hold your hand out in front of you with your palm facing up, place a ball in it using the Wrist-spinners grip as below (Double click on the image) ...
With the hand and arm extended in front of you, now rotate both your arm and wrist and you’ll see that you’re able to turn your wrist with the ball in your hand ‘Round the clock’ 360 degrees to present the ball once again on top facing you. The initial position is pretty much the release for the leg-break delivery and the final position is the release position for the Googly (Wrong Un). All the intermediate stages give you the other variations - Top-Spinner, Big Leg Break and Orthodox back-spinner.

This bloke here in the video demonstrates it particularly well.. double click on the image for the videos. This one from the side...
 This video below from the front (Double click on the image).

And here below is Shane Warne's mentor Terry Jenner going around the loop.
 Jenner at the end of this then shows you the basic Flipper, which also can be bowled in numerous variations using the exact same principle of adjusting the wrist position.


The Leg Break

The Leg-Break                                         work in progress 79 view 8/4/18

This is the main delivery bowled by ‘Wrist-Spinners’ or ‘Leg-Spinners’. The description I’ll use here will assume that the bowler is a Right-armed bowler. Otherwise unless stated, the scenario will involve a RH (Right-handed) batsman.

The basics

From the bowler’s perspective when the ball is delivered it hits the wicket and because of the ‘Leg-Spin’ (anti-clockwise spin/rotation of the ball), it deviates off of its line and ‘Breaks’ towards the left (Off-side) of the cricket pitch. 

From an absolute learners perspective, the key thing is to be able to get the ball to spin and therefore turn off the wicket. If you're learning from scratch this above all else is the most important thing - make the ball spin 'Give a rip'. 

Some people have a very natural ability to do this, kids for some reason shown once or twice are often able to do this with real ease. If you struggle with it, the thing you should do is have a ball you can have with you as much as possible, or an apple or an orange and continuously flick the ball from hand to hand. Do this with the ball deep in the hand in the palm, or further up in the fingers, try with a firm grip and a loose grip and bit by bit you'll find a method that suits you at this stage. In the longer term, you'll need to develop the technique with a loose grip as that's generally seen as the most effective technique.

The Grip

The basic grip involves the ball nestled in the palm of the hand lightly using a 2 fingers up and 2 fingers down grip. The ring finger is rested on the seam normally and it's this finger that primarily imparts the spin on the ball when released. 

The cocked Wrist and Flick

This is another aspect that some people are confused by the idea of Flicking the ball. In your gather you generally 'Cock your wrist' e.g. bend your wrist over as per the image below and you maintain this 'Cocked' position through your bowling action right through to the point at release. As you bring your arm over to the point of release you 'Un-cock' your wrist and flick the ball off of the 3rd finger simultaneously with as much of a snap/flick as you possibly can to put the revs on the ball. The idea is that the ball shouldn't be rolled off the fingers, but flicked off the fingers. Some people infer in their guidance that you shouldn't focus on this and you shouldn't do any form or training with regards this. I'm with Peter Philpott on this and I reckon your should be constantly flicking the ball or something similar as much as you can.

If you do flick the ball all of the time (1). It'll maintain the flexibility of the wrist and build muscle memory, and (2). It'll allow you to get a feel for what it is you need to do. If you vary it at the start - loose grip, tight grip, in the palm or a more fingery position in the hand, you'll sense that you're flicking it sometime and rolling it at other times. Philpott advocates you do this all of the time flicking it from hand to hand. You'll see bowlers do this as they stand at the top of their mark before they run in and bowl.
On the subject of the Flick I personally was never sure that I was doing it right for years, I could get the revs on the ball, but was it enough? Was I flicking or was I rolling? It wasn't until I thought of the action as an un-furling that I kind of got my head around the idea and felt confident that I was doing it correctly. Have a look at this video here as this was a bit of a revelation to me with regards to developing the flick and snapping action. I found this a really useful method of working it out.

The bowling action

It's probably the case that you've come to wrist-spinning via bowling seam up initially, so hopefully you'll have some idea about your approach to the crease - the 'Run-up'?

As Wrist-Spinning is a form of slow bowling, generally the approach to the crease is short. Guidance differs with regards to whether you come in straight or come in at a slight angle, a lot of people such as Stuart MacGill who comes in off of a fairly long run-up advocate coming in relatively straight - keeping all of the energy moving towards the batsman. Other Wrist-Spinners, such as Abdul Qadir run-in off of an angled approach to the wicket. It's probably more important to not get too hung-up on whether you do it one way or the other, as long as you're getting the ball to spin you're on the right track. The most important thing with Wrist-Spinning is that you spin the ball.

So, going back to the premise that you're a learner in the early stages of your development... You're now spinning the ball and you've got a run up. We'll assume that you've got a method of getting through the bowling action at the crease and you're landing the ball on the cut strip. We'll skip the intricacies of the bowling action as that'll be covered in more detail here and we'll focus for now on landing the ball 'Line and length'.  

Line and length

This is one of those tricky elements of bowling where there's no real specific answer and it's not much help when you get it wrong in a game and someone says to you "Get your line and length right".

I'll attempt to simplify it. I guess a lot of people will think about wrist-spin bowling in terms of Warne's ball of the century pitched out-side of leg. The anomalous name "Leg-spin bowling" doesn't help either, it should be referred to as Wrist-Spin bowling as we don't always look to bowl down the leg-side as the name kind of suggests. Personally as a starting-off approach I would encourage anyone starting out to try and bowl an off-stump line. 

I advocate this approach for a number of reasons...

You can kid yourself that the reason your bowling both with an off-side and leg-side attack is that it's wholly intentional when you know full well, that you were actually trying to bowl a middle and leg line. You can do this and it'll get you wickets, but there will be a day when you realise its massively beneficial to be able to bowl where you either want to or need to. Additionally you or your captain would have set an appropriate field which you need to bowl in a way that is appropriate. You may have heard the phrase "Bowl to your field". So if the captain or you yourself have set an offside field like this...

Where the majority of the team are on the off-side, the last thing you want to be doing is bowling it down the leg-side, so that the batsman can hit the ball into the empty areas of the field. In the situation above, the field may have been set with the prior knowledge that the batsman had a good cover drive... You need to watch the batsmen prior to your spell, to ascertain his strengths and weaknesses and come up with plans to try and exploit these. With the knowledge of the batman's preference to use the cover drive, or maybe trying to encourage a batsman to use the cover-drive you could leave a gap (Indicated by the purple) section on the image. What's then required is that you bowl on the off-side trying to encourage the cover-drive looking to force a mistake - with the ball coming off the edge of the bat into the areas loaded with fielders in zone A.

Therefore in order to execute the plan you've got to be able to bowl an off-stump attacking line. So, as a part of your development, work on your accuracy be able to bowl consistently on an off-stump line either turning the ball away from the bat or reducing the amount of rev's you put on the ball and bowling it relatively straight. 

As you get better, you'll come to realise that using only your Leg-Break you've got a whole series of options...

  1. Change your wrist position to increase the seam angle to potentially increase and decrease the amount of turn.
  2. Lower or raise your arm angle and release point, again this usually increases or decreases the amount of turn off the wicket.
  3. Intentionally take the spin off the ball with the use of the fingers and wrist - don't flick it as hard.
  4. Bowl slower or faster - change the pace.
  5. Spin it harder, so that it dips more and potentially drifts.
  6. Bowl loopier or flatter.
  7. Bowl from different positions on the crease to vary the angle of attack. This means using crease width and potentially the depth e.g. bowl back from the popping crease or even level with the stumps.
  8. Move your field around - tweak it a bit, just to get the batsman thinking.
  9. This one you might not of ever heard and it's relatively subtle... Don't get up on your toes in your pivot. Getting up on the toes tends to increase the amount of action you get on the ball, you might find that by not doing so  reduces the amount the ball does (Spin and dip). My own bowling action doesn't facilitate a full on rise up on to the toes as I'm quite old, but I've noticed that if I bowl and intentionally get up on the toes the ball does more. So, it may be the case that the opposite happens if you don't go up on your toes? It might be worth exploring especially if you're looking for a way to vary your bowling in some subtle way?
Point 7 above the moving around the crease is a really useful tactic used by Warne and at anytime on the internet there's usually a couple of video's of his SKY TV Masterclass that explain and demonstrate this have a look at the links below...(Click on the image for the video). 

To be able to bowl with such accuracy takes either natural ability and luck, or tuition at an early stage to establish and groove a bowling action that works. Or as in the case of most people lots of practice. Some people say, (Me included) it's going to take you years and hours of practice in order to develop this ability. 

Shane Warne as far as I know doesn't say much about how much he used to practice and you can find plenty of articles saying about his idea of training involved a burger in each hand! He did though and there's plenty of documentation that evidences his relationship with his mentor the late Terry Jenner, this video here (below) which I'd never seen before, features Warne Bowling in the nets in 1997 accompanied by Jenner - again click on the image for the video.
Warne says of his abilities...

"Where my ability to spin a cricket ball came from I don't know. I can only think that I was born with it. I have a skill as a cricketer and fortunately cricket found me".
Shane Warne My Illustrated Career. Cassell Illustrated, London, 1998.

Jenner was a big part of Warne's bowling, having met in in 1990, he was the bloke that Warne turned to when things weren't going right as Jenner had the ability to spot what was wrong and help Warne rectify the problem. This relationship as far as I'm aware continued right through to the very end of Warne's career. So, despite Warne's obvious natural abilities he obviously trained and worked to rectify problems when he had them and so should we.
Google images of Warne with Terry Jenner.

The question is how much and how often?

Pitch Vision -

The Leg-Break delivery is known as your 'Stock delivery' this means that this is the ball that you bowl the majority of the time - 85%-90% of your deliveries. It also has to be the ball you bowl with the most accuracy and consistency and should be the ball that you get the majority of your wickets with. Therefore in practice it's the delivery you work with the most and it's the delivery that you build your plans and strategies around in the game.

In order to execute the delivery with maximum effectiveness you have to understand that it combines a whole body approach in it's execution. This whole body approach includes attention to detail to the way that you move your body through the crease in the bowling delivery from your toes to the very tips of your fingers. Similarly, the movement through the crease, from the point that you bound into the delivery, to your follow through, having released the ball all dictates the effectiveness of your Leg-Break. Again there are a multitude of bowlers that you can look at as examples of how this is done, but there are flaws in trying to emulate and copy the style of other bowlers, you should look to develop your own approach appreciating that your physique to some extent dictates how you'll end up bowling.

Key components of the action include...

  • Landing sideways on as you come out of the bound
  • Pivoting on the toes in the rotation 
  • Rotating 180 degrees
  • Using a high leading arm - reaching forwards
  • Looking over the outside of the arm in the gather
  • Bringing the bowling arm down across the body and past the hips in the follow through
  • Following through and fading out of the delivery rather than stopping abruptly.

Whether to pitch the ball on the leg-side or the off-side is down to you, having made a decision as to whether the batsman has particular strengths and weaknesses. This is done based on prior knowledge or from watching the player prior to starting your spell. 

The intention is that the batsman tries to play a straight or cover drive and the ball deviates off its initial trajectory catching the edge of the bat and being caught behind or in the slips. 

Leg - break bowling 1

Have a look at this one too from Ben in New Zealand - he's got a pretty good channel you should subscribe to him.