Cricket Bowling Basics

Grip –  Pace bowlers

Before we start this section we have to keep one thing in mind that generally, Batsman saves you the game and Bowlers wins you the matches.

Key points –

1) Index and middle finger on either side of the seam, One finger gap between them is recommended.

2) The thumb should rest on the seam under the ball.

3) The ring finger and small finger are only for support.

4) The ball should rest at the base of the index and middle finger and one thumb gap are recommended as the ball should not touch the palm.

ABC of bowling –

Alignment – Body leavers (Head, Shoulders, Arms, Hip, Legs ) to be aligned in one plane, And Targeted towards batter especially inside on position.

Balance – Dynamic balance because here we are in motion and balance is important because it helps in generating power. Here balance means smooth and coordinated movements of body leavers, which helps in Balanced runup.

Corridor – Run up area and corridor of uncertainty.

 Injurious Bowling action –

Bowling action should be either side-on or front on for minimum injury chances because in both of this action our upper body especially shoulders and our lower body especially hips are properly aligned and co-ordinated.

But in semi-open / half open action upper body and lower body is not coordinated and moves in separate direction hence maximum chances of injury. 

Side on the action –

  • Generally helps in outswing
  • Jump is important to come in a side on position
  • Pulling the chain affects the speed because of the vertical rotation of the shoulders.
  • Generally, are quick than front arm action bowler.
  • Slightly slant run-up helps incoming side on at delivery stride.

Key Points –

1) In side on the action, your back foot should be parallel to the bowling crease.

2) Your shoulders and hip should be facing towards midwicket.

3) Shoulders and hips pointing towards the batter.

4) You should look at your target through your front arm or behind your front arm.

5) Follow through should end across the body.

Front on Action –

  • Generally helps in inswing
  • Jump is not that important
  • Pulling the chain does not affect speed because there is no vertical rotation of the shoulders.

Key points –

1) The back foot should point towards batter or slightly towards fine leg.

2) Your shoulders and hips should be across to the wicket and in front on position and facing towards the batter.

3) The bowler should look at the target from inside his front arm.

4) Follow through should end within the body.

5) Important to stay front on through full delivery stride.

Gather and Explode –

 For Building and action and proper coordination of body leavers.

1) Stand with your both feet close to each other and hands together close to the chest, or against the chest.

2) Lift your left leg up close to your body.

3) As you bring down your left leg or while stepping forward unfold your arms and rotate them in opposite direction.

4)  When your front arm is up high, finish your bowling action or deliver the ball with a proper sequence.

Key Points –

1) Head steady, Eyes level.

2) Transfer weight.

3) Pull front arm strongly towards the hip.

4) Bowling arm to brush the ear, and follow through across the body.

Pulling The chain –

1) Stand with your both feet apart, weight should be on the front foot and back foot toe touching the ground.

2) Your front arm should reach up for the sky and you have to look at the target through or behind your front elbow. Ball held next to back knee.

3) Pull the chain / front elbow as quickly as possible into your hip catapulting the ball around through release.

4) Follow through with a step and a full body rotation.

Walk up and bowl –

1) Stand 3 steps away from the stumps facing the batter.

2) Start walking left, right, left take a slight jump and swing your left leg across the body and come in the side on position and bowl.

3) when moving in the side on position your front arm is thrown high, and your bowling arm should be close to your face/chin.

4) Step across the body to face the opposite direction after delivery.

How to measure the Run – up and importance of Run – up

Measuring a Run – up

1) Measure the run up by Normally bowling as if you would but make sure that you do this in opposite direction (Away from pitch / batsman) Measure the runup starting from the bowling crease, make sure your heals do not touch the crease here. And when you feel right just jump and bowl, and mark where your front foot is landing most of the time. Mark there and that should be your runup. Make sure you start your runup with the same foot. Mark your run up line and start from behind the line.

2) Always try and run in a straight line and same corridor.

3) Gradually build pace and distance into your run up and delivery .

Importance of run –up

1) No – No balls.

2) No stuttering run up.

3) Full Focus on where I want to deliver my ball. (Line and Length)

4) Smooth Run – up smooth bowling action less Injuries because of coordinated body movements.

5) Determinant factor of bowlers accuracy and length.

6) Should suite bowlers specific strength, skill and action.

7) Balance at movement of delivery.

Key Points –

1) Start your run – up gradually slow at first, then gain some speed and just slow down a bit when nearing your delivery stride for dynamic balance which will help you in generating power .

2) Leaning forward is crucial while starting.

3) As you come into your delivery stride  make sure your back foot is parallel to the crease for side on action and your bowling arm is close to your Chin (LOADING)

4) Pull down your front arm strongly towards your hip (Pulling the chain) And make sure that your bowling arm brushes your ear while you deliver the ball.

5) Complete your action across your body with a step forward and full body rotation.

Swing Bowling –

Factors which affects the ball to swing –

1) Temperature.

2) Direction of the wind.

3) Seam position (Release) (Backspin)

4) Ball condition (Seam, area between the seam)

5) Speed of the delivery (125 – 130 Kmph) optimum.

6) pressure difference (ball always moves from high pressure area to low pressure area )

  – When the ball is released on the seam wind struck the seam and turbulent wind is created which then travels to the rough side of the ball hence creating a low pressure area and ball moves from high pressure area to low pressure area. Hence ball swings. Seam position is also very important here. 

Out swing –

1) Seam to be pointing slightly towards First Slip and Vertically up (Right hander’s)

2) Shiny side of the ball to be on the leg side (right side) for right hand batsman.

3) Both Index and middle finger pressure plays the crucial role. Try and release the ball with both fingers equal pressure.

4) Bowling arm will be slightly away from the ear max outcome.

5) Follow through across the body.

In swing –

1) Seam Vertically up and pointing towards fine leg.

2) Shiny side of the ball towards off side of the batsman.

3) Middle finger pressure plays the crucial role.

4) Release the ball close to your ear and follow through in line with the body.

Cutters –

Off cutter –

1) Off cutter results in fast off spin, ball comes in to the right hand batsman after pitching.

2) Index finger will be on the seam (12 o clock position) and middle finger on ‘2’ O clock position.

3) Release will be away from your ear (Out swing)

4) Rotate your fingers on the right side of the ball (Like opening a door knob) while releasing the back side of the palm will be facing towards backward square leg.

Leg Cutter –

1) Leg cutter results in fast leg spin, Ball leaves the right hand batsman.

2) Middle finger on the seam (12 O’clock) Index finger at 10 O’clock position.

3) In swing action, release Close to ear.

4) Fingers rolls over the left side of the ball. (Off side of the right hand batsman)

5) Wrist and fingers towards backward point region.

6) Follow through in line with the body.   

Spin Bowling –

Off Spin –

1) Grip the ball between your index and middle finger in such a way that it enables you to spin the ball hard and release on the seam.

2) Back of the hand to be facing towards midon.

3) Seam should be pointing towards fine leg / leg sleep direction.

4) Release the ball close to your ear  (Short Stride) release ball from more higher position.

Off spiners top spin –

1) Same grip as off spin.

2) Release the ball with vertically up seam pointing towards the batsman.

3) Try and give max overspin on the ball by pushing the first finger over the top of the ball.

4) Back of the wrist to be pointing towards midwicket at the point of release.

Leg Spin –

1) Index, Middle and Ring finger to be rested on the seam and the ball is spun off the third (Ring) finger.

2) Seam of the ball to be pointing towards gully region.

3) Back of the hand (wrist) pointing towards mid off region.

4) Release the ball early for more flight and late for flatter  trajectory.

Leg Spinners Top Spin –

1) Same grip as a Leg spinner.

2) Back of the hand faces Cover region.

3) Vertically up seam pointing towards batsman.

4) Ball will bounce more than normal.

Leg spinners Googly –

1) Same grip as a Leg spinner

2) Back of the hand faces down to the wicket (or towards batsman) at release.

3) Seam of the ball pointing towards fine leg.

4)Appears like a leg spin but the ball comes in to the Right hand batsman.

About the author


Hi my Name is Palash P. Mohane, I am a professional Digital Marketing Expert but more than that I am a Passionate cricket lover.

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