Sunday, 14 March 2010

How to Bowl a Googly in Cricket

The googly is a cricket delivery that turns like an off spin stock delivery but is bowled with a leg spin action. In other words it looks like a leg spin delivery but spins from the off side to the leg side. This is achieved by releasing the cricket ball from the back of the hand as opposed to the front like a normal leg spin delivery. The googly was invented by Bernard Bosanquet, an English cricket player who played during the turn of the previous century. The effectiveness of this delivery is obvious as the ball is turning in the opposite delivery as what the batsman is expecting.

The grip is exactly the same as the leg spin stock delivery. The leg spin bowling grip is the little finger and ring finger down and the middle and index finger up. Two fingers up and two fingers down and the seam running between the up fingers. The ball has to sit comfortably but firm in the hand. The ring finger is the spinning finger. The thumb can be on or off the cricket ball, whatever feels the most comfortable.

The wrist in the reverse position from what it is in the standard leg spin stock delivery. For the googly, at the point of release, the back of the wrist should face the batsman and the palm should face back to the bowler. The seam should be facing toward the leg-side in the direction of leg slip. The ball is released over the wrist out of the back of the hand.

The action is the same as the standard leg spin stock delivery. The shoulders, hip and feet should be aligned with the target. The front arm leads and steers the action and pulls down driving the action forward. As the front arm pulls down the right shoulder will come forward generating the power in the delivery. The right shoulder should rotate towards the target and finish with that shoulder facing the stumps. The googly should be bowled outside off-stump, encouraging the batsman to drive or go on the back foot to cut. The surprise of the ball spinning in the opposite direction that expected will be enough to cause the batsman to miss the ball or make a mistake.

If the pitch is turning big, it will be OK to drop this delivery short once in a while to try to get the batsman to cut the delivery. If the batsman is not picking your googly this will surprise him and there is a very good chance he will play the ball onto his wickets when trying to cut the shorter googly. Not too short, but slightly shorter than drivable length is OK on a spinning pitch. Do not bowl this delivery at the stumps as it will just continue harmlessly behind the batsman leg. The line should always be outside off stump.

A great cricket tip is to develop two googlies. One that is very easy to spot by the batsman and one that is very well hidden. Bowl the googly that is easy to spot until you are confident that the batsman thinks he can spot your googly. Then surprise him with the googly that you hide very well. He will not suspect it at all as he thinks he can pick your googly!

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