simple and common variations in off spin
By Peter Such
Once the basics of bowling off spin have been mastered ( the mechanics of finger spin bowling ) to become a complete off spin bowler one must develop and have the ability to consistently deliver a range of variations.
Variations are important, without them we as an off spin bowler become predictable. A predictable bowler is an easier bowler to bat against; we need to be consistent in the delivery of variety. One way of providing the necessary variety in our bowling is though the angle of our wrist when releasing the ball ( variations and wrist position in bowling off spin )
There are a number of other variations that the off spin bowler can employ
Variations in pace
This is essential as we have to keep the batsman guessing as to the pace at which the ball arrives. The variations in pace at which we deliver the ball has to be either quicker or slower than our stock or normal pace. The aim is to get the batsman to play late or too soon. One way to bowl the ball slower without decreasing the speed of our arm is to push the ball further into our fingers towards the palm of the hand. The further the ball is pushed in the slower that it comes out.
The arm ball, swinger or floater
The most common variation talked about When delivered to the right-handed batsman, it moves away towards the off side in the air rather than spinning back off the pitch. This is achieved by gripping the ball in a conventional way, but at release instead of the index or spinning finger pulling down on the ball to impart spin; it stays behind the ball with the seam slightly angled towards the off side. As the ball is now drifting away in the air the aim is to get the batsman to play across the line towards the leg slide, this is the side he would normally favour if the ball were to spin in to him with an orthodox off spin delivery.
Using the crease
A simple way of creating a variation in the way that we bowl A ball delivered from wide of the crease will appear to turn more due to the angle created whilst the same type of delivery released from close to the stumps will not appear to turn as much and may even go straight on along its original path. If there is a rough patch, from which the ball should turn more, outside the right hander’s off stump it is advisable that the off spin bowler delivers the ball from wide of the crease. The reason being that it is easier to take advantage of the rough patch by aligning our feet so as to be in line with it ( the mechanics of finger spin bowling)
Bowling from around the wicket
This creates another angle from which the ball can be delivered. By bowling from around the wicket, the ball either will continue along its line across the right-handed batsman or will turn back in towards the batsman. This however is something that the batsman cannot predict, so provides the bowler with a variation.
Variations are vital to an off spin bowler, once we become predictable then we are easier to play, the skill is to keep the batsman guessing as to what we are going to bowl next.