Leg spin grip

A leg-spinner, when called upon to bowl, makes the spectator sit on the edge of his seat with the expectation that something exciting is going to happen. They inspire millions of youngsters to bowl like them. A few years back, I was one of the selectors to shortlist trainees for the under-14 year age group at Dilip Vengsarkar’s Cricket Academy in Mumbai. There were more than forty leg-spinners, and they were all imitating Shane Warne. When 4 or 5 of them bowled together, they all looked so good that it was really difficult to say who is better

In Cricket history, no other form of bowlers have come up successfully with so many different grips, variations and style. Leg-spin bowlers sometimes prove to be expensive as it is a difficult delivery to control, but once they get their rhythm right, they can be match-winners. One needs patience when handling this breed. Their guile and control over batsmen, forcing them to dance to their tune is worth watching. Leg-spinners, being wrist spinners are able to turn the ball even on flat wickets, unlike the finger spinner. Most of the Australian teams over the years have had one or more than one quality leg spinner doing service for them.

Leg-Spin Grip 🙁 for beginners )

Hold the ball around the seam with the first joint of the index and first finger on the seam, with comfortable space between them. The thumb rests parallel to the seam and the third finger, folded at the joint, also rests on the seam. The little finger hardly has any role to play. The third finger and the thumb support the ball in the act of imparting spin.

During the Veterans tournament played in Nepal last year, I spoke to Abdul Qadir about the art of leg-spin bowling. When asked how he used to grip the ball for the leg spin, he came up with a very simple answer ‘just let the ball rest comfortably in your hand with the thumb parallel to the seam, not making any conscious effort to the grip the ball’.

Try to impart spin in an anti-clockwise direction. Let the fingers and thumb learn to spin the ball on its own. Release the ball with the wrist facing on-side and the ball coming out of the hand from behind the wrist, and the little finger coming off the ball last. The anti-clockwise spin is imparted to the ball with the seam in the direction of mid-wicket to square-third man.

Remember :

To get the best results, bowl with a side-on action, pivoting across your front foot.
The bowling arm follows through across the body and the body-weight behind the ball in the direction of the target.
The side-on action forces the ball to drift into the batsman (Why ? we shall dwell on this later) and on hitting the pitch to spin from leg to off. We will discuss the leg-spinner’s variations later.