Grips for various deliveries
To bowl well you need to learn how to grip the ball correctly. The various grips which shall be discussed in this section will neither guarantee success nor what was intended to be bowled. Because bowling skills largely depend on many components such as run-up, body position, front arm, wrist action ,etc., and the grip plays a minor role in getting the desired result. It is the coordination of these factors, combined into a smooth flowing action which gives the bowler the desired results under any given circumstances. Cricketing history is full of bowlers who were highly successful despite bowling with unconventional grips. This doesn’t mean that the textbook grips as recommended by coaches are wrong, but
there are always exceptions to the rule. Remember, bowlers are creative. They have to create swing, seam, cut, off-break, leg-break, the arm-ball, the flipper, the googly etc., by getting into the right position to bowl and get the desired result. Batsmen, on the other hand, are reactive and they react to the type of ball that is bowled to them. The batsmen first react and then act in accordance to what is bowled at them.
Let’s see the various grips before going into the details of the bowling action.
Hold the ball with the first and index fingers on either side of the seam and the thumb underneath, on the seam of the ball. The ring and the little fingers are folded. Care should be taken not to hold the ball too deep or too loose in the fingers. (As will be discussed later) Gripping the ball for the out-swinger, turn the ball slightly towards the slip so that the first finger is now resting on the inside of the seam (see picture) of the ball and the index finger slightly off it.
When the out-swinger is bowled, the glossy side of the ball is kept towards leg side. Before the point of release, care should be taken that the wrist is cocked back and the fingers are pointing upward and behind the seam of ball, this will ensure that the seam of the ball is released vertically. At the point of delivery, the thumb comes first off the ball, next the index finger and last the first finger, giving the ball backspin.
Tip of the day
The back spin imparted to the ball will make the ball dip, thus deceiving the batsman about the length of the delivery.
It also keeps the seam of the ball vertical in the flight.