Leg spin

From Academic Kids

Leg spin is a type of spin bowling used in cricket. A leg spin bowler attempts to flick the ball with his wrist in the act of delivery so as to cause the ball to spin anti-clockwise. When the ball bounces, the spin causes to ball to deviate sharply from right to left (as seen by the bowler). The description applies exclusively to right-handed bowlers spinning the ball in this manner - other forms of spin bowling are known as off spin, left-arm orthodox spin, and the very rare left-arm unorthodox spin where left-handed bowlers use an action that mirrors a leg spinner.

Leg spinners bowl the ball far slower than fast bowlers (70-90 kilometres per hour rather than the 140-odd km/h of good quality pace bowlers), and typically use variations of flight by sometimes looping the ball in the air somewhat, allowing the effects of any cross-breeze and the aerodynamic effects of the spinning ball to cause the ball to dip and drift before bouncing and spinning (usually called "turning") sharply. While very difficult to bowl accurately, it is the most effective form of spin bowling against right-handed batters as the spin takes the ball away from the batter rather than in towards them, which is much more difficult to deal with.

Good leg spin bowlers are also able to bowl deliveries that behave unexpectedly, including the googly, which turns the opposite way to a normal leg break, and the topspinner, which doesn't deviate significantly. A few exceptional leg spinners (notably Shane Warne) also mastered the flipper, a delivery that like a topspinner goes straight on landing but travels quickly and barely bounces on landing, often dismissing batters leg before wicket or bowled.

In the 1970s and 1980s it was feared that leg spin would disappear from the game with the success of Australian and later West Indian teams exclusively using fast bowlers. However, leg spin has again become popular with cricket fans and a successful part of cricket teams, as the contest between batter and bowler is perhaps more cerebral than the physical contest between batsmen and faster bowlers.

List of leg spinners

See also

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