In Cricket fast bowling, the ability to swing the ball makes a bowler lethal. In my last post, I talked about forces that cause the cricket ball to swing in either direction and the factors that help in achieving the swing. In this post, I will tell you about the types of swing bowling and how to bowl each type.

Conventionally, there are two types of swing deliveries; in swing and out swing. In the case of a right-handed batsman, an in-swinger is the one that moves into the batsman and the out-swinger is the one that moves away from the batsman. The in-swing and out-swing are generally used by bowlers when the ball is new. Then there is also reverse swing that can take place when the ball has become old and one side of the ball has become quite rough while the other side is comparatively smoother.

OUT-SWING BOWLING STEPS

To bowl an out swing delivery (to a right handed batsman) follow these steps:

  • Hold the seam of the ball angled towards the slips
  • The roughened side of the ball should be on the left side (from the bowling direction)
  • Tilt your wrist position towards the left side to move the ball towards the off side of the batsman
  • After the bowl is released the follow through action of the hand should come across your body
  • The line of an out-swinger should be aimed at the 4th stump towards the off.
  • Pitch the bowl up on a very full length, close to the 4.5 meters mark towards the stumps

 

IN-SWING BOWLING STEPS

To bowl an in-swing delivery (to a right handed batsman) follow these steps:

  • Hold the seam of the ball angled towards the leg side
  • The roughened side of the ball should be on the right side (from the bowling direction)
  • Tilt your wrist position towards the right side to move the ball towards the leg side of the batsman
  • After the bowl is released the follow through action of the hand should come inside of your body
  • The line of an in-swinger should be aimed at the 5th stump towards the off.
  • Pitch the bowl up on a very full length, close to the 4.5 meters mark towards the stumps

 

REVERSE SWING BOWLING STEPS

To bowl a reverse swing delivery (to a right handed batsman) follow these steps:

  • Hold the seam of the ball angled opposite to the direction in which you want it to swing
  • The bowl will reverse swing towards the shinier side (from the bowling direction)
  • Wrist position should be towards the direction in which you want to swing
  • If you want to bring the ball into the batsman it should be aimed at the 5th stump towards the off and if you want to move the ball away it should be aimed at the 4th stump towards the off.
  • Pitch the bowl up on a very full length, close to the 4.5 meters mark towards the stumps
  • Bowl the ball really fast (>130 kph) to make sure the batsman doesn’t get the time to adjust his bat position.

 

“Reverse swing” will happen only when the ball has become 20 to 30 overs old and one side is quite rough than the other side unlike in conventional swing when the ball is new and reasonably smooth.

Currently, some of the best swing bowlers in the world are Mohammed Aamer from Pakistan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar from India, the Aussie Mitchell Starc, Trent Boult from New Zealand and James Anderson from England and Dale Steyn from South Africa. Swing bowling needs a lot of practice before one can perfect this art.