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Bowling: The slower ball

Written by Simon. Posted in:Bowling

The slower ball is a technique used by faster bowler to confuse the batman into playing through a shot too early, by delivering a ball much slower than their regular speed. Using the slower ball is particularly effective in limited overs cricket (One Dayers, or Twenty20) as batman are looking to score fast and s slower ball is not only a great wicket taker, but the ball travels much more slowly to the boundary if hit. As a result it is used regulary in the last 10 over of a one day match, and during batting power-plays. A slower ball in only effective in the bolwer’s action appears as normal, and the ball needs to be directed at the stumps forcing the batsmen to play a shot.

There are few typical ways to for fast bowlers to take the pace off their delivery. The first is to bowl the ball out of the back of the hand. The second is to split the fingers either side of the seem as shown in the image below. Using the split finger technique a bowler needs to pitch the ball full; if perfected the ball will appear to be a full toss, however it will dip at the last minute, hopefully deceiving the batsman.

Another technique for balling the slower ball is to fit the ball in-between the index and middle finger, right against the webbing. This slows the ball, and leads to a loopy delivery. There is the Palm ball delivery where the ball is held in the palm instead of the fingers. This is effective at slowing the ball, however, it is much harder to hide. Less extreme than the palm ball, is simply holding the ball deeper in the fingers. Typically very fast bowlers hold the ball right on their tips. Holding the ball deeper will take some pace off the ball. Australian great Brett Lee used this method regularly. Bowlers can also slow the ball just by reducing the speed of their action. This is effective at slowing the ball, however, once again isn’t a well hidden delivery. The last method commonly used is the cross seem delivery, where the ball is held across the seem. The ball slows when it hits the ground if it hits on the seem instead of the shinny part of the ball. This technique has been used regularly by New Zealand bowlers at international level.

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Simon

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