Fareham and Crofton Cricket Club - Cricket Skills - Bowling

Seam Medium/Fast Bowling - Grip
How to grip the ball

Introduction :

This is the bowling grip for a medium or quicker paced bowler.

Coaching Points:

  • The seam should be vertical, the side of the thumb on the underneath of the ball, resting on the seam.
  • The index (first) and middle fingers on either side of the seam, as shown.
  • Don't grip the ball in the palm of your hand, but fairly loosely as pictured above.

Basic Bowling Action
Basic Bowling Action


Introduction :

The bowling action is the sequence of movements which take place just before and just after the ball is bowled. The images above show you the basic bowling action, with no run up, but simply from a standing position.

Coaching Points:

  • Your back foot should be parallel to the bowling crease.
  • Your front foot should be pointing forward towards the target with a comfortable stride.
  • Your hips and shoulders should be in line with your body weight going slightly forward.
  • Your non bowling arm should be up and in line with the stumps as a target for you to bowl at.
  • Your bowling arm should be up in front of your face/or under your chin. You should have the ball in the bowling grip illustrated above, with your wrist directly behind the ball.
  • In the bowling action, your target arm pushers out towards the target.
  • Your bowling arm pushes out and down, there should be a full arm swing and shoulder rotation in a number '6' motion.(picture 2)
  • The back leg steps through.
  • Importantly, keep your head steady throughout and keep your head still and stay looking at the target to watch what the batsman is doing.
  • Your arm must be straight at the point of delivery.
How to bowl swing

Swing relies on four key factors:

  • The bowler: Some bowlers have bowling actions which naturally help the ball to swing in the air. A good side-on action will help a bowler to swing the ball away from the bat.
  • The pitch: Green pitches favour bowlers because there's usually moisture under the pitch, which helps the ball to swing, especially if the sun is out and high humidity.
  • The weather: A cloudy, overcast day is perfect for swing bowlers. The moisture in the air will help the ball swing more.
  • The condition of the ball: A brand new ball will swing more because of the shiny lacquer coating and a hard seam.

    As the ball gets older, it gets softer and loses its shine, but polishing one side of the ball will help keep the ball moving in the air.


    The ball swings from the off stump of a right handed batsman towards the slip fielders.

    This gives them a greater chance of getting the batsman out caught behind the wicket forcing a false stroke.


    Grip the ball with the first two fingers close together on the seam. 
    Point the seam of the ball towards the slips with the shiny side of the ball to the right of the seam facing leg side.The thumb should be on the seam underneath.  

    Your action will play a big role if you want the ball to swing.

    If you have a side-on action when you reach the crease, you'll have a greater chance of moving the ball in the air. Try to bring your arm over and release at 1 o'clock  instead of vertically.

    Inswing (change of grip)

    The later the ball swings into the batsman, the more effective it will be trying to get them bowled in between bat and pad.

    The most important factor to consider is the grip on the seam of the ball and its direction.

    Remember to work on shining the ball on one side during and before each delivery to 

    help the ball to swing more in the air.

    Grip the ball with the first two fingers close together on the seam, with the seam in a vertical position. The thumb should be on the seam underneath.

    Angle the seam towards leg slip, but keeping it vertical. The shiny side of the ball should be furthest from the batsman.

    Watch Matthew Hoggard below..


  • Spin Bowling - Off Spin
    Off Spin Bowling


    Introduction :

    For the right-handed bowler, the Off-Spin delivery spins from a right-handers off-side to leg-side (Left to Right). For a left-handed bowler, the ball will spin from the batsman's leg-side to off-side (Right to Left). A left-handed Off-Spin bowler bowls a delivery called Left Arm Orthodox.

    Coaching Points:

    • Grip of the ball is the important factor. Hold the ball across the seam under your index and second fingers.
    • Spin is created as you roll the ball out of your hand, using your index (First Finger).
    • The aim is to bowl the ball in a way that it hits the seam and then spins as described in this introduction.
    • You should aim to get extra spin by rotating the shoulders and following through with the back leg.
    • Keep your head up and your eyes on the target to watch what the batsman is doing. For instance if they come down the wicket you can bowl a quicker or different delivery to get them stumped.
    Watch this video on  how to bowl off spin and it's variation deliveries..


    Spin Bowling - Leg Spin
    Leg Spin Bowling


    Introduction :

    For the right-handed bowler, the Leg-Spin delivery spins from a right-handers leg-side to off-side (right-left). For a left-handed bowler, the ball will spin from the batsmans off-side to leg-side (left - right) A left-handed Leg-Spin bowler bowls a ball called a Chinaman.

    Coaching Points:

      1. Basic three fingered grip, no thumb (optional). Fingers running across the seam of the ball.
      2. Use your third finger to spin the ball.
      3. Rolling the fingers over the top of the ball with seam pointing upwards.  (out of the back/side of the hand)
      4. Turn the ball right to left (legside to offside) for a right handed batsman. Opposite for a left arm orthodox bowler.
      5. Angled run up of a couple of paces.
      6. Braced front leg, Back foot parallel to the crease, hips and shoulders in line.
      7. Eyes on target into the coil position, high non bowling arm.
      8. Complete shoulder rotation, release ball at 2 O’clock at 45 degrees.
      9. Head is upright.
      10. Pivot on front foot.
      11. Back leg drives through around front leg.
      12. Into a ready position for a return catch.

    Watch this video from Terry Jenner (Spin Coach of Shane Warne) on how to bowl leg spin..


    and the variation deliveries of leg spin..



    Shane Warne (Spin King) explains all...