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Monday, September 20, 2004

Googly - the wrong 'un

Only a journo in a cricketing country would tap the cricketing bowling term 'googly' for a story on Amazon licking Google.

Bravo the Times of India

I have a personal interest and pride in googlies, ever since it was discovered at school that I unknowingly deliver perfect examples.

I'm in fact a leg-break spin bowler, incapable of delivering anything without a spin. Leg breaks bounce inward on the batsman, often catching them off guard, often causing them to miss the ball as it turns between bat and body and - if pitched correctly - whipping off the bales. Or it snicks the bat and into the wicket keeper's gloves.

Googlies *look* like leg breaks but in fact emerge *over* the bowler's hand as off-breaks, bouncing away from the batsman.

Hear the experts:
A googly, or a "wrong'un", is a delivery which looks like a normal leg spinner but actually turns towards the batsmen, like an off break, rather than away from the bat.

Unlike a normal leg break, a googly is delivered out of the back of the hand, with your wrist 180 degrees to the ground.

It's a very difficult skill to learn, so you'll need plenty of practice in your back garden or in the nets.

Step one

Hold the ball as if you're about to bowl a normal leg break.

The top joints of the index and middle fingers should be across the seam, with the ball resting between a bent third finger and the thumb.

Step two

At the point of release, the palm of your hand should be open upwards, towards the sky, with the back of your hand facing the batsman.

Your wrist should be 180 degrees to the ground, while the seam of the ball should point towards fine leg.

Again, it should be your third finger which does most of the work, turning the ball anti-clockwise on release.

You'll probably find it goes horribly wrong the first few times you give the googly a try, but don't give up.

As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. Use a tennis ball to help improve the flexibility of your wrist.
Damn that makes it sound compliqué. As I say, I deliver those without thinking and was a bit of a star during the summer terms.

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