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Leg spin is a type of
spin bowling Spin bowling is a bowling (cricket), bowling technique in cricket, in which the ball is delivered slowly but with the potential to deviate sharply after bouncing, and the bowler is referred to as a spinner. Purpose The main aim of spin bowling ...
in
cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail (cricket), bai ...

cricket
. A leg spinner bowls right-arm with a
wrist spin Wrist spin is a type of bowling Bowling is a Throwing sports#Target sports, target sport and recreational activity in which a player rolls a bowling ball, ball toward Bowling pin, pins (in pin bowling) or another target (in target bowlin ...
action. The leg spinner's normal
delivery Delivery may refer to: *Delivery (commerce), of goods, e.g.: **Pizza delivery **Milk delivery Film and television *Delivering (film), ''Delivering'' (film), a 1993 short film by Todd Field *Delivery (film), ''Delivery'' (film), a 2005 animated sho ...
causes the ball to spin from right to left (from the bowler's perspective) when the ball bounces on the
pitch Pitch may refer to: Acoustic frequency * Pitch (music), the perceived frequency of sound including "definite pitch" and "indefinite pitch" ** Absolute pitch or "perfect pitch" ** Pitch class, a set of all pitches that are a whole number of octaves ...
. For a right-handed
batsman In cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail ...
, that is away from the
leg side The leg side, or on side, is defined to be a particular half of the field used to play the sport of cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre ...
, and this is where it gets the name leg break. Leg spinners bowl mostly leg breaks, varying them by adjusting the
line and length Line and length in cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising tw ...
, and amount of side spin versus topspin of the deliveries. Leg spinners also typically use variations of
flight Flight or flying is the process by which an object Object may refer to: General meanings * Object (philosophy), a thing, being, or concept ** Entity, something that is tangible and within the grasp of the senses ** Object (abstract), an o ...
by sometimes looping the ball in the air, allowing any cross-breeze and the aerodynamic effects of the spinning ball to cause the ball to dip and drift before bouncing and spinning or "turning", sharply. Leg spinners also bowl other types of delivery, which spin differently, such as the
googly In the game of cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two opposing teams, in which the action starts when the defending ...

googly
. The terms 'leg spin', 'leg spinner', 'leg break' and 'leggie' are used in slightly different ways by different sources. The bowlers with the second and fourth highest number of
wickets In cricket, the term wicket has several meanings: * It is one of the two sets of three Stump (cricket), stumps and two Bail (cricket), bails at either end of the Cricket pitch, pitch. The Fielding (cricket), fielding team's players can hit the ...
in the history of
Test cricket Test cricket is the form of the sport of cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wi ...
,
Shane Warne Shane Keith Warne (born 13 September 1969) is an Australian cricket commentator and former international cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are ...

Shane Warne
and
Anil Kumble Anil Kumble (; born 17 October 1970) is an Indian Cricket coach, Captain, former cricketer and commentator who was played Tests and ODIs for 18 years. Widely regarded as one of the greatest bowlers in test cricket history, he is a right-arm l ...

Anil Kumble
, were leg spinners. One famous example of leg spin is Warne's
Ball of the Century The Ball of the Century, also referred to as the Gatting Ball or simply That Ball, is the name given to a cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the c ...
.


History

In the 1970s and 1980s it was thought that leg spin would disappear from the game due to the success of West Indian, and later Australian teams, exclusively using fast bowlers. During this time
Abdul Qadir Abd al-Qadir or Abdulkadir ( ar, عبد القادر) is a male Muslim given name. It is formed from the Arabic words '' Abd'', ''al- ( ar, ٱلْـ), also Romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the s ...
of
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...
was the highest-profile leg spinner in the world and is sometimes credited with "keeping the art alive". However, leg spin has again become popular with cricket fans and a successful part of cricket teams, driven largely by the success of
Shane Warne Shane Keith Warne (born 13 September 1969) is an Australian cricket commentator and former international cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are ...

Shane Warne
, beginning with his spectacular
Ball of the Century The Ball of the Century, also referred to as the Gatting Ball or simply That Ball, is the name given to a cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the c ...
to
Mike Gatting Michael William Gatting (born 6 June 1957) is an English former cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pi ...
in 1993.


Comparison with other types of bowling

A
left-handed In human biology Human biology is an interdisciplinary area of academic study that examines humans through the influences and interplay of many diverse fields such as human genetics, genetics, human evolution, evolution, human physiology, physi ...
bowler who bowls with the same (wrist spin) action as a leg spinner is known as a
left-arm unorthodox spin frame, Trajectory of a left-arm unorthodox spin delivery Left-arm unorthodox spin, also known as slow left-arm wrist-spin, is a type of spin bowling Spin bowling is a bowling Bowling is a target sport and recreational activity in which ...
bowler. The ball itself spins in the opposite direction. The same kind of trajectory, which spins from right to left on pitching, when performed by a left-arm bowler is known as
left-arm orthodox spin Left-arm orthodox spin, Left-arm off spin also known as slow left-arm orthodox spin bowling, is a type of Finger spin, left-arm finger spin bowling (cricket), bowling in the sport of cricket. Left-arm orthodox spin is bowled by a left-arm bow ...
bowling. As with all spinners, leg spinners bowl the ball far more slowly (70–90 km/h or 45–55 mph) than
fast bowlers Pace bowling (also referred to as fast bowling) is one of two main approaches to bowling (cricket), bowling in the sport of cricket, the other being spin bowling. Practitioners of pace bowling are usually known as ''fast'' bowlers, ''quicks'', o ...

fast bowlers
. The fastest leg spinners will sometimes top 100 km/h (60 mph). While very difficult to bowl accurately, good leg spin is considered one of the most threatening types of bowling to bat against for a right-handed batsman, since the flight and sharp turn make the ball's movement extremely hard to read, and the turn away from the right-handed batsman is more dangerous than the turn into the right-handed batsman generated by an
off spin Off spin is a type of finger spin Finger spin (also known as off spin) is a type of bowling Bowling is a target sport and recreational activity in which a player rolls a ball toward pins (in pin bowling) or another target (in target ...
ner. Any miscalculation can result in an outside edge off the bat and a catch going to the
wicket-keeper The wicket-keeper in the sport of cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at e ...
or
slip Slip or SLIP may refer to: Science and technology Biology * Slip (fish) Sole is a fish belonging to several families. Generally speaking, they are members of the family Soleidae, but, outside Europe, the name ''sole'' is also applied to vario ...
fielders. Alternatively, for a ball aimed outside the leg stump, the breaking may be so sharp that the ball goes behind a right-handed batsman and hits the stumps – the batsman is then said (informally) to be "bowled around his legs". A left-handed batsman has less difficulty facing leg spin bowling, because the ball moves in towards the batsman's body, meaning the batsman's legs are usually in the path of the ball if it misses the bat or takes an edge. This makes it difficult for the bowler to get the batsman out bowled or caught from a leg break.


Terminology

Leg spin: Some sources make the term 'leg spin' synonymous with leg break, implying that other deliveries bowled by a leg spinner do not count as 'leg spin'. However, other sources use the term 'leg spin' more widely, to include all deliveries bowled by a leg spinner, including non-leg break deliveries. Leg break: In the definition of a leg break, some sources actually include the bowler being a leg spinner, which implies that only leg spinners can bowl leg breaks; all leg breaks are bowled by leg spinners. Other sources do not include the bowler being a leg spinner in the definition of a leg break, and say a leg break is simply a delivery that spins from the legside to the offside, and so can also be bowled by other types of bowler. In this case, leg breaks are (only) mostly bowled by leg spinners. Leg spinner: The term leg spinner can be used to mean either the bowler or the leg break delivery. Leggie: The term leggie can also be used to mean either the bowler or the leg break delivery.


Technique

A leg break is bowled by holding the
cricket ball A cricket ball is a hard, solid ball A ball is a round object (usually spherical of a sphere A sphere (from Greek language, Greek —, "globe, ball") is a geometrical object in three-dimensional space Three-dimensional space (a ...

cricket ball
in the palm of the hand with the seam running across under all the fingers. As the ball is released, the wrist is rotated to the left and the ball flicked by the ring finger, giving the ball an anti-clockwise spin as seen from behind. To grip the ball for a leg-spinning delivery, the ball is placed into the palm with the seam parallel to the palm. The first two fingers then spread and grip the ball, and the third and fourth fingers close together and rest against the side of the ball. The first bend of the third finger should grasp the seam. The thumb resting against the side is up to the bowler but should impart no pressure. When the ball is bowled, the third finger will apply most of the spin. The wrist is cocked as it comes down by the hip, and the wrist moves sharply from right to left as the ball is released, adding more spin. The ball is tossed up to provide
flight Flight or flying is the process by which an object Object may refer to: General meanings * Object (philosophy), a thing, being, or concept ** Entity, something that is tangible and within the grasp of the senses ** Object (abstract), an o ...

flight
. The batsman will see the hand with the palm facing towards them when the ball is released.


Notable leg spin bowlers

Players listed below have been included as they meet specific criteria which the general cricketing public would recognise as having achieved significant success in the art of leg spin bowling. For example: leading wicket-takers, and inventors of new deliveries. *
Shane Warne Shane Keith Warne (born 13 September 1969) is an Australian cricket commentator and former international cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are ...

Shane Warne
– 708 Test wickets (second all-time), one of five Wisden Cricketers of the Century * Bernard Bosanquet – credited with inventing the
googly In the game of cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two opposing teams, in which the action starts when the defending ...

googly
* B. S. Chandrasekhar – took 16
five-wicket haul In cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail (cricke ...
s *
Clarrie Grimmett Clarence Victor Grimmett (25 December 1891 – 2 May 1980) was a New Zealand-born Australian cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of w ...
– 216 Test wickets *
Anil Kumble Anil Kumble (; born 17 October 1970) is an Indian Cricket coach, Captain, former cricketer and commentator who was played Tests and ODIs for 18 years. Widely regarded as one of the greatest bowlers in test cricket history, he is a right-arm l ...

Anil Kumble
– 619 Test wickets (currently 4th on the list of all-time Test cricket wicket takers), best bowling in an innings of 10/74 *
Abdul Qadir Abd al-Qadir or Abdulkadir ( ar, عبد القادر) is a male Muslim given name. It is formed from the Arabic words '' Abd'', ''al- ( ar, ٱلْـ), also Romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the s ...
– took 10 wickets in a match on five occasions


Other deliveries bowled by leg spin bowlers

Highly skilled leg spin bowlers are also able to bowl deliveries that behave unexpectedly, including the
googly In the game of cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two opposing teams, in which the action starts when the defending ...

googly
, which turns the opposite way to a normal leg break and the
topspinner {{Bowling techniques sidebar , expanded=all A topspinner is a type of delivery bowled by a cricketer bowling either wrist spin or finger spin. In either case, the bowler imparts the ball with top spin by twisting it with his or her fingers prior to ...
, which does not turn but dips sharply and bounces higher than other deliveries. A few leg spinners such as
Abdul Qadir Abd al-Qadir or Abdulkadir ( ar, عبد القادر) is a male Muslim given name. It is formed from the Arabic words '' Abd'', ''al- ( ar, ٱلْـ), also Romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the s ...
,
Anil Kumble Anil Kumble (; born 17 October 1970) is an Indian Cricket coach, Captain, former cricketer and commentator who was played Tests and ODIs for 18 years. Widely regarded as one of the greatest bowlers in test cricket history, he is a right-arm l ...

Anil Kumble
,
Shane Warne Shane Keith Warne (born 13 September 1969) is an Australian cricket commentator and former international cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are ...

Shane Warne
and Mushtaq Ahmed have also mastered the flipper, a delivery that like a topspinner goes straight on landing, but floats through the air before skidding and keeping low, often dismissing batsmen
leg before wicket Leg before wicket (lbw) is one of the ways in which a batsman In cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricke ...
or bowled. Another variation in the arsenal of some leg spinners is the slider, a leg break pushed out of the hand somewhat faster, so that it does not spin as much, but travels more straight on.


See also

*
Ball of the Century The Ball of the Century, also referred to as the Gatting Ball or simply That Ball, is the name given to a cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the c ...
* Flipper *
Googly In the game of cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two opposing teams, in which the action starts when the defending ...

Googly
*
Off break Animation of a typical off spin delivery, bowled from over the wicket. Off spin is a type of finger spin Finger spin (also known as off spin) is a type of bowling Bowling is a target sport and recreational activity in which a player r ...

Off break
*
Topspinner {{Bowling techniques sidebar , expanded=all A topspinner is a type of delivery bowled by a cricketer bowling either wrist spin or finger spin. In either case, the bowler imparts the ball with top spin by twisting it with his or her fingers prior to ...


References

{{reflist


External links


About Leg Spin – talkCricket

Leg Spin Definition – Oxford Dictionaries

Leg Spin Basics video – wisdomtalkies

How to bowl leg spin – BBC Sport
Cricket terminology Bowling (cricket)