types of bowler in cricket


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 each end, each comprising two Bail (cricket), bai ...

there are two broad categories of bowlers: pace and spin. Pace bowlers rely mostly on the speed of the ball to dismiss batsmen, whereas spin bowlers rely on the rotation and turn of the ball.

Pace bowlers

Pace bowlers, or fast bowlers or pacemen, rely on speed to get a
batsman In cricket, batting is the act or skill of hitting the cricket ball, ball with a cricket bat, bat to score runs (cricket), runs and prevent the dismissal (cricket), loss of one's wicket. Any player who is currently batting is denoted as a batsm ...
out Out may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films *Out (1957 film), ''Out'' (1957 film), a documentary short about the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 *Out (1982 film), ''Out'' (1982 film), an American film directed by Eli Hollander *Out (200 ...
. This type of bowler can be further classified according to the speed at which they bowl the ball on average. Most pace bowlers are medium-fast to fast in top level cricket. In general, bowlers of this type are described as
right arm This is a general glossary __NOTOC__ A glossary (from grc, γλῶσσα / language, speech, wording) also known as a vocabulary or clavis, is an alphabetical list of terms in a particular domain of knowledge Domain knowledge is knowled ...
left arm This is a general glossary of the terminology used in the sport of cricket. Where words in a sentence are also defined elsewhere in this article, they appear in italics. Certain aspects of cricket terminology are explained in more detail in cri ...
"fast" or "fast-medium". Another technique of fast bowling is the sling action. This action generates extra speed but sacrifices control. Exponents include
Lasith Malinga Separamadu Lasith Malinga ( si, සෙපරමාදු ලසිත් මාලිංග; born 28 August 1983) also known as "Slinga Malinga", is a former Sri Lankan cricketer who is widely regarded as one of the greatest limited overs bowler ...
Mitchell Johnson Mitchell Guy Johnson (born 2 November 1981) is an Australian former cricketer, who played all forms of the game until his retirement from international cricket in 2015. He is a left-arm fast bowler and left-handed batsman. He made his Test cr ...
Fidel Edwards Fidel Henderson Edwards (born 6 February 1982) is a Barbadian cricketer, who plays all formats of the game. A pace bowler, his round-arm action is "not unlike" that of former fast bowler Jeff Thomson. He was spotted in the nets by Brian Lara and ...
Shaun Tait Shaun William Tait (born 22 February 1983) is a former Australian professional cricketer. He played as a right arm fast bowlerLasith Malinga Separamadu Lasith Malinga ( si, සෙපරමාදු ලසිත් මාලිංග; born 28 August 1983) also known as "Slinga Malinga", is a former Sri Lankan cricketer who is widely regarded as one of the greatest limited overs bowler ...
, England's James Anderson (cricketer), James Anderson, Indians Zaheer Khan and Irfan Pathan are prominent bowlers known for the use of reverse swing.

Other tactics

Pace bowlers frequently dismiss batsmen through variation and deception. A batter who has been "softened up" by a series of ''bouncer (cricket), bouncers'', which pitch nearer the bowler than normal and reach the batsman around head height, or even hit the batsman, may tend to play the next ball on the back foot, and thus be susceptible to a full-length ''yorker'' delivery that bounces at his toes. Many bowlers also develop a "slower ball"; these are bowled with the same arm action as their normal delivery, but come slower from the hand, usually due to the bowler gripping the ball differently or cocking his wrist at the last moment. With luck, the batsman will misread the pace, and will have finished his shot before the ball arrives. Other common variations include the ''leg cutter'' and ''off cutter'', medium pace deliveries bowled with a spinner's wrist action, which can sometimes "turn" just like deliveries from a spinner.

Spin bowlers

Spin bowlers or spinners impart rotation to the ball to get a batsman out. The spin on the ball makes its movement hard to predict, particularly when it bounces, hence spin bowlers try to deceive batsmen into making a mistake. Speed is not crucial in spin bowling, and spinners tend to bowl in the slow-medium to medium-slow range, around 45-55 mph. There are two broad categories of spin bowling: wrist spin and finger spin.

Wrist spin

Wrist spinners are bowlers who use their wrists to spin the ball. A right-handed wrist spinner is known as a leg spinner and his or her mode of bowling is known as leg break. A leg break will move from right to left from the bowler's point of view, or from the leg-side to the off-side for a right-handed batsman. Wrist spinners include Shane Warne, of Australia national cricket team, Australia and Imran Tahir, of South Africa national cricket team, South Africa. Left-handed wrist spinners, who are much rarer than right-handed wrist-spinners, are called Left-arm unorthodox spin bowlers. This form of delivery was often termed a chinaman after an early left-arm finger spinner of Chinese descent, Ellis Achong, who sometimes bowled wrist spinners as a variation while playing for the West Indies cricket team, West Indies. This term has fallen out of fashion. A ball delivered in this way will spin from the off-side to the leg-side for a right-handed batsman. Paul Adams (cricketer), Paul Adams and Tabraiz Shamsi of South Africa are the best-known recent left-arm unorthodox bowlers as is Kuldeep Yadav from India. Former Australian one-day all-rounder Brad Hogg is another exponent of left-arm wrist-spin, as were his teammates Simon Katich and Beau Casson.

Finger spin

Finger spinners make use of their fingers to rotate the ball. A right-arm finger spinner is known as an off-spinner and their mode of bowling is known as off break. The ball will appear to move just as the left-arm unorthodox ball does, from off to leg for a right-handed batsman. Muttiah Muralitharan (often called "Murali") of Sri Lanka and Graeme Swann of England, two of the most successful bowlers in Test and ODI cricket history, are off-spinners. Murali's bowling style is unique, while Swann's is more conventional. Indian Harbhajan Singh and Ravichandran Ashwin and Pakistanis Saqlain Mushtaq and Saeed Ajmal are amongst contemporary bowlers of this type, who also employ this bowling style. Saqlain Mushtaq invented a new delivery with this style of bowling called "Doosra", this delivery is bowled with almost same action as off break however it spins like a leg break or goes straight on with the angle of the delivery. This delivery has become one of the most effective deliveries in an off spin bowler's variety of deliveries. This delivery has been employed by other famous bowlers after Saqlain Mushtaq, such as Murali and Saeed Ajmal. Another type of delivery, the carrom ball, was invented in the 1940s but largely vanished by the 1970s before being revived in the early 21st century by Sri Lanka's Ajantha Mendis; Ashwin also uses this delivery as a second style. Almost all left-handed bowlers are finger spinners. As a result, this style has no fixed name and the bowling mode is simply known as left-arm orthodox spin, (slow) left-arm orthodox. The ball turns like a leg break, from leg to off. Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh, New Zealand's Daniel Vettori, Sri Lanka's Rangana Herath, and Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja from India employ this bowling style.

"Mixed" bowlers

A bowler equally skilled in both types of bowling is known as a mixed bag or an all round bowler. Such bowlers are rare. The great West Indian all rounder Sir Garfield Sobers bowled effectively in the left-arm fast-medium, left-arm orthodox, and left-arm unorthodox styles. Sachin Tendulkar, known primarily as a batsman, bowled right arm medium fast in his starting days and later changed his bowling style into both right arm leg break and off break.

Slow seam bowlers

There are some bowlers who are just regarded as slow or slow seam - bowlers who bowl at the speed of spinners without turning the ball. Such bowlers need to be accurate in their line and length and have very good variation with the speed of the ball if they are to have any success.


Bowling styles are often abbreviated in scorecards as follows :



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