The Mind And Wrist Spin

Discussion in 'Spin Bowling' started by Billywhizz, Apr 20, 2016.

Put it out there
  1. Billywhizz

    Billywhizz Member

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    The mental approach to bowling for me is key. It took me a few years to realise it. There were times when I would practice on my own or in the club nets, bowl some tripe and slide down an increasingly slippery slope. The cliches you often hear from sports people about emptying the mind, focus and taking the positives are cliches for a good reason.
    I've read a few good books on the subject and even Philpott covers it quite well and stresses the importance of mental practice. I'm no Shane Warne, but I'm certainly, without doubt a better bowler because of it.
     
  2. someblokecalleddave

    someblokecalleddave Well-Known Member

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    Yeah definitely, again with reference to Philpott you have to have something about you to be a Wrist-Spinner, I can't remember how he phrases it, but there's often something of the 'Outsider' about Wrist-Spinners. Grimmett always saw himself as an outsider, MacGill was always seen as being different as far as I can make out - perceived as being intellectual and serious. I don't think you can come through it unless you've got a level of determination and doggedness that sees you through sometimes spectacular failures when you're learning. A Kid I know who was a great Leggie when he was younger now seems to have put his spin bowling on the back-burner and now sees himself as a batsman first. I think this was the result of being smashed around the park as he moved up into adult cricket and he didn't have that doggedness to work on it and come through with a solution.
     
  3. SLA

    SLA Active Member

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    I've always thought this bizarre idea that wrist spinners have about being "mavericks" and "outsiders" is both inaccurate and unhelpful. Philpott had serious delusions of grandeur about the uniqueness of leg-spinners.

    All bowlers are in the same boat. Bowl shit and you will get tonked, bowl well and you won't. Fast bowlers, medium pacers and off-spinners all have to be just as dogged and determined as leg spinners.
     
  4. someblokecalleddave

    someblokecalleddave Well-Known Member

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    Nah, not my experience, you're pretty unique in that it seems you've found it easy to mix up both wrist spinning and finger spinning and seemingly found it relatively easy. At my club and my previous club, we were filled to the rafters with finger spinners who could bowl straight balls and off-breaks, same with SLA's. Wrist spin - totally different story, one or two at each club, not even enough for one per team on a Saturday. Every now and then a bloke would see you doing it and come up and bowl a few that generally would break ok, I'd say "How come you can do it and never bowl it". The reply invariably is "No, I can't do it in a game, it's too hard, I get tonked every-where, that's why I gave it up and started to bowl finger spin instead/ or That's why I gave it up and focused on batting/medium pace/fast bowling. It probably explains too why this (The 3rd in this series) has had 180,000 of so replies whereas on the finger spin threads there's nothing. Reason - finger spin is easy perhaps, or they're not odd balls like me forever on the internet (Outsider)?;)
     
  5. Billywhizz

    Billywhizz Member

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    I think wrist spin requires more work in terms of accuracy. A lot of people flirt with the idea of legspin but soon realise they would have have to practice, and at local club level that is quite unusual. There is only me and two first teams bats that use the nets outside of the club practice night. I definitely think a thick skin and an analytical mind are useful tools for a leggie, but team mates may view it as a bit eccentric.
     
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  6. SLA

    SLA Active Member

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    Most people find leg spin the easiest and most natural spin to pick up. Pretty much every junior in my club bowls leg spin. As you say in your post, even guys who can't really bowl and put no real effort into it are able to bowl a half-decent leg break.
     
  7. SLA

    SLA Active Member

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    All bowlers have to practice the same amount to become competent bowlers. Bowling off-spin well is no easier than bowling leg-spin well.
     
  8. leftie600

    leftie600 Active Member

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    Not in my experience. Kids favour leg spin and adults favour off spin.

    Juniors go for leg spin as they have less strength which makes it easier to release a leg break with spin rather than an off break. As they get older and develop some strength more players lean toward off spin over leg spin.
     
  9. SLA

    SLA Active Member

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    I don't know about other countries, but in the UK you see far more leg-spinners than off-spinners bowling in amateur cricket. Probably because, as you say, its easier for kids to pick up.

    You do see quite a lot of medium pacers who bowl the odd off-cutter, which is probably what you're referring to, but I'm not counting them as actual off-spinners. In terms of actual spin bowling, leg-spin is by far the more popular.
     
  10. leftie600

    leftie600 Active Member

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    No, that is not what I am referring to. Off-spin, actual off-spin, is more common than leg-spin amongst adults in NZ. Leg-spin in NZ is more common amongst kids.
     
  11. SLA

    SLA Active Member

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    Maybe its something to do with the fact you're all upside down. :D

    Anyway, back to the point, no form of spin is "easier" than any other, otherwise literally everyone would just all bowl off-spin and there would be no leggies at all. Some people find one type of spin comes more naturally, some find the other.

    I do think bowling off-cutters is easier than bowling leg-cutters - hence the reason you hardly ever see a leg-cutter bowler. But that is a slightly different story.
     
  12. someblokecalleddave

    someblokecalleddave Well-Known Member

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    [QUOTE="

    Anyway, back to the point, no form of spin is "easier" than any other, otherwise literally everyone would just all bowl off-spin and there would be no leggies at all. Some people find one type of spin comes more naturally, some find the other.
    .[/QUOTE]

    Everyone does!!! You must live somewhere, where the water is different, very different. How many England players in the last 50 years gave represented England at the top level bowling Leg-Spin and played more than a handful of games? Finger spin, they're falling over themselves, queuing up to have a go, even our premier batsman is so good at it, that he's given a go because it's seemingly so easy. If I think back over the last 8 years I've been taking notice of cricket and think about who's played for England and create two lists it looks like this...

    Finger spinners - Ashley Giles, Michael Vaughn, Kevin Pietersen, Monty Panesar, Swanne, Samit Patel, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Tredwell, there's probably more, I can't remember them.

    Wrist Spinners - Adil Rashid and maybe Borthwick - did he appear once in a test match?

    My own club. Adult Wrist spinners and kids ... 4
    Finger spinners... changing rooms full of them. Each adult team has at least 3, whereas across all 4 adult teams there's two of us.

    If I look at the top 25 bowlers on the play cricket website for our club of the 9 of the 25 are finger spinners with the 25th being the single wrist spinner. If I look at my old club; again I just see shed loads of finger spinners and just 2 Leggies. Everyone does bowl finger-spin.

    If I think over last 2 years, I can remember being dismissed again and again by bloody finger spinners and one Leggie.

    I look for Leggies, they're as rare as rocking horse pooh and I'm so glad to find them when I do. Finger spinners at the end of the game, I usually see 2 as a minimum - everyone does bowl finger spin. My younger son has bowled a bit of everything in his time, his best figures against adults 6 for 15 off 12 overs. The first 3 wickets finger spin, the last 3 seam up. Does he bowl legspin in a game? No because it's too difficult - straight from the horses mouth.

    I completely agree with the point Leg-spin is easier to pick up, it kind of happens naturally for most people me included. But... take it out onto the field with a batsman in your early days when you're learning and developing the 'Art' and you'll soon start to re-think whether it's a good idea or not. You start to realise that if you're going to be good at it, you're going to have to put in the hours and look a little further than the next few training sessions.

    Aside from that there are numerous articles on-line about great leg-spinners and the time required to learn and develop the technique to the point where you're deemed to be good enough to represent your country. I thought it was universally agreed that it was the most difficult speciality within cricket.
     
  13. SLA

    SLA Active Member

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    Everyone does!!! You must live somewhere, where the water is different, very different. How many England players in the last 50 years gave represented England at the top level bowling Leg-Spin and played more than a handful of games? Finger spin, they're falling over themselves, queuing up to have a go, even our premier batsman is so good at it, that he's given a go because it's seemingly so easy. If I think back over the last 8 years I've been taking notice of cricket and think about who's played for England and create two lists it looks like this...

    Finger spinners - Ashley Giles, Michael Vaughn, Kevin Pietersen, Monty Panesar, Swanne, Samit Patel, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Tredwell, there's probably more, I can't remember them.

    Wrist Spinners - Adil Rashid and maybe Borthwick - did he appear once in a test match?

    My own club. Adult Wrist spinners and kids ... 4
    Finger spinners... changing rooms full of them. Each adult team has at least 3, whereas across all 4 adult teams there's two of us.

    If I look at the top 25 bowlers on the play cricket website for our club of the 9 of the 25 are finger spinners with the 25th being the single wrist spinner. If I look at my old club; again I just see shed loads of finger spinners and just 2 Leggies. Everyone does bowl finger-spin.

    If I think over last 2 years, I can remember being dismissed again and again by bloody finger spinners and one Leggie.

    I look for Leggies, they're as rare as rocking horse pooh and I'm so glad to find them when I do. Finger spinners at the end of the game, I usually see 2 as a minimum - everyone does bowl finger spin. My younger son has bowled a bit of everything in his time, his best figures against adults 6 for 15 off 12 overs. The first 3 wickets finger spin, the last 3 seam up. Does he bowl legspin in a game? No because it's too difficult - straight from the horses mouth.

    I completely agree with the point Leg-spin is easier to pick up, it kind of happens naturally for most people me included. But... take it out onto the field with a batsman in your early days when you're learning and developing the 'Art' and you'll soon start to re-think whether it's a good idea or not. You start to realise that if you're going to be good at it, you're going to have to put in the hours and look a little further than the next few training sessions.

    Aside from that there are numerous articles on-line about great leg-spinners and the time required to learn and develop the technique to the point where you're deemed to be good enough to represent your country. I thought it was universally agreed that it was the most difficult speciality within cricket.[/QUOTE]


    Are you sure you're not just talking about batsmen who occasionally turn their arm over and bowl donkey drops/ off cutters? I bet if you took a video of these 25 "off spinners" not a single one of them would bowl a genuine off break that dipped and drifted and then ragged square.

    Properly bowling off-spin is just as hard if not harder than properly bowling leg-spin. The problem is there are hundreds of slow bowlers out there who don't really bowl spin at all but who describe themselves as "off-spinners".
     
  14. SLA

    SLA Active Member

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    I've played cricket in four different regions of England. Everywhere I have been, every team has a leg-spinner, some have two. Very few have an off-spinner, although some have medium pacers who bowl off-cutters, and I've seen plenty of lob bowlers who don't really spin the ball but describe themselves as off-spinners.

    The reason there are so many leggies on here is because there are so many leggies in real life. As a finger spinner I'm very much in the minority.
     
  15. leftie600

    leftie600 Active Member

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    This I agree with. When someone asks me to coach them spin from scratch I describe how to spin the ball both ways (not the grip) and ask them to tell me which one feels more natural. This sets their base delivery and we go from there.

    In answer to your statement as to why there are so many leggies on here; it's because there's sweet fa places to go for help. In 20 years of bowling leg spin I have had one spin coach who actually was a leggie and seven who were off-spinners.
    It took five years of playing top club grade before I played against another legspinner, I remember that day!
    Leggies are more common nowadays but there's no way they outnumber offspinners.
     
  16. The Edge Of Willow

    The Edge Of Willow Member

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    I think the "mystery" of wrist-spin has more to do with the difference is discussion. Finger spin initially seems to have little to discuss. People tend to think they've got the basic action down when they can land a ball "opening the doorknob" on a length. It's not associated with technical elements like wrist position and variation in the same way as wrist-spin (even though a lot of that applies just as much to finger-spin as wrist-spin). There's no speculation about how to bowl a wrong'un, a flipper or a slider. People gravitate to talking about wrist-spin because there is a whole lot of knowledge associated with the idea of being a wrist spinner. For the finger spinners this is sadly missing. Hardly anyone envisions being a finger spinner along with ideas about grip, wrist action and body pivot to produce ripping turn. For most "opening the doorknob" on a length and tying down an end is a good enough idea of what bowling finger-spin entails.

    It's also difficult that the intricacies of finger-spin have a lot to do with one's personal bowling action. Suggesting someone run the seam along the inside of their fingers (like Swann did) to potentially get more revs, rather than just cupping the ball so its face is showing, for example, is asking someone to make a huge alteration to their stock ball (i.e. realise timing, wrist position, wrist action, etc., etc.), which might only in they end-up worse off (if the grip doesn't work with their body, the rest of their action or they are not willing to put in the time to learn a new action - especially if their bowling with the other grip is working okay). There aren't the same set of basic actions which are mostly the same for everyone from the start with finger-spin. With finger-spin there are sort of a number of questions that need asking before one even starts talking about technique. I think it makes it harder to have a general finger-spin discussion.
     
  17. SLA

    SLA Active Member

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    What you are describing is not off-spin, it is off-cutters. Genuine off-spinners give the ball just as much rip as a leg spinner, they bowl top-spinners, sliders and wrong'uns and its every bit as difficult and technical as leg spin. You watch Murali or Laker or Ajmal bowl and tell me he is just tying down an end.
     
  18. leftie600

    leftie600 Active Member

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    Off-spinners wrong'un? Do you mean out of the back of the hand like a legspinner's wrong'un or do you mean a doosra? If it's the former wouldn't it be obscenely obvious?
     
  19. The Edge Of Willow

    The Edge Of Willow Member

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    Indeed, my point was that people don't think off finger-spin in the same way. They envision the basic technique of finger-spin to stop at floating down something which hardly turns. People don't think of spin and variation as being a necessary part of finger-spin, so they don't obsess over technique in the same way as leg-spin.

    When people learn off-spin, for most anyway, their first question after learning the basic actions is not something like: "Now, how so I find the technique to bowl three or more variations?" like it is for many wrist-spinners. No doubt there are finger spinners who ask those sort of questions (I mean I did), but finding someone else interested in discussing them can be tricky. Wrist spinners have less of a problem because many of those people are asking those sort of questions under the understanding it's relevant to basic wrist-spin technique.
     
  20. SLA

    SLA Active Member

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    I think this is more of a reflection of how the two skills are reflected in the mainstream media rather than in day-to-day cricketing reality. Within spin bowling circles, off-spin and leg-spin are seen as two equally nuanced, varied and attacking skills. Its only really non-cricketers who buy all this bullshit about leg-spin being the harder and more attacking bowling style.

    For whatever reason, leg-spinners have had a habit of being a bit more big-headed about their skills and shouting louder about all their variations. Think of the difference between motormouth Warne and quiet and unassuming Murali. Look at Philpott's book on wrist spin bowling: its a masterpiece of mythologizing auto-fellatio.
     
Put it out there