Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bent arm bowling

Twice within a couple of months International cricket has been rocked by the 15 degree controversy. Because Australia has been the opposition on both occasions they have been deemed to be whingers!
Shane Watson has been deemed a "dobber" for the way he seemingly brought the umpires attention to Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal unorthodox release. It always has been the view of cricketers that the batsman is in the best position to detect varying flex with a bowlers arm.
Not only can he see the movement but he is subject to pace variations unable to be obtained the orthodox way without o considerable change at the time of release. eg a much faster arm from the basic stock ball.
South Africa's Johan Botha, the other player brought into question recently has the same change of pace advantage. I recall him bowling to Ricky Ponting in one of the One Day Internationals and one delivery was in the high 90 kilometers per hour which Ponting kept out of his stumps with a hurried stroke. The next delivery had Ponting into the stroke way too early causing the master batsman to lob back a simple catch. There was approximately 15 kph difeerence in the pace with no discernable difference in his action.
I would say that is an unfair advantage.
For the great leg spinner to vary his pace in such a way he would need to introduce his flipper which has a totally different wrist action to his leg break. The release is created by flicking the fingers as the ball is spun backward with the palm facing down. The leg break has the palm facing up. It is the power in the SHOULDER which is important.
Both Botha and Ajmal open up their action at the crease with the front foot splaying well to the left of their intended line.
That is the common denominater with all the bowlers who have been reported over the years.
In my view too many people are more fascinated with the delivery which borders constantly on legality than they are on watching a side-on artist at work.