ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cricket bowling styles: Leg break/googly

Updated on June 22, 2011
The basic grip of a leg break bowler
The basic grip of a leg break bowler

Leg-spin (or leg break bowling) is, arguably, the most difficult style of bowling in cricket. Like all forms of spin, it is a difficult art to truly master. Unlike finger spin, it is more difficult to control because of the biomechanics involved.

The leg break is so-called because the ball spins from the leg-side to the off-side. This is taken from the position of a right-handed batsman. As such, a leg break spins away from a right-handed batsman, while it turns into a left-hander.

There are two basic characteristics of leg-break bowlers:

  • They are right-handed
  • They spin the ball with a wrist action

These two characteristics are very critical to defining a leg spinner. For instance, not all wrist spinners (spinners who generate spin from wrist action) are leg-spinners. A left-arm wrist spinner is known as aleft-arm unorthodox spinner. All other spinners rely on their fingers to generate spin, with the exception of the rather unique Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan. He relied on his fingers, wrists and even shoulders to produce prodigious turn.

Anyway, back to leg-spinners.

This type of bowler is an attacking option, whose stock delivery turns from leg to off to a right-handed batsman. Since wrist spin is harder to control, some loose deliveries are expected. Leg break bowlers rely on guile, turn, flight and bounce to outfox batsmen. In addition to these, the leggie has a number of variations. The best, like Shane Warne (708 test wickets), Stuart MacGill (208 Test wickets), Abdul Qadir (236 Test wickets) and Anil Kumble (619 Test wickets), have multiple variations in their arsenal.

The Art of Wrist-Spin Bowling
The Art of Wrist-Spin Bowling

With the striking success of Shane Warne and Abdul Qadir in modern Test cricket, wrist-spin bowling is definitely back in fashion. In this fully illustrated and readable book, Peter Philpott shows players and coaches at all levels how to acquire the skills of this highly dexterous style of bowling. Areas covered include the basic techniques covered step by step, solving bowling problems, how to bat against wrist-spin, mental and physical preparation for matches, and the tactics to use.


Shane Warne: Master of leg breaks

Stuart MacGill's wrong 'un


This is the primary variation that any self-respecting leggie possesses. It is bowled with a leg-break action but turns from the off-stump to the leg-stump. For this reason, it is known as the “wrong ‘un” (wrong one). It is bowled by changing the wrist position of release.

A classic leg-spinner’s wrong ‘un would draw the batsman forward and have him playing for turn. However, the googly would zip through the gap between bat and pad, bowl the batsman or trap him leg before wicket.

Top-spinner/ Flipper/ Slider

These deliveries all continue on the original line after pitching, but they behave differently in terms of bounce and speed. The top-spinner describes a delivery that dips sharply on the batsman and bounces higher than other deliveries.

The flipper has more flight, but upon pitching it skids through to the batsman at a low trajectory. The slider is a faster ball that is pushed with minimal spin – Anil Kumble style.

Leg-spin was thought to be a dying art before Abdul Qadir and Shane Warne helped to restor it. Along with Warne, there are several other leggies who made a mark in the post-Qadir era. They are Anil Kumble, Mushtaq Ahmed and Danish Kaneria.

Even after Warne retired, promising leg-spinners continue to emerge, like India's Amit Mishra and West Indies' Devendra Bishoo. It is worth noting that two of the top three wicket-takers in Test cricket history (Warne and Kumble) are leg break bowlers.

Shane Warne: Portrait of a Flawed Genius
Shane Warne: Portrait of a Flawed Genius

Shane Warne was the most glamorous and arguably the best cricketer in the world for more than ten years. He won a generation of fans by showing the fun to be had in bamboozling opponents. Warne loved the limelight, but the limelight also burned him: scandals involving drugs, extra-marital affairs, and taking money from dodgy bookmakers have soured relations with his family and homeland.



Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)