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Cricket bowling styles: Slow left-arm orthodox

Updated on August 25, 2011
Daniel Vettori is, arguably, the best exponent of slow left-arm orthodox bowling in cricket history.
Daniel Vettori is, arguably, the best exponent of slow left-arm orthodox bowling in cricket history.

In cricket, there are two main types of spin: wrist spin and finger spin. These types of spin can be bowled with either the right-arm or left-arm.

Slow left-arm orthodox bowling refers to finger spin by a left-arm bowler. The classification of spinners is as follows:

Right-arm finger spin: Off-break or off-spin

Right-arm wrist spin: Leg-break or leg-spin

Left arm finger spin: Slow Left-arm Orthodox

Left-arm wrist spin: Slow Left-arm Unorthodox

Left-arm orthodox spinners turn the ball from leg to off. In other words, they turn the ball away from right-handers and into left-handers. In that sense, it moves in the same direction as leg-spin. However, because it is produced from finger spin, the turn is not as prodigious as leg-spin.

Generally, left-arm orthodox bowlers rely on variations in flight, drift and turn to out-fox batsmen. While the stock delivery of the SLA orthodox turns from off to leg, there are at least three variations in turn. There is the topspinner, which does not turn much and has more bounce; the arm ball, which is much faster and does not turn at all; and the wrong one, which turns from off to leg.

Daniel Vettori bowling to Michael Clarke

Bob Woolmer's Art and Science of Cricket
Bob Woolmer's Art and Science of Cricket

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Exponents of left-arm orthodox spin

New Zealand's Daniel Vettori is the most successful left-arm orthodox bowler in cricket history, with over 300 Test wickets. Other notable SLA orthodox bowlers include India's Bishen Singh Bedi, Sir Garry Sobers (West Indies) and Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan. England had a few exponents of this bowling style as well: Derek Underwood, Phil Tufnell, Ashley Giles and most recently, Monty Panesar.


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