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by Patrick Latham & Wesley Durston Friday 4 October 2019
Variation within bowling has always been a thing it has just come under different names. Firstly, it was the ability to swing the ball in a different direction or the skill to spin it in a different way now there are new ‘balls’ being dreamt up and perfected almost every season.
The googly is the classic spinners variation along with the arm ball then followed the doosra, teesra, flipper, slider and zooter to name a few (5 points if you can explain clearly what each of them do!) Recently however it seems to be the turn of the fast bowler or classic ‘seam’ bowler to have invented a new delivery, the ‘wobble’ seamer is gaining speed in more ways than one this summer.
The fact that this delivery has been around for some time may be a surprise to many, it is a less than perfect release that gives it its name and effect. For generations seamers always wanted to release the ball with a perfect perpendicular seam to give the ball chance to swing and then also hit the seam when it pitches.
This however meant in many cases it would behave the same way and be predictable. The beauty of the wobble seam delivery is its randomness and unpredictability; there is no way of knowing how it will behave each time. If the bowler has no idea which way the ball will seam after pitching, there’s no way the batter will either thus causing mayhem.
For bowlers trying to learn this delivery it’s like most things ‘practice makes perfect’ however in the case of the wobble seam the results will be different every time anyway. You are just trying to create variation which is inevitable with this type of delivery. A slight shift in seam and wrist angle one way or another will do this.
Allied with a firm wrist and a clear target (top of off stump usually works) you’ve got every chance to be successful. As each ball will behave differently you are creating randomness so don’t be disappointed that two deliveries perform differently. What you should see however is a decrease in swing but a huge increase in seam movement, now you just need to control your line and length. Enjoy the challenge of creating chaos.
© Cricket World 2019
A Leading Edge