What is the Difference Between a Googly and a Doosra in Cricket?

Spinners can use a number of delivery methods, but two in particular are well-known: the googly and the doosra.

Spinning a cricket ball involves deceit, talent, and surprise. So, what’s the difference between googly and doosra in cricket?

A googly differs from a doosra in that a leg spinner delivers it, and the ball spins from left to right. An off-spinner spins the ball from right to left in the doosra. The doosra is a more recent innovation than the googly and is more difficult to learn.


A googly is a delivery that a leg-spinner uses to spin the ball in the opposite direction from his standard stock delivery.

A typical leg-break ball to a right-handed batter would spin from the leg side to the off side and away from the batsman. A googly, on the other hand, spins from the off side to the leg side and onto a right-handed batsman using the same bowling motion.

Bernard Bosanquet, an English cricketer, invented the googly. He invented it to entertain teammates, but he began utilising it in matches in 1900 after he retired from fast bowling.

The term ‘googly’ was first used in print during Lord Hawke’s tour to Australia and New Zealand in 1902. However, it wasn’t until after a string of wickets that his googly — or ‘Bosey‘ as it was also known at the time — caught the attention of the cricket world.

Also Read | Different Types of Leg Spin Bowling Variations | Explained


A doosra is an off-spinner’s delivery that spins the ball in the opposite direction as his typical stock delivery.

A conventional off-break would spin from the off side to the leg side and into the batsman for a right-handed batsman. A doosra would spin from the leg side to the off side and away from a right-handed batsman, attempting not to modify their action.

The doosra, unlike the googly, is a more modern invention. During Pakistan’s 1999–2000 tour of Australia, bowler Saqlain Mushtaq created it. Pakistan wicketkeeper Moin Khan is credited with coining the phrase “bowl the doosra,” which means “(the) second (one)” or “(the) other (one)” in Hindustani.

Through the stump microphone, TV commentator Tony Greig picked up the phrase and connected it to Saqlain’s novel mystery delivery, which the player further explained in the post-match interview.

Also Read | Wrist Spin vs Finger Spin: The Art of Spin Bowling

What’s the Difference Between a Googly and a Doosra?

The key distinctions include, as previously said, the direction in which the ball spins, the motion and grip required to bowl the ball, and the time at which they emerged on the cricket scene.

Another distinction between the doosra and the googly is its contentious character. A doosra is far more difficult to bowl without chucking (throwing) the ball than a googly.

Because it could not be taught lawfully, In 2009, Australian cricket officials opted not to teach young spinners how to bowl the delivery.

Is there a Similarity Between Googly and Doosra?

Both deliveries are similar in that they seek to mislead or fool a batsman by using an element of surprise. They are similar in that a spinner will use a normal movement to conceal the ball being bowled.

In both circumstances, the bowler must work hard to conceal his grip while making no noticeable changes to his movement. The efficiency of both deliveries in taking wickets is to avoid over-bowling since a batsman will begin to notice any slight alterations, and the surprise factor would be lost.

Famous Bowlers of a Doosra and a Googly!

Saqlain Mushtaq of Pakistan bowled his doosra with no doubts about the authenticity of his technique; however, he may have been guilty of trying too many variations too early.

Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka, who holds the record for most Test wickets with 800 victims, was arguably the most famous bowler of the doosra, but not without controversy.

Both Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal and India’s Harbhajan Singh have used the doosra, but cricket officials and fans have questioned their bowling actions.

Shane Warne of Australia is widely recognised as the finest leg spinner in history — but perhaps not the best googly bowler! Warne’s performance tried to conceal his ‘wrong ‘un,’ as the delivery is known in Australia.

Anil Kumble of India is one of the best modern googly bowlers, despite the fact that his stock leg break did not spin much. 

Pakistan’s Abdul Qadir, who was able to bring control disguised as a great degree of turn with his variation of the delivery, is perhaps the best bowler of the googly.

Final Thoughts

The googly and the doosra are both important weapons that a spin bowler can deploy in a variety of conditions, match situations, and cricket formats. The key for leg-spin and off-spin bowlers is honing the delivery, knowing when to utilise them, and not over-bowling them so that the element of surprise is lost.  

Most leg spinners should be able to learn to bowl a googly, but the doosra is far more difficult for their off-spin counterparts. Even the best off-spinners in the world may struggle to legally bowl a doosra. However, if the doosra is bowled well, it has the potential to be one of cricket’s most exciting deliveries.

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