Cricket, which is renowned for its complexity and strategic nuance, provides a broad variety of bowling approaches. These methods can be essentially divided into two categories: traditional bowling and modern bowling. Each class has particular traits, tactics, and skill sets. Let’s explore the various bowling techniques used in cricket, including both traditional and modern methods.

Traditional Bowling Types

Fast Bowling

In cricket, fast bowling personifies unbridled strength and ferocity. Fast bowlers concentrate on producing lightning-quick speed and bounce to rattle batters. Targeting the batter’s body or creating edges for catches behind the wicket is their main goal.

Fast bowlers build momentum with a long run-up before launching powerful deliveries. With their incredible speed and precision, fast bowling legends like Dennis Lillee, Wasim Akram, and Glenn McGrath have forever changed the way the game is played.

Swing Bowling

Swing bowling is a kind of art that enthrals both participants and onlookers. In order to achieve lateral movement in the air using this method, the aerodynamics of the ball are modified. Swing bowlers expertly manipulate the grip, release, and seam position to produce swing, which causes the ball to veer either towards or away from the batter.

It can be difficult for batters to estimate the direction of the ball due to the unpredictable nature of the swing. Wasim Akram, James Anderson, and Trent Boult are masters of the swing bowl.

Types of Swing Bowling

There are three types of swing bowling:

1. In Swinger

When a cricket ball is released from the bowler’s hands and begins to travel in the air, it is said to be swinging. Each and every fast bowler needs to become proficient in it. Swing bowling primarily comes in three varieties, and in swinger is one of them.  

The bowler must hold the rough side of the bowl towards the batter in order to deliver an in-swinging ball. Due to the difference in pressure caused by the rough and smooth sides of the ball, the rough side of the ball causes turbulence in the air and can swing.

2. Out Swing

An outswing delivery is another style of swing bowling that fast bowlers frequently use. Deliveries that outswing the batter are those that do so. While an outswing ball is frequently produced by the bowler to set up a batter for an inswing delivery, inswing bowling is intended to knock the stumps or get a batter out LBW.  A batter may believe that the subsequent ball will also be away from him if the bowler bowls a few out swinging deliveries.

The bowler then decides to deliver an in-swing delivery to dismiss the batter. Swing bowling is therefore a great option for this kind of setup. The batter may be forced to play the ball more frequently as a result, but because of the movement, the ball may strike the bat and land in the slip fielder’s hands.

3. Reverse Swing

One must comprehend how a cricket ball generally swings in order to fully comprehend the reverse swing. The reverse swing violates the logic above and is a seemingly supernatural delivery. Only when the cricket ball becomes worn out can one bowl a delivery that swings backwards.

A cricket ball frequently exhibits a reverse swing as it ages. The ball actually begins to swing in the direction of the glossy side when it is in reverse swing. In other words, the ball starts to move in the opposite direction from how it is generally supposed to swing when a reverse swing occurs. If cricket ball swinging demands expertise, the reverse swing is the pinnacle of swing bowling! 

Must Read: How to Swing a Cricket Ball? – Types & Variations of Swing Bowling Explained

Spin Bowling

Spin bowling relies on deceiving the batter by deftly adjusting the ball’s revolutions. The main tools used by spinners to add spin are their fingers and wrists, which causes the ball to leave the field. 

There are two main types of spin bowling: Off spin and Leg spin

Off Spin Bowling

1. Off Break

The most typical bowling motion for an off spin bowler is the off break, which is often referred to as off spin. This ball serves as their daily equivalent of bread and butter.

Making the ball spin in the direction of the stumps is the goal of an off break or off spin (for a right-handed batter). Typically, an off break ball will be thrown outside the off stump and then made to spin back into the batter’s stumps.

2. Top Spin

Top spin is a crucial variation used by the majority of off spin bowlers. However, top spin and off break differ from one another not just in how the ball is gripped but also in how much deviation it takes from an off break.

The top spin is frequently quite deceiving since the batter anticipates the ball to turn very quickly in his direction, but it actually picks up speed after bouncing and moves past him.

3. Arm Ball

The Arm Ball, as its name suggests, requires the bowler to exert more arm force. In essence, it is a spinner bowling delivery that is significantly quicker than typical.

An arm ball is comparable to a fast bowler’s slower ball. With the variation in bowling speeds, the two deliveries have the same goal: to bowl down the batter.

The typical bowling speed range for spinners is between 80 and 96 kmph (about 50 and 60 miles per hour). As a result, the majority of batters begin to anticipate the ball moving at a similar rate. The chances of getting the batter out are substantially higher if a spin bowler can deliver more quickly while maintaining the same motion and a little surprise. 

4. A “Doosra”

When the doosra leaves the bowler’s hands, it appears to be an ordinary off spin delivery, but when it bounces on the pitch, it actually travels in the opposite direction from where it was intended to go. Instead of spinning from left to right (like an off spin), the ball after landing on the pitch spins from right to left (like a leg spin). The batter is left in total confusion as a result, and they frequently miss the ball or entirely miss it.

5. Carrom Ball

An off spinner will use a special spin bowling technique called the Carrom Ball. Because of the ball’s grip, it is known as a carrom ball.

The bowler normally holds the carrom ball between the thumb and middle finger while bowling. The bowler must then squeeze the ball out of his or her hand, similar to flicking a carrom disc in the game of carrom board.  Later, Ravichandran Ashwin, an Indian spinner, and other bowlers started using the carrom ball.

6. A “Teesra”

Similar to the “Doosra,” Saqlain Mushtaq of Pakistan also introduced the “Teesra.” Off spin bowlers use it as another spin bowling variant.

An off spinner bowls the teesra while using a standard grip on the ball. However, the bowler does not roll his or her fingers but only the wrist when releasing the ball. This gives the impression that the ball will spin erratically. But it simply lacks spin, fooling the hitter.

The Teesra operates in a manner akin to how a leg spinner bowls a slider (about which we will learn more specifically in the paragraphs that follow).

Leg Spin Bowling 

Spin bowling also includes leg spin, which is a well-known type. A leg spin is different from an off spin in that the ball goes from the bowler’s point of view from right to left after it bounces on the pitch. Let’s find out more about the different kinds of leg spin bowling below.

1. Leg Break

The leg break is a leg spin bowler’s preferred delivery, just as the off break is for an off spin bowler. Leg spin is another name for the leg break.  For a right-handed batter, a leg break is frequently one of the hardest deliveries to play because it travels away from the hitter. However, playing as a left-handed hitter can be equally challenging. 

2. A Leg Spinner’s Top Spin

The Top Spin is a very helpful variation for a leg spinner. A leg spinner’s top spin functions similarly to an off spinner’s top spin. The ball’s grip differs somewhat in each case.

The fact that the ball loops in the air but drops considerably faster and shorter than anticipated, as well as frequently bouncing much more than the batter anticipated, is what makes top spin such a devastating weapon. Any amount of unexpected spin or bounce, as we have previously discovered numerous times, is very beneficial in getting the batter out!

3. Googly

Leg spin players use a style of bowling called the “Googly.” In essence, a googly serves the same objective as an off spin bowler’s doosra.

To trick the batter by spinning the ball in the opposite direction from what is anticipated, a leg spinner uses a googly.

A leg spin bowler typically throws a lot of leg breaks. This indicates that the majority of his deliveries spin from the right to left sides of the pitch, from the leg side to the off side, away from the batter. The Googly actually travels the opposite way, from the pitch’s left to right.

4. Flipper

A leg spin bowler’s flipper is a tremendously effective delivery when used properly. One of the hardest deliveries to master is this one.

The flipper and top spin have a similar concept. It doesn’t bounce as much as a standard top spin ball would, though. The batter could think that a leg spinner’s flipper would be a short ball, but it just doesn’t bounce as much and slips through, dismissing the batter LBW or bowled.

Also Read: What is the difference between a googly and a flipper?

5. Slider

Although many bowlers employed it in the early 1960s, Shane Warne was actually regarded as having invented it.

From the batter’s vantage point, the slider actually looks just like the leg break. This is because the grip and the leg break are so similar.

The wrist action and angle of release differ slightly from the leg break, though. As a result, the ball keeps the line and slips onto the batter rather than spinning like a leg break.

Modern Bowling Types


A short-pitch delivery style is known as a bouncer. In other terms, a delivery is considered a bouncer when the bowler causes the ball to purposefully bounce nearly halfway down the field and the batter receives the ball at shoulder or head level.

For a quick bowler, a well-placed bouncer with a hint of surprise may be a powerful tool. This is due to how uncomfortable it is for a batter when a ball suddenly and quickly comes near his face or chest.

A bouncer may frequently diminish a batter’s self-assurance and result in the batter being dismissed!

Slower Ball

Another effective style of bowling that aids a fast bowler in modern-day cricket in getting wickets is a slower ball.

Instead of frightening the batter with an extremely fast pace, a slower ball aims to trick him with a sudden change in the speed of the delivery in the air. This is how a slower ball functions.

A fast bowler is typically expected to bowl a delivery at high speeds, which typically range from around 130 kmph (kilometers per hour) to about 150 kmph. That is equivalent to between 80 and 90 miles per hour. Some players use bowling which is even faster. The batter must prepare to play equally swiftly in order to make such quick deliveries.


Another very effective bowling style that a fast bowler might adopt is this one.

A yorker is essentially a delivery style in which the ball is bowled directly at the batter’s stump base. The bowler with the yorker frequently attempts to bowl it directly at the batter’s toes.

One of the most challenging deliveries to defend against or hit is the yorker. A yorker frequently hits the bottom of the bat, making it challenging for a batter to reach the ball with his bat. As a result, a batter misses the ball more often than not, which results in dismissal.


A fast bowler may also choose to use the off cutter as a bowling style. In essence, an off cutter is a slower bowl. But compared to a slower ball, it is delivered differently due to the bowler’s technique.

Unlike the slower ball, the goal of this delivery is to change the path of the ball after it bounces on the pitch rather than necessarily beating the batter with a change in pace.

An off cutter is best understood by picturing a fast bowler who has made the decision to bowl off spin.

In order to effectively bowl an off cutter, a fast bowler typically rolls the fingers over the seam (much like an off spin bowler would), which causes the ball to travel with less speed and spin.

Leg cutter

The leg cutter is yet another iteration of the slower delivery utilized by fast bowlers, much like the off cutter.

The purpose of the leg cutter is to change the direction of the ball after it bounces on the pitch, not just to fool the batter with the pace at which it is bowled. Consider a leg cutter as a fast bowler attempting to bowl leg spin for a simpler explanation.


Another variation of a slower ball that fast bowlers frequently use is the knuckleball. With the variation in speed of the ball, bowling a knuckleball has a similar goal to bowling a slower ball: to outwit the hitter.

The way the ball is handled in the hands is the fundamental distinction between the slower ball and the knuckleball, though. There is frequently one finger over the seam on slower balls. This is visible to the batter at the opposite end of the pitch, and if they notice it, the surprise aspect is lost.

So a knuckleball is employed. The bowler must hold the ball between the tips of their index and middle fingers, supported by the tip of their thumb, in order to bowl a knuckleball (much like holding the ball with their knuckles).


A beamer is a ball that directly strikes the batter at a height of around chest or head height. A beamer is a sort of bowl that frequently occurs accidentally. A bowler may also face punishment for intentionally bowling a beamer. A bowler may purposefully bowl a beamer occasionally out of aggravation, but other times it may simply be an honest error caused by the ball slipping out of the bowler’s hand.

Now it’s time to go out on the field and try all these bowling variations.

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