What is a Googly Ball in Cricket? – Explained

Cricket is a sport with so many different types of bowling and their variations. One bowling variation that leaves everyone bamboozled is the ‘Googly’ ball.

You will often see the leg spinners use this delivery as their prime weapon to grab wickets. But what is a googly ball, and how is it different from a leg spin?

In this article, we’ll delve into the googly ball, its origin, and some of the best googly bowlers.

Googly Ball – A Mystery Weapon for Leg Spinners

A googly is a deceptive delivery used by leg spinners to add a surprise element to catch the batter off guard. Many of the skilled batters have failed to detect this delivery, leaving them confused about what exactly happened.

So what is the difference between googly and leg spin?

You see, the traditional leg spin delivery turns away from the batter after pitching on the surface. Basically, the leg spinner turns the ball from the leg side to the off side for a right-hand batter.

However, googly is the exact opposite of this. When the leg spinner bowls a googly, it turns right back into the batter rather than turning away. So, the bowl will turn from the off side to the leg side, similar to how an off spinner bowls an off-break delivery.

Also Read | Different Types of Leg Spin Bowling Variations

The Origin of Googly

The origin of googly dates back to the late 19th century. Bernard James Tindal Bosanquet, the former English Test player, is the man behind the invention of googly.

Bosanquet stumbled upon the idea of googly while playing a game called ‘Twisti-Twosti’. And soon he implemented this delivery in professional cricket in 1900 while playing for Middlesex against Leicestershire. 

Initially, the delivery was known as ‘Bosie’ since he developed it, but later it came to be known as a googly.

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

Best Googly Bowlers

Shane Warne

When one speaks of googly, the name that instantly pops into the mind is Shane Warne. The legendary Australian leggie possessed an exceptional googly.

Warne used googly to a great extent, grabbing many wickets and leaving the batters in tatters.

Abdul Qadir

One of Pakistan’s greatest spinners, Abdul Qadir, was the flag bearer of leg spinners during his days. He kept the art of leg spin alive and mastered the googly as an effective weapon against the batters.

Anil Kumble

Another prolific leg spinner, Anil Kumble, had a potent googly in his armour to deceive the batters. His googlies caught the batters completely unaware, helping him bag plenty of wickets in ODIs and Tests.

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