A Comprehensive Guide to Different Types of Spin Bowling Techniques in Cricket

Discover various types of spin bowling techniques in cricket with this comprehensive guide. Learn the nuances of off-spin, leg-spin, left-arm spin, and more to become a better spin bowler.

By Crickified Mohit
New Update

Ravindra Jadeja in attempt of left arm spin bowl during ODI World Cup 2023 India vs Netherlands 45th Match at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru

Cricket, a battle between the bowling and batting team, requires skilled bowlers to outdo the batsmen and restrict the flow of runs. Spin bowling, a technique used in cricket, plays a pivotal role in this battle. It involves delivering the ball at a slow pace with rotation or revolution, causing it to deviate from its original path upon pitching. Spinners, the bowlers who specialize in spin deliveries, aim to deceive the batsman and take wickets or restrict the scoring rate. In this article, we will explore the purpose of spin bowling and the different types of spin bowling techniques in cricket.


Purpose of Spin Bowling

The primary purpose of spin bowling is to deceive the batsman. Spinners use their fingers or wrists to rapidly rotate the ball, causing it to deviate from its original path upon bouncing on the pitch. The placement of the pitch is crucial, as a well-placed spinning ball can easily penetrate the batsman's defense or trick him into getting out. Unlike fast bowling, spin deliveries rely more on the revolutions of the ball than its speed. Spinners typically bowl in the range of 70-90 kmph (45-55mph). Additionally, spinners often incorporate various variations into their bowling to gain an extra edge over the batsman.

Types of Spin Bowling in Cricket


There are four major types of spinners in cricket, each with its unique characteristics and techniques. Let's explore each type in detail:

1. Right-arm Off-Break Spinner

The right-arm off-break spinner, as the name suggests, uses their right arm to bowl. They primarily use their fingers, specifically the index finger or a combination of the index and middle fingers, to generate spin. The ball, upon impact, moves into the body of a right-handed batsman and away from a left-handed batsman. Right-arm off-break spinners are also known as "right arm finger spinners." Notable off-break bowlers include Muttiah Muralitharan, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Harbhajan Singh.


2. Right-arm Leg Spinner (or Wrist Spinner)

Right-arm leg spinners use their wrist to rotate the ball. For a right-arm leg break bowler, the ball turns from right to left. Consequently, a right-handed batsman experiences the ball spinning away from them, while a left-handed batsman sees the ball coming towards their body upon pitching. These bowlers excel in deceiving batsmen as they can cover the ball with their wrist during the run-up, making it difficult for batsmen to pick up the variations. Leg break bowlers are particularly effective on worn-out and dry pitches. Legendary leg spinners include Shane Warne, Anil Kumble, Abdul Qadir, and Shahid Afridi.

3. Left-arm Orthodox Spinner


A left-arm orthodox spinner is a left-handed off-break bowler. Similar to off-break bowlers, they use their fingers to rotate the ball. Their deliveries turn from right to left, making the ball leave right-handed batsmen and come towards left-handed batsmen. Left-arm orthodox spinners rely on their pace and spin to deceive batsmen, as they generally have fewer variations in their bowling. Some notable left-arm orthodox spinners are Ravindra Jadeja, Rangana Herath, Daniel Vettori, and Shakib-Al-Hasan.

4. Left-arm Chinaman Spinner

Left-arm chinaman spinners, also known as left-handed leg break bowlers, are the rarest form of bowlers in cricket. They use their wrist to spin the ball, causing it to turn away from left-handed batsmen and towards right-handed batsmen. These bowlers typically bowl in the range of 70-95 kmph. Brad Hogg and Kuldeep Yadav are among the few chinaman spinners who have mastered this unique skill.


Variations in Spin Bowling

Spinners often incorporate various variations into their bowling to deceive batsmen further. Let's explore some of the common variations used by spin bowlers:

Leg-Spin Variations

  1. Googly: The googly is a popular variation used by leg-spinners. It is a delivery that spins towards right-handed batsmen after pitching and moves away from left-handed batsmen. This variation adds an element of surprise and can be challenging for batsmen to read.
  2. Top Spinner: The top spinner is a delivery that produces more dip and bounce while spinning towards the batsman. It is an effective variation to deceive batsmen and induce false shots.
  3. Slider: The slider is a delivery bowled with a scrambled seam, turning away from the batsman. It can be difficult for batsmen to pick up due to its subtle variations.
  4. Flipper: The flipper is a delivery squeezed into the fingers to produce backspin. It keeps low and is generally challenging to play due to its deceptive nature.

Off-Spin Variations

  1. Doosra: The doosra is a variation similar to the googly. It turns away from right-handed batsmen and into left-handed batsmen, with more bounce and dip. However, the doosra is now obsolete and rarely used by bowlers.
  2. Carrom Ball: The carrom ball is one of the toughest deliveries for an off-spinner to bowl. It is gripped between the thumb, forefinger, and middle finger, released similar to flicking a disc on a carrom board. The carrom ball can go straight, spin towards the leg, or offside, depending on the grip. It poses a significant challenge for batsmen.
  3. Arm-Ball: The arm-ball is a delivery that tends to turn away from the stock delivery with less spin and bounce. It can be a useful variation to surprise batsmen and induce mistakes.
  4. Under Cutter: The under cutter is a delivery bowled with the palm facing the sky. It produces more drift but less spin and is rarely used by bowlers. However, it can be effective in specific situations to deceive batsmen.



Spin bowling is a crucial aspect of cricket, with spinners playing a pivotal role in deceiving batsmen and taking wickets. The four types of spinners, including right-arm off-break spinners, right-arm leg spinners, left-arm orthodox spinners, and left-arm chinaman spinners, bring unique techniques and variations to the game. By mastering variations such as googlies, top spinners, and carrom balls, spin bowlers add an extra edge to their bowling and make it challenging for batsmen to score runs. Understanding the different types of spin bowling techniques and variations can enhance the appreciation of this fascinating aspect of the game. So, the next time you watch a cricket match, keep an eye out for the spin bowlers and their mesmerizing deliveries.

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