How to Reverse Swing a Cricket Ball
When a cricket ball moves through the air, it moves toward or away from the batsman.This is referred to as the swing of the ball. However, as a ball is used through the game, it starts to wear and it can be used for a “reverse swing.” During a reverse swing, the ball moves in the opposite direction than what the batsman expects. By polishing the ball and preparing your throw, you can successfully bowl a reverse swing!
Keeping the Ball Polished
Pick a side of the ball to polish after 5 overs.Choose one side of the ball to keep polished and shiny. Leave the other side of the ball alone so it develops wear and tear throughout the rest of the match. If 1 side has visible wear on it after 5 overs, polish the opposite side.
Gather sweat or saliva from your body.Wipe the sweat off your skin from your forehead, arms, and neck. You can also collect sweat from your underarms or the small of your back to wet your hands.
- Occasionally lick your fingers to use as moisture for polishing the ball.
- It’s illegal in the game to use any foreign substance to polish the ball. This includes any residual sunscreen you may be wearing. Umpires and other players will keep an eye out for this. If you are caught using an illegal substance to polish the ball, you’ll be fined and banned from the match.
Polish 1 side of the ball with your fingers.After you collect sweat or saliva on your hands, rub the leather on 1 side. Work the moisture across the whole side, including the area right next to the stitches in the middle of the ball.
- Shining only part of the side will result in a less polished ball and will not reverse swing as effectively.
Shine the side of the ball on your pants.Use the area where your leg meets your groin. Bend your leg slightly to make a crease in your pants. Rub the shiny side of the ball against your pants until it’s dry.
- It’s common to see red stains on bowlers’ pants after they polish a ball.
Bowling for a Reverse Swing
Start bowling a reverse swing after the ball has gone through 25-30 overs.Continue to polish 1 side of the ball throughout the match and let the other side develop wear and tear. The leather on the ball will look distinctly different on each side of the stitches.
- Air flow quicker around the rough side of the ball while the smooth side creates suction, pulling the ball in that direction.
Hold the ball with the seams pointing toward the slips fielder.The slips fielder stands directly behind the wicketkeeper. Line the stitches up so they are directed towards the first slip. This shouldn’t look any different from a regular pitch to the batsman.
- Don’t change the style you’re using while you bowl since it could be a giveaway that you’re trying a new technique.
Point the rough side of the ball toward the batsman.The shiny side will face in the opposite direction. The ball will swing to the direction that the shiny side is facing even though the batsman will expect it to swing towards the rough side.
- Alternatively, point the shiny side of the ball towards the batsman for the ball to swing away from them.
Keep your wrist at a 20-30-degree angle toward the batsmen.Cock your wrist back and keep it locked in place as you begin to bowl the ball. This helps the ball roll off of your fingers once you’re ready to throw it.
Bowl the ball over 80 mi (130 km) per hour.A reverse swing will only work when they are thrown at high speeds. Follow through completely with your throwing arm so it ends on the opposite side of your body.
QuestionHow do I maintain my line and length?
Cricket CoachCricket CoachExpert AnswerThrough practice drills. Aim to work on your line and length regularly in practice to get better.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I get better at predicting where a ball will land while playing cricket?
Cricket CoachCricket CoachExpert AnswerBy doing practice drills. Place cones at certain lengths and practice bowling at these lengths.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I increase my pace?
Cricket CoachCricket CoachExpert AnswerBy either becoming stronger or having a quick arm motion through your action.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I catch a cricket ball?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFocus on the ball never think that you cannot do it. Only keep positive thoughts in your mind. If you are a beginner, then practice a lot. Always keep your hands in a cone shape and enclose them when the ball is trapped in your hands or it will bounce off your hands. Also, see the article, How to Catch a Cricket Ball.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I land the ball to get the batsman out?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerGetting the right length is key to getting a batsman out. If you're bowling pace, try and get him to play forward and defensively so that if you swing out, it will nick his bat.Thanks!
QuestionHow to bowl fast and I want to swing alsowikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThis can depend on the age of the ball, as for a new ball pace cannot be increased as swing might decrease, but don't hold back on reverse swing. As many times Wasim Akram has mentioned, the quicker the ball; the more it will swing with an old ball (reverse swing)Thanks!
QuestionHow do I time the ball?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou need to judge the pitch right: the pace, swing and spin of the ball. Also, wait for the ball to come to your bat. You need to watch the ball until the last moment.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I play defensive shots?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry playing or blocking close to your pads. You should also take care of your off stump.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I straight drive against a spin?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWait for the ball to turn and then, depending on the position of the ball, play a shot. If it is right in front of your stumps, then you can straight drive.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I get better control of length when I bowl?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIdeally, bowling at good length and short of good length will help you get wickets. Use some sort of a pitch marker or a stone and place it a good length on the pitch. When you bowl, try and get the ball to land on par with the pitch marker or as close as possible. This way you can get control of the length you wish to bowl.Thanks!
I bowled reverse swing while standing and bowling, but if I bowl by running it goes as a straight delivery. What should I have to do?
How do I swing on the in leg side?
How do I do a perfect inswing ball?
How much speed is perfect to be a good bowler?
How can I turn my off spin ball more by bowling into the right length?
- Watch other players who exploit the reverse swing, such as James Anderson of England, to improve your technique.
- Reverse swings can be accomplished with a new ball if the pitch is over 95 miles (153 km) per hour, but this rarely achieved.
- Practice bowling reverse swings with an old ball in a training net to get a feel for it.
Video: MasterClass: Irfan Pathan gives tips on reverse swing
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