Saturday, February 9, 2008

The technique of reverse swing in cricket....

Have you ever wondered why fielders apply saliva or sweat to the ball and rub them like mad on their pants??? Well, for those who don't know, this is the basic of reverse swing. But before going into it, one must first understand conventional swing. In this type of swing the bowler aligns the seam position of the ball in the direction where he wants it to go. For instance, when the seam points towards the slip cordon and the rough side is on the left, the ball moves away from the batsman and we get what is called the outswinger. If the seam points towards the leg slip and the rough side is on the right, the ball moves into the batsman and we get what is called the inswinger. As the ball gets older, one side is allowed to deteriorate while the other side is kept shiny by applying sweat or saliva. Hence one side of the ball is slightly heavier than the other thus changing the dynamics of the ball. Hence the ball starts moving in the direction of the shiny side instead of the rough side.The result is reverse swing where the ball that was supposed to move away from the batsman in conventional swing now moves into him and vice versa thus confusing the batsman. Reverse was founded by Pakistan fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz in the late 70s. He taught it to Imran Khan who in turn passed the baton to Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis, the deadliest bowling pair in modern one day cricket. Waqar told of this art to Simon Jones, his Glamorgan team mate who shared the knowledge with English team mate Andrew Flintoff. The pair went on to play a major part in England's 2-1 Ashes victory in 2005 over the Aussies who succumbed to the reverse swing hurled at them at around 90 miles an hour. Reverse swing continues to live in a controversial environment where ball tampering has become a major issue. Pakistani bowlers were initially accused of ball tampering in a bid to aid reverse swing. The ball tampering issue resurfaced in 2006 leading to the Oval Test fiasco when umpire Darell Hair accused the Pakistanis of tampering with the ball to aid reverse swing. ICCs new rule of mandatory ball change after 34 overs has hurt reverse swing bowlers because they cannot use that deadly weapon in the slog overs. But the legacy of reverse swing continues in Test matches and provides some hope for the bowlers on flat tracks with little assistance for them.

2 comments:

dmatriz said...

Hi Harima, Nice post :-)

aparajithl said...

good post,continue writing like this and do remove the IPod post