In cricket, the knuckleball is a delivery that requires a great deal of skill and strategic planning, although it is not impossible to perfect.
In the world of cricket, there are a number of bowlers that employ the knuckle ball as an effective tactic. In this article, we are going to investigate how these bowlers execute this tactic.
A knuckleball is a delivery that is slower than normal yet is delivered at a quicker pace. When a bowler grips the ball differently for a knuckleball delivery, the ball is released at a significantly slower speed than it would be with a standard delivery.
The batter faces a challenge in identifying a knuckle ball because of the little shift in grip that occurs throughout its delivery. Because of this, a knuckle ball may be a deceptive delivery if it is executed well.
How to Deliver a Knuckleball in Bowling
The idea comes from the sport of baseball, where knuckleballs, which are pitched with the intention of fooling a batter at bat, have been used for a significant amount of time.
The grip is quite important when it comes to bowling knuckleballs successfully:
As a result, the two fingers that are left are responsible for gripping the cricket ball.
Pat Brown, who plays for England in limited overs international cricket, provides further information.
When he was explaining his technique to Wisden, he brought those two fingers back together and pointed them down towards the thumb. Try bending the tops of those fingers, and then place the ball so that it sits just beneath the nail.
Because of how tough the ball is to hold and control, having larger hands might be an advantage in this situation.
It is essential that this be done correctly because you do not want the batter to believe that anything else than a stock delivery is about to be thrown down.
When the ball is no longer held in the hand, the same logic applies.
This unorthodox grip does little more than slow down the ball’s momentum. When the pitch is thrown properly, the batter won’t detect any variation in the grip, and they will anticipate that the ball will come at the same pace as it normally does.
Jeetan Sareen is widely regarded as the man responsible for the invention of the knuckleball. Other than the fact that he was an Indian bowler who never competed professionally in cricket, there is very little information available about him.
Although Sareen was the one who pioneered the method, several others have improved upon it and are now successfully employing the knuckle ball in First Class and List A matches.
The cricketing community as a whole did not witness a knuckleball being used in a competitive setting for the first time in a match setting until the 2011 World Cup.
Zaheer Khan of India was the one who broke the pattern, and his success with the knuckleball paved the door for many more skilled practitioners of the pitch.
Many seam bowlers try their hand at the knuckleball, particularly in the shorter versions of the game when the slower deliveries can be such an effective tool.
A.J. Tye of Australia is, in my view, the finest knuckleball bowler in all of global cricket. He hails from Down Under.
Because of this ability, he was able to secure a spot on Australia’s national team, in addition to a contract with the Indian Premier League and offers from T20 franchises all around the world.
It would appear that India is where the practise was first implemented, therefore it should come as no surprise that many seam bowlers from that nation are skilled at this kind of delivery.
Another excellent fast bowler who has represented the Indian national team in all formats of the game is Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He has been a part of the Indian cricket squad since 2007.
He has been a crucial player for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League because to his skill with the knuckle ball and his ability to bowl it effectively.
Jofra Archer, who bowls for England, is a remarkable exception to the rule since he is able to efficiently throw the knuckle ball despite his tremendous velocity.
This is a man who, when in peak physical condition, has the ability to consistently hit the ball at speeds of more than 90 miles per hour.
When thrown at that type of speed, the knuckleball has the potential to be a really powerful weapon, and Archer makes good use of it.
The most noteworthy event took place during the semi final of the One-Day International World Cup in 2019, when a knuckleball bowled by Jofra Archer took the crucial wicket of Glenn Maxwell, who was batting for Australia.
Pat Brown, who is another seam bowler who has had trouble with injuries, provided that demonstration to Wisden.
Fans of cricket from all around the world will get the opportunity to witness exactly how effective his knuckleball can be if he is able to maintain his fitness.
Siddarth Kaul, Deepak Chahar, and Mohit Sharma are three more notable exponents of this sort of slower delivery.
Because it is such a challenging ability to perfect, the number of people who can claim to be considered among the finest knuckleball bowlers is rather limited.