What is the Difference Between Leg Spin and Off Spin in the Game of Cricket Bowling?

What is the Difference Between Leg Spin and Off Spin in the Game of Cricket Bowling?

Leg spin and off spin bowling are the two varieties of spin bowling that have traditionally been used, and in this post, I’m going to examine the primary distinctions that exist between the two types.

Leg Spin versus Off Spin Bowling

The direction in which the delivery is made is what differentiates bowling with leg spin from bowling with off spin.

When bowling leg spin with their right arm, the ball will be turned away from the leg side and toward the off side when it is delivered to a right-handed batsman.

In the meantime, an off spin bowler will move the ball in the other direction, from the offside to the leg side.

The angles are flipped over for players who bowl with their left arm and/or hit with their left hand. For instance, if a right-handed off spinner bowls to a left-handed batter, the ball will turn away from the leg side and toward the off side.

Differences Between Leg Spin and Off Spin

Those angles are the most noticeable distinction between leg spin and off spin. By convention, an off spin will move the ball from leg to off, and a leg spinner will turn the ball from off to leg.

In the sport of bowling, a leg spinner will use their wrist to impart spin on the ball as they bowl. Because of this characteristic, they are frequently referred to as “wrist spinners.”

Off spinners are often referred to as “finger spinners” since they rely exclusively on their fingertips to complete their spins.

The degree to which anything is spun is yet another important distinction. It is possible for a leg spinner to turn the ball significantly further than an off spinner, provided that they have the correct action and the pitch conditions are in their favour.

As we are going to discover, the grips used for the two types of bowling are also distinct from one another:

1. Grip

Leg Spin

When a leg spinner has a good grasp on the ball, they will support it in their palm while holding the seams on each side of the ball with the bases of their fingers.

Off Spin

The off-spin grip involves holding the ball in the palm of the hand rather than the fingers.

It’s quite similar to the grip used for the leg spinner, except this time the ring finger and the index finger are divided so that they may be placed on either side of the seam. Under their fingers, the seam runs in a horizontal direction.

2. Run Up

Leg Spin

If you watch spin bowlers compete on television, you might have noticed that their run ups are slightly different from one another.

This will primarily rely on the person in question and the circumstances in which they are most at ease.

All leg spin run ups, on the other hand, will start from a very short distance. When approaching the crease, the bowler will either walk at a normal pace or employ a leisurely jog.

Off Spin

Again, the length of the run up will be determined by the individual, but you shouldn’t be too concerned with your speed coming into the crease.

From a short distance away, you should start with a brisk walk or a gentle jog. This will impart some momentum onto the ball, which will assist with the spin that you want to achieve.

3. Give it up

Leg Spin

The bowling hand should be tucked in towards the face when the leg spin bowler approaches the coil portion of their delivery. This gets the wrist ready to do its function.

When bowling leg spin, the bowler turns their wrist as the ball is being released, which causes the ball to be delivered over their ring finger. The spin that is given is counterclockwise, which ought to be of assistance to the leg spin turn.

Off Spin

As the coil phase draws near, the bowling arm of the off spinner should be angled back, away from the batter, and the ball should be tucked under the chin.

The ball is given spin as soon as it is released from the player’s hand. After a forward flick of the wrist, the fingers will then rotate over the top of the ball to complete the move.

The movement is analogous to the motion of turning a knob to open a door.

4. Maintaining Command and Accuracy

Leg Spin

A leg spinner will use their wrist to maintain control of the ball as it is being delivered. The arm swings around, and as it does, the ball slips out of the side of the hand where it was held.

Off Spin

After the off spinner has been released, the ball is controlled by the fingers as it moves out from the palm of the hand.

They have a better hold on the ball, and as a result, mastering precision is much simpler for them than it is when using leg spin.

5. The total number of rotations

Commentators on television will frequently discuss the number of revolutions that have been placed on the ball.

Even in the most significant test matches, a graphic is displayed. This is the number of times that the ball rotates, and a higher number of rotations results in a greater quantity of spin.

Leg Spin

Although the rpm is often a little bit lower for leg spinners, bowlers should still try to aim for somewhere around 1800 Revolutions Per Minute (RPM).

Off Spin

When they let go of the ball, off spinners impart extra ‘rip’ onto it, which allows their RPM levels to be increased. Bowlers of the calibre of Graeme Swann often averaged over 2,000 revolutions per minute (RPM).

Spin Bowling FAQ

Why Is It So Difficult to Do Leg Spins?

When opposed to off spin, leg spin requires a greater degree of control from the player, making it a more difficult technique to learn.

The wrist does the most of the work during the release of the ball, and the ball will quite literally glide out of the side of the hand.

When bowling with off spin, the spinner uses their fingers, which have a greater degree of control, to direct the path of the ball.

When first starting out, it can be quite challenging for a young leg spinner to perform accurately.

However, leg spin may turn more prodigiously and is tough for a batsman to face; this is one of the reasons why there are becoming more leg spinners being used in the game.

How Quickly Can Spin Bowlers Roll Their Balls?

The ball may be delivered by the most proficient leg spinners at a maximum speed of around 100 kilometres per hour, which is equivalent to 62 miles per hour.

The numbers are basically the same for an off spinner, however it’s possible that they’re a little bit quicker.

Off spinners and leg spinners will often bowl at speeds ranging from around 75 to 95 kilometres per hour.

Bowlers Famous for Their Spin

There are presently two spin bowlers that top the pack in terms of the most wickets taken in test matches.

Muttiah Muralitharan, who bowls off-spin for Sri Lanka, is now in first place with an amazing 800 victims and 1347 overall wickets in international competition.

Next up is Australia’s leg spinning sensation Shane Warne whose 708 test victims forms part of 1001 victims overall.

Famous leg spinners as as Abdul Qadir, Anil Kumble, and Richie Benaud are also considered to be among the best spin bowlers. Saqlain Mushtaq, Jim Laker, R Ashwin, Graeme Swann, and Rangana Herath are all considered to be among the best off spinners of all time.


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