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Former Pakistan seamer Wasim Akram first encountered the slower ball in England during a county season and thought "I am a fast bowler, why should I learn it?". However, with experience, he realised the potency of the delivery which has now become an indispensable variation for every quick bowler. Akram took Osman Samiuddin of the National over the important aspects involved in bowling the perfect slower ball.
"The key thing I learnt is that you have to toss it up, give it flight. If you throw it straight, it just skids on. The faster you run in, the shoulder should rotate as fast, but it's just the fingers and wrist. Some bowlers, when they try to bowl it, psychologically become a bit slower in their run-up, their shoulder rotation is a bit slower and batsmen read it. So you have to do the opposite - the shoulder will go around as fast, but you use the wrist to kind of twist the ball and get that dip."
Third on the list of leading wicket-takers in the Ashes, Glenn McGrath knows a few things about winning matches for his side. In an interview with Donald McRae of the Guardian, the former fast bowler, who dismissed Mike Atherton a record 19 times in the Ashes, rubbishes Ian Botham's prediction of a 10-0 England sweep, and remembers the impact of the 2005 series.
"The thing that stands out for me was walking down the street and people coming up to me saying they'd never watched cricket before and suddenly they couldn't miss a ball. I remember Old Trafford on the last day when so many people couldn't get in. That atmosphere, and especially the cricket, made it the best series I ever played in."
Defeat was galling, but McGrath suggests, "we became a better side while England, having achieved what they wanted, fell away. We won the next Ashes, which was the last series for me and Warnie, 5-0. It was the perfect way to bow out."
South Africa -- for no fault of the cricketers themselves --was a big issue. Any serious thinking person, anyone who is passionate about his colour, his race, would certainly have turned his back on South Africa. It's nice to hear about my great innings but the greatest innings that Vivian Richards played was not going to South Africa.'
The longest-running sports annual in history, The Wisden Cricketers' Almanack has remained steadfast through wars and global crises and even technological revolutions. In Wisden India, six editors of the Almanack share their thoughts on what it means to be a Wisden editor.
Sachin Tendulkar has the honour of having a wax model of himself on display at Madame Tussauds in London. It doesn't need telling that his contributions to cricket have elevated him to 'godlike' status, not only in India, but across the world. So it is not very often that a goof up regarding him is made. Such was the case though, when his second wax likeness - this one at the SCG in Sydney - was unveiled by the iconic wax museum; the jersey that the figure sported was India's kit from the 2012 World T20, a tournament Tendulkar wasn't part of, Mid-Day reported. It has been almost seven years since Tendulkar suited up for a T20 international, his only such game being India's maiden T20I, against South Africa in December 2006. Madame Tussauds has admitted to the rather embarrassing gaff and will change the figure's kit to reflect Tendulkar's crowning glory with a 2011 World Cup India jersey.
There are few books on cricket that have had as powerful and as lasting an impact as CLR James' Beyond a Boundary. Fifty years after its publication, it is still regarded by many as the greatest book on the game. Writing in the Guardian, Selma James, wife of CLR, shares her insights into a book that her husband "had to write".
Establishing early the interconnection between cricket and race and class divisions opens the way for Beyond a Boundary to fulfil its author's full purpose: to draw out other startling connections - cricket and art, life in ancient Greece, even rewriting English social history with cricket's great WG Grace as a crucial figure. As startling as his connections is the light he sheds on each - not only cricket but every subject benefits from shattering boundaries. We are invited to reject the fragmenting of reality, and to see its diverse interconnections without which we are prevented from ever knowing anything fully - including our own reality. What do they know of cricket, or anything, if it is walled off from every other aspect of life and struggle?
In Open, Rohan Gavaskar talks about life as Sunil Gavaskar's son and imparts advice to Arjun Tendulkar on handling the expectations that come with a legendary surname.
"I would say that just be the best you can be (irrespective of what your father achieved). Put in the hard work. From what I've seen, he doesn't shy away from [hard work]. You can see his enthusiasm for the game, so that's a plus. Look, you've got to do more than what the other guy is doing. And it applies to everybody, not just him. See, when he's out there on those 22 yards, the ball doesn't become slower or faster or turn more or turn less just because his last name is Tendulkar."