Should offspinners be allowed more flexion to bowl the other one? May 1, 2009

No extra elbow room

In the wake of the call by Ramiz Raja to allow offspinners extra leeway for the doosra, we asked four experts: should more than 15 degrees of flexion be permitted for the delivery?

Erapalli Prasanna
former India offspinner
No, they should not. Then you might as well allow 30 degrees! Are you trying to make a fair delivery or bowl using unfair means? There is no room for chuckers in the game. You don't use the term "pitching" in cricket; you bowl.

Daryll Cullinan
former South Africa batsman
Specific balls take specific types of skills, and I don't see the doosra as physically threatening to batsmen, so legalise it. Bowling the doosra is a skill and it makes the game more interesting.

There are too many grey areas here at the moment. The thing with the doosra is not whether the guy's elbow is bent or not - if he bends his arm, it is going to be a big giveaway to the batsman. The element of surprise is lost. The subtlety in how the bowler can disguise his doosra is the key, and not the flexing of his elbow.

Terry Jenner
former Australia legspinner
Absolutely not. Why should we bend the rules for something that is not legal? If Geoff Boycott had a bat in his hand, he wouldn't want the bowler to be given any extra advantage.

Do you know how many blokes there are out there at the moment [who bowl the doosra]? Very few. What do you want to do, open the floodgates? Why should we change the laws to accommodate just one delivery? Why can't we say it is all right to go 20 degrees to bowl a bouncer?

Here, I would like to draw comparison with the legspinner's flipper. The flipper is such a ball that there have been very few successful exponents of it - Richie Benaud, Bruce Dooland and Shane Warne to name a few [in Australia]. It is a legitimate skill, where the arm is dead straight. It is a skill of the fingers and the wrist: spin bowling has always been the skill of the fingers and the wrist.

Saqlain Mushtaq bowled the doosra cleanly - he never spun it like a legbreak. His doosra deviated off the seam. He delivered it with a side-on action and he released it with his palm upwards, while most now have got their back of the hands towards the batsman.

Greg Matthews
former Australia offspinner
It's cheating. There are too many chuckers in the game. The 15-degree rule just allows cheating and chucking.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

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