October 7, 2010

Speed or swing? How about both?

Most fast bowlers wish they were skilled in both arts. And though physics and genetics play a role in determining who gets what, it's not impossible to achieve the golden combo
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Mitchell Johnson, despite clinching a five-for in the first Test in Mohali, might happily concede some of his pace in exchange for being able to get the ball to swing. He was candid enough to confess his inability to swing it consistently. Then again, Praveen Kumar, who swings the ball appreciably, probably longs to add those few extra miles of pace.

The combination of pace and swing is an enviable one and very hard to achieve. If swinging the ball is a difficult skill to acquire, bowling quick has a lot to do with genetics. But just like Johnson discovers that crucial swing every now and then before losing it again, it's possible to increase one's pace - though you can only do so to a certain extent before hitting your threshold. So what makes the ball swing? And how does one bowl fast?

Swing
While science confirms that shine plays a huge role in determining the direction in which the ball swings, there's still only one method to swing the ball when it's new. Since both sides are equally shiny, the bowler's wrist and seam position dictate the ball's path after release. The ball must be delivered with an upright seam position and enough backspin to ensure that the seam stays straight when it hits the ground. If the wrist is not behind the ball, or has fallen sideways, the ball will not travel correctly.

You'll notice this difference in the actions of Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma. While Zaheer's wrist is firmly behind the ball at the time of release and imparts enough backspin, Ishant's wrist falls sideways and prompts the ball to tilt heavily towards the leg side upon release.

Ideally you should point the seam in the direction in which you want it to swing. To bowl an outswinger, tilt the seam slightly towards first slip; for an inswinger, towards leg slip.

Most bowlers alter their point of release to suit the swing they are trying to achieve. An outswing bowler like Matthew Hoggard maintains some distance between his ear and the bowling arm, making his action slightly round-arm, while Javagal Srinath, an inswing bowler, used to keep his arm as close to his ear as possible.

Once the shine on one side becomes prominent, the air pressure starts to assist the swing. The ball moves from high static pressure, which is the shinier side, towards low static pressure - the rough side. There's an early separation of air at the shiny surface, which makes it act like a ramp, pushing the ball towards the direction the rough side is facing. But you still need to maintain the correct wrist and seam position for swing.

The dynamics change once the ball gets old and starts to reverse. There has been a lot of talk about how one side gets heavier thanks to the application of sweat and saliva, which supposedly makes the ball swing towards the heavier side. But science doesn't buy that theory. According to research, when the ball reaches a particular stage, the rough side acts like a ramp and makes the ball move in the direction the shiny side is facing.

Science may explain the phenomenon, but the fact remains that reverse-swing, if executed properly, is very difficult to negotiate. While the seam position is a giveaway when the ball is new, it's of not much help to a batsman facing the old ball, because the same rules don't apply. Reverse-swing is truly effective when the ball swings very late, for which the bowler must position the seam opposite to that for a new ball. Wasim and Waqar were masters of this art.*

Speed
Swing may be difficult to master but speed is tougher to generate. For starters, everybody has either the fast-twitch fibres (white) or slow-twitch ones (red) in their body. These determine whether you can be a quick bowler, like Brett Lee, or a medium-pacer, like Praveen. While fast-twitch fibres give you a definite edge, there are other factors that help an individual generate pace.

The force generated from the run-up, the landing, the hip movement, the shoulder rotation and the wrist movement is translated into the speed of the ball. The more aligned the movements, the better the outcome

First, a proper run-up. A bowler must accelerate as he gets closer to the stumps, while keeping both arms close to the body (close levers ensure no wastage of energy).

Second, the momentum generated by the run-up is transferred to the jump. That's why most genuine quick bowlers - Imran Khan, Brett Lee, Malcom Marshall - have a reasonably high jump.

Third is the landing. When the front foot hits the ground, the force generated is transferred to the hip before moving upwards. The bowler rotates the shoulder, which uses the force it receives from the movement in the hip. This force is then transferred to the wrist. The result: the force generated from the run-up, the landing, the hip movement, the shoulder rotation and the wrist movement is translated into the speed of the ball. The more aligned the movements, the better the outcome.

Your fibres don't limit you, either. I've seen people increase their speed as they gain power and better alignment. Ajit Agarkar is one such player who started as a medium-pacer (he even had the wicketkeeper standing up to the stumps in Under-16 cricket) but grew into a genuine quick.

From the start of the run-up to the end of the follow-through, it's important to keep the body aligned in the direction of your target - the batsman. The bowler must stay as close to the stumps as possible after delivering, without getting into the danger zone, while moving towards the batsman. A lot of bowlers, Zaheer and Praveen among them, are guilty of either having no follow-throughs or very limited ones, while others tend to fall towards the off side, killing the momentum and with it the speed.

A bowler must also be careful about the order in which his limbs move in his action. If the shoulder begins to move before the hip has completed its action, the hip will stop contributing to the building up of momentum.

Swing makes a bowler feel like a magician, someone who can get the ball to move in the air at his command, while speed feeds his hunger to be ferocious. There's no better sight for a quick bowler than seeing his prey, the batsman, jump around with fear in his eyes, not knowing which way the ball will move or how fast it will get there. But as exciting as that may sound, it's equally difficult to master both crafts.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra is the author of Beyond the Blues, an account of the 2007-08 Ranji Trophy season. His website is here and his Twitter feed here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • vivek_tyagi on October 9, 2010, 23:50 GMT

    @Balumekka: First of all Akash never mentioned Zak as FAST, he was only mentioned to describe swing.. besides only 2-3 examples could be given, so don't sound so disappointed just because your favourite bowler's name wasn't mentioned. It was just an example, not a fast bowling ranking order.

  • blackie on October 9, 2010, 22:24 GMT

    This is a very good article. Two observations though. One of the best at pace and swing, Malcolm Marshall broke two of the 'rules'- he usually kept his elbows pointed outward during his run up and his run up was usually angled rather than straight. I guess every rule has exceptions!!

  • Balumekka on October 9, 2010, 15:11 GMT

    Im confused about Akash's definitions of "Fast". ZAK? has he ever bowled >140km/h? What about Lasith Malinga? Fast (regularly bowling at 140 km/h) and a big swinger with slinging action... He has got easily the best and most successful in-swinging yokers at the moment.

  • ShahidUsman on October 9, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    Good info about speed and the swing and how the run up and the leap works before you deliver the ball. But seriously, it is not imossible at all to possess both speed and swing. Pakistan has always produced bowlers with such skills from Imran Khan to Muhammad Aamir. I was reading commentary on cricinfo today and somebody called Praveen Kumar the sultan of swing. This is just a disgrace for swing bowlers all over the world. Praveen doesn't even fall in the top 50 and with due respect to all my Indian fellows, India itself has better swing bowlers than Praveen in shape of Zaheer Khan and several others. But I just wonder when a genuine fast bowler will come forward in a country that holds more than 1.2 billion people who will genuinely be comparable with Pakistani and Australian fast bowlers.

  • Harmony111 on October 9, 2010, 10:26 GMT

    Ok fine so Ajit Agrkar is not a quick bowler. Well then why is Glenn McGrath labeled so? He was slower than Agarkar most of the times? And Ambrose used to swung the ball? Have you guys even seen him bowling? He got the ball to move off the track and this is called seaming not swinging. Secondly, any pace bowler would get the ball to swing a lil bit. There ain't a pace bowler who can't do that else he is just not going to make it big. Bowlers like Salil Ankola & Rudy Bryson struggled because of this. The article is about the rare breed of pacers who were genuinely fast and were great swingers too. How many of that lot have been there? Ambrose/McGrath didn't swung the ball much and were not all that quick. Donald too. Bond was fast but not a grt mover. Steyn/Hoggard good candidates but ZK swings more than them. Praveen is not fast enough. Srinath was one dimensional. Venky too slow. Clarke boring. Johnson is inconsistent and not all that fast too. Shoaib was quick but swing?

  • evenflow_1990 on October 9, 2010, 0:00 GMT

    this is a very informative article and his knowledge on these matters is first class. its a pity he is somewhat biased towards indian players though. i hope he is aware there are viewers on cricinfo who are not indian and also that there are good players who aren't indian. so it would be nice to include some more non indian players [there was only indifferent reference to wasim and waqar without them being added to the related links] and if he did that there would be little to complain about regarding his articles, which are otherwise fantastic to read. he was an indian cricketer, but now he is a cricket writer, so his allegiance should be towards the sport and not nationalities. he could learn from harsha bhogle on this matter.

  • Tokas on October 8, 2010, 19:36 GMT

    Ahmed81 & ShaheedChicktay ...Can u guys stop whining about your great Ws and Greatest IK...this article is about technical aspect of swing and pace...make constructive comments on the article...Nobody doubts Pakistan had great Pace bowlers but this about the art..not artist!!!

  • on October 8, 2010, 19:32 GMT

    Huhhhh......what an article is this? Zaheer/Parveen? once i was reading an article on cric info in which he wrote Ishant sharma is lethal in bowling. I thought Chopra must have good knowledge about swing bowlers,speedstars? he missed S Akhtar who is currently bowling at 150+

  • dbping on October 8, 2010, 19:23 GMT

    @ShaheedChicktay : A better analogy would be: Mickey Arthur writing about spin and comparing the abilities of Paul Harris and Nicky Boje and concluding that Harris was a better bowler because he flighted the ball more or gave it a lot more rip. Granted they may not be the best spinners... but Mickey knows their games inside out and can comment about them. As far as I know, a vast majority of Indians love wasim and waqar and long for bowlers with at least half their talent.

  • mmoosa on October 8, 2010, 17:27 GMT

    Good article,mentions the mechanics with valid examples.I dont think the intention was to compare who the greatest quicks were.Interestingly Imran and Waqar have mediocre records in Australia whilst Wasims is below his career stats-perhaps due to less reverse swing friendly conditions? Disagree with people thinking Hadlee wasnt an attacking bowler-check his record in Auz or that slip catches are the result of non attacking line and length bowling-a perfect outswinger/leg cutter is as dangeous as any delivery in cricket and attacking bowling in every retrospect

  • vivek_tyagi on October 9, 2010, 23:50 GMT

    @Balumekka: First of all Akash never mentioned Zak as FAST, he was only mentioned to describe swing.. besides only 2-3 examples could be given, so don't sound so disappointed just because your favourite bowler's name wasn't mentioned. It was just an example, not a fast bowling ranking order.

  • blackie on October 9, 2010, 22:24 GMT

    This is a very good article. Two observations though. One of the best at pace and swing, Malcolm Marshall broke two of the 'rules'- he usually kept his elbows pointed outward during his run up and his run up was usually angled rather than straight. I guess every rule has exceptions!!

  • Balumekka on October 9, 2010, 15:11 GMT

    Im confused about Akash's definitions of "Fast". ZAK? has he ever bowled >140km/h? What about Lasith Malinga? Fast (regularly bowling at 140 km/h) and a big swinger with slinging action... He has got easily the best and most successful in-swinging yokers at the moment.

  • ShahidUsman on October 9, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    Good info about speed and the swing and how the run up and the leap works before you deliver the ball. But seriously, it is not imossible at all to possess both speed and swing. Pakistan has always produced bowlers with such skills from Imran Khan to Muhammad Aamir. I was reading commentary on cricinfo today and somebody called Praveen Kumar the sultan of swing. This is just a disgrace for swing bowlers all over the world. Praveen doesn't even fall in the top 50 and with due respect to all my Indian fellows, India itself has better swing bowlers than Praveen in shape of Zaheer Khan and several others. But I just wonder when a genuine fast bowler will come forward in a country that holds more than 1.2 billion people who will genuinely be comparable with Pakistani and Australian fast bowlers.

  • Harmony111 on October 9, 2010, 10:26 GMT

    Ok fine so Ajit Agrkar is not a quick bowler. Well then why is Glenn McGrath labeled so? He was slower than Agarkar most of the times? And Ambrose used to swung the ball? Have you guys even seen him bowling? He got the ball to move off the track and this is called seaming not swinging. Secondly, any pace bowler would get the ball to swing a lil bit. There ain't a pace bowler who can't do that else he is just not going to make it big. Bowlers like Salil Ankola & Rudy Bryson struggled because of this. The article is about the rare breed of pacers who were genuinely fast and were great swingers too. How many of that lot have been there? Ambrose/McGrath didn't swung the ball much and were not all that quick. Donald too. Bond was fast but not a grt mover. Steyn/Hoggard good candidates but ZK swings more than them. Praveen is not fast enough. Srinath was one dimensional. Venky too slow. Clarke boring. Johnson is inconsistent and not all that fast too. Shoaib was quick but swing?

  • evenflow_1990 on October 9, 2010, 0:00 GMT

    this is a very informative article and his knowledge on these matters is first class. its a pity he is somewhat biased towards indian players though. i hope he is aware there are viewers on cricinfo who are not indian and also that there are good players who aren't indian. so it would be nice to include some more non indian players [there was only indifferent reference to wasim and waqar without them being added to the related links] and if he did that there would be little to complain about regarding his articles, which are otherwise fantastic to read. he was an indian cricketer, but now he is a cricket writer, so his allegiance should be towards the sport and not nationalities. he could learn from harsha bhogle on this matter.

  • Tokas on October 8, 2010, 19:36 GMT

    Ahmed81 & ShaheedChicktay ...Can u guys stop whining about your great Ws and Greatest IK...this article is about technical aspect of swing and pace...make constructive comments on the article...Nobody doubts Pakistan had great Pace bowlers but this about the art..not artist!!!

  • on October 8, 2010, 19:32 GMT

    Huhhhh......what an article is this? Zaheer/Parveen? once i was reading an article on cric info in which he wrote Ishant sharma is lethal in bowling. I thought Chopra must have good knowledge about swing bowlers,speedstars? he missed S Akhtar who is currently bowling at 150+

  • dbping on October 8, 2010, 19:23 GMT

    @ShaheedChicktay : A better analogy would be: Mickey Arthur writing about spin and comparing the abilities of Paul Harris and Nicky Boje and concluding that Harris was a better bowler because he flighted the ball more or gave it a lot more rip. Granted they may not be the best spinners... but Mickey knows their games inside out and can comment about them. As far as I know, a vast majority of Indians love wasim and waqar and long for bowlers with at least half their talent.

  • mmoosa on October 8, 2010, 17:27 GMT

    Good article,mentions the mechanics with valid examples.I dont think the intention was to compare who the greatest quicks were.Interestingly Imran and Waqar have mediocre records in Australia whilst Wasims is below his career stats-perhaps due to less reverse swing friendly conditions? Disagree with people thinking Hadlee wasnt an attacking bowler-check his record in Auz or that slip catches are the result of non attacking line and length bowling-a perfect outswinger/leg cutter is as dangeous as any delivery in cricket and attacking bowling in every retrospect

  • ShaheedChicktay on October 8, 2010, 15:38 GMT

    There are some in here who say Akash is only writing about cricketers that he's played with or against. Now imagine Mickey Arthur writing about how to bowl spin.. and using Graeme Smith as an example of a spinner! The article would be a joke and subject to mockery. In the same way.. this article is a joke and to be laughed at. And nobody asked for their 'favourite' players to be in the article.. they asked why the BEST weren't used to serve as an example! It's obvious why they weren't. It's because, except for Steyn, the best were the Pakistanis. And it wud be difficult for an Indian journalist to admit this.

  • Ahmed81 on October 8, 2010, 14:58 GMT

    @ Kunal-Talgeri How about Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and umar gul ??!!? Have they also retired ? But someone was right when he said that they deserve to me mentioned in a separate article along with the class of Ws and Shoaib, Magrath, pollock,...etc.

  • Joji_ on October 8, 2010, 14:43 GMT

    @nivek123: When and where did I say anything about the 2 W's ?? Did I even mentioned them in either of my comments. A mere mention of the Speed quatret of Westindian pacers would have suffice... or Dale styen would have been a much better choice for the main picture. Any of the Pakistani pacers would also have been much less controvertial. Respect where its due, my friend.

  • dinith_sw on October 8, 2010, 14:30 GMT

    Zaheer Khan: the position of the wrist behind the balls helps him swing it.

  • Akbarkhan on October 8, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    Part 11 But Waqar and Wasim forced batsmen with fast swinging yorkers and cutters to get out. Thats why their percentage of lbws and clean bowled is better than anybody else. But now i want to talk about Imran Khan. I don't know how many people saw him bowling. Imran was as good as Wasim and Waqar. He was faster than Akram and probably as fast as Waqar. I have never seen a prettier action than Imran Khans. His indippers were unplayable. He is the first person who actually mastered reverse swing. When in England they blamed for ball tampering, he told them to take the ball to the lab and check it out for any manhandling. To say who were the best bowlers who had the speed and swing, my answer would be only 3 and they all were from Pakistan...Wasim, Waqar, and Imran. Marshal and Thompson were fast, very fast but no reverse swing. Asif, Mcgragh, Kapil were good bowlers but not fast enough. They can be called good but not great like 2W, Imran, marshal.

  • Akbarkhan on October 8, 2010, 14:14 GMT

    I don't know how much you people who are talking have seen and played cricket. Playing and seeing cricket is totally different than understanding it. It takes long time to understand how to bat and ball properly. Lot of people play cricket all their lives and have no idea why were they thrased all the time while bowling and got out while batting without any useful contribution.

    When we talk about 2W's i have no doubt in my mind they were the best ever bowlers in the world. yes there were great bowlers like Marshal, McGrath, Hadlee. But if you look at their records they were either fast like Marshal or swing bowlers like McGrath and Hadlee. Like Akram and Waqar, only Imran and Marshal were the only 2 bowlers who were attacking bowlers. What it means is that those people did not rely only on the line and length to get wickets but they attacked the wickets hard to get wickets. McGrath and Asif rely on line and length and finally batsman make a mistake and gets caught behind or in slip

  • Amir_D on October 8, 2010, 12:47 GMT

    Yes, this article is about lesser bowlers who could only swing the ball or have a bit of speed. Bowlers like Wasim, Waqar, Shoaib and Bond are a cut above these lot so they would deserve a different article about great bowlers...

  • Kunal-Talgeri on October 8, 2010, 11:46 GMT

    For those who are criticising the deletion/omission of the Ws, first understand the format of this column. The Insider largely covers Aakash's views based on his interactions with fellow-cricketers. The two Ws had retired before Aakash came on the scene. So, stop all the fuss. Understand the column's nature and respect the views. Why does every article have to possess international names?

  • TimmyF_23 on October 8, 2010, 11:19 GMT

    Shane Bond from NZ was one man who combined the two and was absolutely leathal. At his best he could tear through any batting order. The only other bowler of this generation who was a real swing bowler but had genuine pace as well is Mohammad Amir, and he was a cheat so there was only ONE man thats genuinely combined the two of pace and swing on a regular basis of the modern generation. Shane Bond.

  • nivek123 on October 8, 2010, 10:38 GMT

    @Joji_... What exactly do you want him to do?? Write an ode to Wasim And Waqar.

  • umaird on October 8, 2010, 8:31 GMT

    Appreciate the addition of the Ws here. Respect where it's due.

  • Kunal-Talgeri on October 8, 2010, 7:46 GMT

    Hello Aakash, thanks for another insightful column! I have a heart-felt request: you mention Javagal Srinath in this article. In the past eight years, I have found a dearth of writing on the likes of Srinath, Abey Kuruvilla, Paras Mambrey, and even Tino Yohannan. You have been an opening batter and a good-writer, who may have played a lot of these guys when they were in the latter stages of their career. They were formidable names in domestic cricket, some like Srinath of international class. Could you please, as an opening batsman, give an insider perspective of how you played them, and what made them good bowlers on thankless pitches? What did you pick up from them that may help readers who have no access to them? I am particularly keen on understanding how a batsman played Srinath because, as I said, not much has been written about him in the past decade. I feel he is an underrated fast bowler. I also picked a copy of your book, and am reading it with much interest.

  • on October 8, 2010, 7:46 GMT

    does only indian and aussie bowlers swing the ball and have pace??? the author is nuts.......left out dale styn, ntini, shoaib akhtar, muhammad asif, chaminda vaas.....etc which trying to explain what is swing and what is speed..... useless article.......... is it an article about swing and speed in da game of cricket of in indian-aussie series only????? cricinfo should try to get rid of these articles....and if same articles keep popping up....then it should get rid of the authors

  • Balumekka on October 8, 2010, 7:34 GMT

    Guys, there's nothing much to make a fuss out of this! I'm sure that Akash wrote this article for the "Page 2" comic stuff of Cricinfo, which accidentally got published in Home page. "Ajit Agarkar is one such player who started as a medium-pacer (he even had the wicketkeeper standing up to the stumps in Under-16 cricket) but grew into a genuine quick." GENUINE QUICK!!!!! (he has never bowled at 140km/h for his life) Ha haaaa!!!! Its understandable that poor helpless Akash who do not have a better option from India. So he has pulled down the standards of "Genunie quick" to >140km/h!!!!!

  • on October 8, 2010, 6:26 GMT

    Why is there an asterisk after the sentence "Wasim and Waqar were masters of this art." ?

  • dunrootin on October 8, 2010, 4:16 GMT

    To bowl outswing, one should of course be side on. (If you want to see a great action with speed may I suggest you watch film of Fred Trueman)

  • on October 8, 2010, 4:14 GMT

    you have said that high static pressure develops at shinier side and low pressure at rough side, isnt that against fluid mechanics? cause when a side is shiny, the velocity of air around it would be high, less resistance with surface resulting in less pressure and the rough side would have less velocity due to more air friction with surface causing high pressure! please do correct me if im wrong? thanks

  • on October 8, 2010, 3:57 GMT

    Why was the line about the two Ws edited out in the first place? What was the agenda there? Before someone jumps on me, I'm a Tigers fan.

  • Rhushi on October 8, 2010, 3:52 GMT

    I don't understand why people here are treating this article as a credits list. Try to get the point of the article. For example, Ajit Agarkar may not be the fastest bowler in the history of cricket but he is a fitting example of someone who started off as a slow-medium pace bowler and developed into India's fastest bowler of his time by improving on bowling action. If you want to discuss who is better than who, all time XIs is a better place for that (and I am sure Wasim will feature in most of our all time world XIs). The purpose of this article is to discuss the technique behind the art of generating speed and swing, not to list the greatest and fastest.

  • Joji_ on October 8, 2010, 3:22 GMT

    I love this article....just proves how much "Indianized" the cricketing world has become. An article about pace bowling without the mention of Westindian Pacers and no mention of Pakistani fast bowlers.... wow !!! Ever heard of Dale... a chap who plays for SA... or may be Aamir ... Even though a line has been edited and added.. just not enough my friend... just not enough!!

  • on October 8, 2010, 2:39 GMT

    Posted by Cricinfo-Editorial on (October 07 2010, 16:43 PM GMT) * This line was edited out of the piece initially and has now been restored..

    Good article but not mentioning the 2 Ws at the first place makes me laugh. I mean, all I could see are the examples of Indian bowlers who are not known for pace or swing at all. This is utter biasness.

  • on October 8, 2010, 2:25 GMT

    talking about swing bowling it is good to talk about Wasim,Waquar and Chaminda Vaas.

  • on October 8, 2010, 2:00 GMT

    now we have to look at the pedestrian bowler Zaheer to see what wrist movement is, come to Pakistan and 10 years old will show u how to do it;) I don't consider Zaheer a top bowler , Aqib Javed would be in my time before Zaheer!!!!

  • on October 8, 2010, 1:45 GMT

    I think Mr. Chopra is commenting on players he has played against and seen. Obviously he was there after Wasim and Waqar had retired when he opened for India.

    The true exponents of pace and swing, were the two W's, Shane Bond, Ambrose, Walsh, Donald, Akhtar etc. So many are there to name that it would be endless, not to mention the great West Indian Fastbowlers of 70's and 80's (you could pick any one of those guys), and Imran Khan, Dennis Lillee, Thomson.

    Out of the current crop of quicks, Steyn seems to be the most exciting. I think he could end up breaking Murali's record based on his strike rate, if he keeps healthy!

  • on October 8, 2010, 0:37 GMT

    Well written article Akash. I would also like to tell some of the readers that this article is not about who the ideal example of a swing bowler with pace is. Yes, Wasim, Waqar, Donald, Marhsall and Lillee would have been suitable examples of successful fast bowlers who can swing the ball but this article focuses more on the dynamics of the art than the guys who are good at it. The examples he has used have been limited and very much to the current scenario and context. All in all an excellent, informative and compact article from Akash focusing more on the science of things then generic fundae on personal liking of players.

  • smalishah84 on October 8, 2010, 0:35 GMT

    Akash I don't quite understand the logic of the jump in generating pace. Waqar did not have a big jump. Neither does Shoaib Akhtar. And when did Malcolm Marshall have a big jump in his action to generate pace?

  • spinkingKK on October 8, 2010, 0:12 GMT

    Is a fast bowler always better than a slow bowler? Is Shoib Akthar better than Kapildev or Richard Hadlee?

  • Bearded_Lefty on October 7, 2010, 23:37 GMT

    James Anderson is one of the quickest proper swing bowlers around. Hoggard was one of the best swingers around, he took wickets with swing all over the world, Sri Lanka etc.

  • Humanoids on October 7, 2010, 23:25 GMT

    I guess Akash wrote this considering Aussie-Indian test matches and hence spoke more about Indian bowling line up. Else, if you talk about swing of any kind, you cannot possibly ignore the likes of Marshals, Holdings, Ambroses and Walshes along with Imran Khan, Sarfaraz Nawazs, Wasims, Waqars and Akhtars. Styens, Mcgraths and plenty! So, coming from a Pakistani fan, do not just comment, Akash wrote it by Indian prespective else every tom dick and harry knows what great bowling line India had apart from Kapil Dev!

  • on October 7, 2010, 23:24 GMT

    Ishant sharma, praveen kumar, mithun are brilliant bowlers. Agarkar actually broke the 100mph barrier many times during his career but do to the unfair advantage he had with his ears his record was never included in the record books.

  • on October 7, 2010, 22:16 GMT

    Wasim and Waqar were masters of both new and old ball. You can't talk speed, swing and bowling without mentioning the two masters. Anyway, its an indian muscle flexing contest, so carry on.

    May be you could have posted this on rediff and then it would have been loved more, but there are sane people out in the world and they will call you out when you screw up like that.

    Its like writing an article about making quick hundreds as openers and never mention Sehwag, that can't happen, that would be stupid, and that is what this is, stupid.

    Asif and Amir may be tainted, but there is no question in their talent, they are the modern masters of swing and seam.

  • Stevo_ on October 7, 2010, 21:35 GMT

    I always love the "co-incidence" that not only were Wasim and Waqar masters of reverse swing, they were also masters of tampering with the ball.

  • on October 7, 2010, 21:21 GMT

    Good article. Just to add to what Aakash said about reverse swing, it's probably because the rough side causes the (air) boundary layer to separate early, reducing drag on the rough side instead of the shinier one. It needs a minimum speed for the difference to be noticeable. So a slow ball may not reverse.

    Same reason why golf balls have dimples and race cars have spoilers.

  • whatthecook on October 7, 2010, 21:20 GMT

    anybody ever heard of a bloke named michael holding? i hear he was fairly quick with a decent away swinger?

  • avisnaidu on October 7, 2010, 21:17 GMT

    I get surprise why people always point out akash has missed mentioning few folks while writing the articles. He writes on certain topics and can choose any player as example, even the club cricketers we may not heard of. As long as the article is not about the best in the business , he does not need to mention all the desrving folks.

  • 114_in_final_Six_overs on October 7, 2010, 20:00 GMT

    @Hassan Tariq, if you have such great players in your domestic cricket why don't you play them at least they wont get thrashed by likes of Broad (150 runs) and Swann. Imagine what other accomplished batsman will do to your attack. So please bring on your best the next time.

  • SONIAAFZAL on October 7, 2010, 19:44 GMT

    though im not a pakistani BUT with the inclusion of WASIM & WAQAR THE ARTICLE LOOKING MUCH BETTER NOW.... THANKS AKASH>>>>>>>>>>>>

  • SONIAAFZAL on October 7, 2010, 19:41 GMT

    though im not a pakistani BUT

  • dbping on October 7, 2010, 19:38 GMT

    Can the pakistanis please give it a rest. The sentiment of "the world is against us and and are out to rob us of our glory" has become a tad annoying now. This article is an informative piece focusing on the nuances of swing bowling. Obviously the author being an indian would focus more on indian bowlers who he would have watched from close quarters. I am very sympathetic to the Pakistani plight but the constant blaming of anything and everything is ridiculous. Like when everyone jumped on ian chappell's piece about match-fixing. Just because the accuser has made the same mistake, it doesnt make the accused innocent.

  • on October 7, 2010, 19:23 GMT

    Agarkar a genuine quick... to all those, he used to bowl in 140~145 kmph when on top of game. Shouldn't that be quick? And mind you, he was better bowler of old bowl in ODI team.

  • cric_fanatics on October 7, 2010, 19:17 GMT

    @pakspin...well u v got an impressive list of bowlers..but if v talk about the ones who r not on NANDROLONE thn none of thm wud qualify...lol...n INDIA dsnt need those pathetic bowlers...we already sit on top of the rankings...n v dont take 6 defeats to beat aussies..+ 5 one day defeats...thats enuf ..or shd i mention the english tour.?..hahhaha...remind ur bowlers of BHAJJI.....lolzzz

  • ShaheedChicktay on October 7, 2010, 18:32 GMT

    As a South African Indian I clicked on the article expecting to see a picture of Dale Steyn.. and I see one of Zaheer Khan! Lol. This writer takes the cake. A one line sentence for the W's. Perhaps it should be called 'The Indian way of bowling'. Perhaps the writer doesn't understand how the greats bowl.. he can only relate to the Indian bowling style! And we know how effective Indian bowlers are :-)

  • rv999 on October 7, 2010, 18:22 GMT

    In conventional swing, it is true that the ball moves from the shinier side to the rough side. But the explanation is slightly off. There is late separation (not early separation) of the air at the shinier side compared to the rougher side. The later separation leads to more force (pressure) on the shinier side which swings the ball.

  • fanonfire on October 7, 2010, 18:21 GMT

    fast bowling is just a natural talent which every fast bowler is born with methods physics has got nothing to do with it. otherwise childerns of legend fast bowlers should have been very good fast bowlers. or a rich board like bcci can hire a very good fast bowling coach and alongwith someone who knows methods of physics and can produce great fastbowlers. i understand AC was just giving examples in this aricle but ithink he should have used better examples. obviously being an indian he did not want to give example of wasim or waqar but dale steyn could have been a better example.

  • on October 7, 2010, 18:09 GMT

    no doubt i fail2 see the names ov waqar, wasim,shoaib,tait,satyrn,lillie,ambrose,where are these ppl,thay wer da greatest exponents ov da swing and pace bowling,zaheer sorry to say is at best is a mediocre bowler!he swings a bit but there are betr bowlers thn him in austarlian and pakistani domestic cricket,but sadly sme experts have got meiopic view ov da whole thing!

  • on October 7, 2010, 17:58 GMT

    wonderful article.for someone who didnt play cricket at club level,all his articles are gr8 piece of information.

  • on October 7, 2010, 17:55 GMT

    'Ajit Agarkar' & 'genuine pace' do not come in same sentence, Mr Chopra! Just like 'Sreesanth' & 'sanity' don't. This time you got it wrong. And i also was shocked not to see the two Ws, a certain guy called McGrath, or Donald or Steyn or Bond! Were you biased?

  • Stark62 on October 7, 2010, 17:18 GMT

    LOL

    Where's Wasim? who had could swing the ball out, in and same reverse swing.

    Waqar and devastating banana swing.

    Shoaib the fastest bowler in history and recently was reverse swinging the ball at 90-96 mph at the age of 35!

  • nivek123 on October 7, 2010, 17:14 GMT

    I hope all the whingers are happy now!!

  • on October 7, 2010, 16:45 GMT

    @CaptainMurugan - Great writers need not necessarily be great cricketers, and vice versa. I'm pretty much sure you and I know less than what Aakash or Harsha know about swing and fast bowling, let alone negotiate them. Aakash plays domestic cricket, and Harsha has been in the field for almost two decades now. If I were you, I'd probably look at myself first and ask "Have I even played a 30 over match and faced genuine talent".

  • Cricinfo-Editorial on October 7, 2010, 16:43 GMT

    * This line was edited out of the piece initially and has now been restored.

  • DevilsCricket on October 7, 2010, 16:22 GMT

    Agarkar a genuine quick..come on !

  • nivek123 on October 7, 2010, 16:00 GMT

    Oh my God, what's wrong with all the pakistani supporters over here. Akash just had a short stint in the international arene so he is just talking about the bowlers he has played with and seen. So please stop whingeing about XYZ not being there. @pakspin.. Thanks for your concern but, we are doing just fine with our bowlers. Cheers.

  • XIII_BD on October 7, 2010, 15:39 GMT

    if the thing on the jump is as such as u write, then how does malinga nd tait generate so much pace???

  • on October 7, 2010, 15:20 GMT

    Absence of two words "Wasim" and "Waqar" from the article about "speed" and "Swing" have given article great credibility :)

  • pakspin on October 7, 2010, 14:52 GMT

    You are talking about swing and speed and all you can find is a picture of Zaheer Khan lol..but I saw it coming..during the test Ravi shastri said there are a few bolwers in the world who can swing the ball better than Zaheer...again I was on the floor...Here you managed to write an article about speed and swing and failed to mention umal gul, the two Ws, mohammed amir, asif, and shoaib. and you name a mediocre bowler who learned the little swing he does know from Wasim, and is quite mediocre in he pace arena. It is out of jealousy that you ignore the bowlers from Pakistan because you know they pretty much own the arena of speed and swing bowling..and you are in denial of that..a bowler like zaheer khan wouldn't make it to a club team in pakistan domestic cricket..and yet Ravi sharti says there are a few who can swing the ball like Zaheer? Your jealousy of Pakistan's ownership of fast and swing bowling is so obvious. Zaheer khan is an excellent nets practice bowler.

  • ahmedjawwad4u on October 7, 2010, 14:49 GMT

    Haha, Marshall, Imran and Lillee, Then Wasim, Macdonald and Waqar, and now irrespective of his character, Muhammed Aamir. Zaheer khan the new hero of propaganda machine

  • inswing on October 7, 2010, 14:27 GMT

    People, stop complaining about how your favorite cricketer is not mentioned, or whose photo was used. This is not survey of all the great bowlers. This series has never been "let me tell you about the greats". This is providing some technical insight from an insider. He is going to use examples of players that he played with or against the most, which will tend to be the Indian players. It does not mean that they are the greatest. The purpose of examples is to illustrate a point, not to affirm their greatness or anything.

  • mrgupta on October 7, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    Boy! that was probably your best article. Very well written, very detailed and very informative. I can see that You have worked hard to gather information before writing this one. This provides very good information to the young bowlers who can learn so much. I just hope India can produce a genuine Quick bowlers like Lee, Tait, Steyn or Akhtar. It was so disappointing to see Ishant Sharma loosing out on is speed when he actually started as somebody who could bowl consistently in 140 Ks. How he ended up bowling into 130s is a mystery.

  • Mark00 on October 7, 2010, 14:11 GMT

    People with primarily slow twitch fibres can never bowl fast. However, fast twitch fibres and a bad action can make you slow.

    When a medium pacer turns into a genuine fast bowler, it's because they always had the potential (due to higher percentage of fast twitch fibers) but were held back by a poor action.

    Also, the physics regarding the leap is wrongly described. They don't transfer their momentum to leap, they leap in order to better plant the landing foot and then transfer the energy from running into the bowling action.

  • sohaibahmad on October 7, 2010, 14:07 GMT

    Didnt know that Marshall had a "jump' let alone "a reasonably high jump"

  • on October 7, 2010, 13:52 GMT

    @Ultimatecricexpert - I'm not trying to cause a whole racket now but if you chuck a ball to a batsman, it will naturally go faster. Sling bowlers have a more natural arm position on release and therefore are "winding" back their arm when just about to bowl like as if playing an online cricket game. If you want a big hit, you wait for it to go right to full power and then smash it. Watch Shaun Tait just before he bowls...

  • on October 7, 2010, 13:43 GMT

    @Dyldog_NZ

    Are you kidding me mate? Shane Bond? Steyn will outswing and outpace Bond in his sleep! And Steyn's still playing!

  • soaf on October 7, 2010, 13:37 GMT

    explaining swing and speed without mentioning wasim waqar and shoaib is similar of explaining rap music without eminem and lil wayne. your articles smell very biased.please develop a sense of neutrality and dont hype zaheer khan as class bowler he is not even in best top ten baowlers of this era

  • on October 7, 2010, 13:08 GMT

    I understand why he didn't mentioned the Ws....But how come he misses out on the current most dangerous bowler who is among the fastest with the deadliest swing....DALE STEYN...currently the best test bowler in the world. The article suggests his picture should be on top, not Zaheer's.....After Shane Bond left....Its Dale...Johnson is not even close....@Dyldog_NZ I think you dont watch SA's game!!!!

  • delastbastion on October 7, 2010, 13:06 GMT

    A thought provoking article, but what about those persons who by all logical reasonings shouldnt have been quick and dangerous but were such as Sylvester Clarke ........ Ajit is one who is quick and doesnt look it, but he's not dangerous....what was it about Clarke?

  • aa61761 on October 7, 2010, 13:06 GMT

    Absolute nonsense. Writer has no knowledge of physics, as far as speed goes. Swing is based on principles of aerodynamics.

  • 114_in_final_Six_overs on October 7, 2010, 13:02 GMT

    @saud, he did not mention two Ws probably because everyone knows how they achieved the combination. It is the worst kept secret in cricket.

  • SurlyCynic on October 7, 2010, 12:46 GMT

    Dyldog_NZ: The last bowler to have both was Shane Bond? Ever heard of Dale Steyn?

  • on October 7, 2010, 12:27 GMT

    Zaheer, Shreeshath, Mithun, Ishant, Praveen and SWING and PACE bowling? This article would fail a bit lesser if names like Wasim, Waqar, Donald, Holding, Marshall, etc were mentioned.

  • on October 7, 2010, 12:02 GMT

    Currently Dale Steyn possesses the most lethal combination of these two fast bowling assets in the current crop of players...hence he is the most successful.

  • emran_xaman on October 7, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    @ Vipul.. I tend to disagree... beef-eating supplements your strength... thats why Pakistan always produce high class fast bowlers.. and that also from a certain part of the country that is khyber Pakhtunkha.. Imran Khan, Umar Gul hails from the same descendant..

  • emran_xaman on October 7, 2010, 11:37 GMT

    Indeed a nice article; but I believe Akash you must be fair with the game that you love and that has given you so much.. Can you; yourself justify the pic of Zahir being displayed on a marvellous article like this; that is about speed and swing.

    How can you spare Wasim, Waqar, Shoaib, Gul, and the Whiz Kid AAmir who has the pace and swing both.

    Please get your connotations right

  • Marktc on October 7, 2010, 11:25 GMT

    Funny no mention of Dale Steyn who has speed and can swing the ball...

  • usmanrahim on October 7, 2010, 11:12 GMT

    Swing of arm plays important role than the wrist position. Thats why Waqar Wasim and Shoaib alter actions slightly when tried to get a bit more swing. Lately, Asif swinged it both ways even in different actions altogether.

    I also tried my level best to make myself believe that this article is not biased but could not helped it out. You talk about swing and speed and missing Pakistani and West Indian speed demons. I also think that McGrath swinged it at will and combined swing and seam bowling in favorable conditions and he should have been mentioned. It could have been a better article if bounce and accuracy has been included.

  • umaird on October 7, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    How utterly shameful that you failed to mention the GREATs of pace/swing combo - Wasim and Waqar. Even Shoaib Akhter deserves a mention here. Ask any great test batsmen who has faced him in his prime.

  • KiwiRocker- on October 7, 2010, 10:24 GMT

    What is all this? Now you are an authority on swing and fast bowling? What has Zaheer Khan did in last 10 years? He is an above average bowler among pathetic Indian bowlers. India has won a test match thanks to Uncle Pawar looking after them in ICC with no UDRS and use of special balls. I am tired of this bias in cricket. All this biased articles. You want to talk about Swing bowling and speed, think about a champion fast bowler like Waqar Younis, Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh. This article is a joke! Did you ever hear of someone named Wasim Akram? Do you know what Curtly Amborse had said about Wasim Akram? I am clueless why this article has mention of Parveen Kumar. This kind of journalism hypes Indian public who go in state of mourn whenever India has to compete in a real quality tournament where they generally lose in first round!

  • Cool_Jeeves on October 7, 2010, 10:21 GMT

    Good article. however doesnt explain why the ball does reverse as well as conventional swing when it gets old. Also if Agarkar became a quick bowler, how come we did not know it?

  • pointofViv on October 7, 2010, 10:05 GMT

    I like the science and notion behind whatever is said in this article, but Akash, can you please add more practical examples taking bowlers from different countries and with different styles. Because, bowlers like Akhtar, Aamer, Malinga, Pollock, MacGrath, Bond even Kalis, have particular actions and they are all very very effective, the science doesn't change for sure (or may be little in practical conditions) but what is amazing for me, with such different styles and actions these people unleash hell for the batsmen, so please in future will you add such BEST examples without focusing much on our Indian counterparts. I am an Indian but I never respected our bowlers other than Kapil, Shrinath and Prasad (more as a coach). Otherwise your articles are just like paper napkins which are used to clean the faces. I am really losing interest in your articles. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE.

  • ks80 on October 7, 2010, 10:01 GMT

    It's obvious that Akash doesn't know much about fast bowling technicalities. Anyone serious about this topic should read "Fast bowling bible" by Ian Pont. I am sure it's difficult to come up with articles at regular intervals but try to stick to what you know best Akash

  • on October 7, 2010, 10:00 GMT

    Totally agree with you SaudSami.

  • pakipower75 on October 7, 2010, 9:55 GMT

    Aakash why did you neglect the bowlers who mastered both of this arts with almost perfection??that really unfair!

  • Asfandeyar on October 7, 2010, 9:50 GMT

    With zaheer in the forefront he perhaps meant the one who doesnt have any :)

  • rizzz86 on October 7, 2010, 9:24 GMT

    The title should be "Indian Fast Bowler's inability to ball both Swing and Speed"

  • CricketPissek on October 7, 2010, 9:22 GMT

    once again an insightful and informative article. sour grapes for pakistani fans who complain that their Ws, Guls, and what not aren't mentioned. Aakash's posts are as "The Insider" so he naturally speaks about the players he's played with and seen first hand. You can just do a simple google search to read thousands of articles about your favourite bowlers to satisfy your frustrations. Zaheer's photo isn't meant to be used as a poster for swing/fast bowling, but Aakash is trying to make a point about wrist position. and the comment about the article being "ironical" (that's not even a word!) shows a lot about your own intelligence than aakash's.

  • sachin300 on October 7, 2010, 9:06 GMT

    Very impressive Aakash! Did you study physics upto a good level in college? It appears you did :). Btw, I am not sure why Praveen is not getting a chance in test side, he is one bowler who uses a lot of brains behind his bowling. The way he can swing the new ball, he can be very handy specially if we are playing in Aus or Eng.

  • AhmadSaleem on October 7, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    I already knew almost every thing written in this article. It's not a rocket science. Good fast bowlers just stick to the basics but that's also the most difficult thing for most of the bowlers.

  • Harmony111 on October 7, 2010, 7:43 GMT

    Those who think ZK's pic here is misplaced perhaps have not seen the movement ZK gets. He gets the new ball to swing appreciably, can seam the ball on helpful tracks and also gets the ball to reverse swing when its due. Also, while he is not super quick, he is around 135-142 Kmph. And for reference of all here, this was the range of Waqar too. Before anyone starts talking bout Waqar's fastest balls, I am talking about the typical range of WY and ZK. So ZK's pic here is quite justified. He is reasonably fast, swings the ball, seams it and also reverse swings it.

  • UltimateCricExpert on October 7, 2010, 7:41 GMT

    Whenever any article from Aakash comes, many people make comments about non mentioning of their favourite player/star player in the article. Remember, Aakash wants to explain his concept better with an example using players he knows well (mostly Indian players) let it be Zaheer or Agarkar or any other indian player. Non mentioning of some players in his article doesn't mean that they are not good players. If anyone is thinking like that it will be childish...

  • nzcricket174 on October 7, 2010, 7:20 GMT

    @ crisspymn: When Mitchell Johnson is on song, he's one of those players. When he isn't, well, look at his performances in England. New Zealanders bring up a lot of clumsy bowlers - most who are tall with no real pace or threat. Someone like Shahadat Hossain from Bangaldesh does everything right except the last thing. He charges in with the jump and all, but just as he is about it bowl something in his wrist holds back a lot of pace.

  • BillyCC on October 7, 2010, 7:09 GMT

    Speed and swing are all very well, but control trumps all the other factors. Speed and swing are good wicket-taking factors, but there have been too many exponents of both factors who lack the necessary control. Some great bowlers have neither speed nor swing, they rely on seam, bounce and the pitch. But all the truly great bowlers first and foremost had control.

  • SPS1 on October 7, 2010, 6:43 GMT

    Akash, am being a little off topic here, but one suggestion for your next articles is the topic of standing int the slips - the technicalities involved in doing so. I have noticed for ages, that Indian wicketkeepers and senior slip fielders stand too deep even on low and slow wickets, and many edges fall short, as we saw at Mohali. However, the Australians were quite aggressive in this area. Tim Pain, their keeper led by example, by standing closer to the stumps to his fast bowlers than Dhoni stood to the slower Indian fast bowlers. And since the keeper sets the benchmark, the slip fielders automatically will stand closer to the wicket. I think Indian wicketkeepers and slip fielders are too defensive in this regard and have not learnt their lesson. I would expect Dhoni to be more aggressive in this regard since he is a smart cricketer, but he does not seem to be addressing this issue. It would be great to see an article from you regarding technicalities of this issue. - Regards, Sandip

  • on October 7, 2010, 6:42 GMT

    Why the heck someone has to complain about the lack of mention of their players in the articles of Akash?Akash has been playing in the Indian domestic circuit and its natural for him to mention the players whom he has seen from close quarters.He is not entitled to include every great cricketer in his article.Well its a good article and this much o technical stuff is not imparted by the likes of yelling Shastri and grumpy Gavaskar in their commentaries.

  • Analytical_Sathya on October 7, 2010, 6:37 GMT

    I think Zaheer is not that skillful and can't be relied always. But he is an impact bowler and bowls wicket taking deliveries. Rather I would rate Munaf Patel highly. For me he is India's best bowler on view,ofcourse under utilised. He has sacrificed his 145+ speed for magnificent control, seam and swing.

  • Dazzling_Devil on October 7, 2010, 6:16 GMT

    @ Joji_

    Haha. Same here. And the image is of the best Indian bowler who is not even as good as best South African allrounder (forget the bowlers).

  • Joji_ on October 7, 2010, 5:42 GMT

    Lolz .. even before opening this article, I knew the accompanying image would be of an indian fast bowler. So predictable. Lolz :)

  • SaudSami on October 7, 2010, 5:32 GMT

    WOW! you managed to write about the combination of swing and speed without using the words Wasim, Waqar, Shoaib and Gul. Great job!

  • farata on October 7, 2010, 5:22 GMT

    Well-written Akash. Then, of course, there were the 2 most lethal combinations of speed and swing.. the two Ws.. at his peak, Waqar was probably the quickest of them all.. and he had that seriously destructive swing right from the start.. Wasim was the same, though he slowed down with time, while improving his control and swing.

  • CricEshwar on October 7, 2010, 5:09 GMT

    You've been churning out really informative articles Aakash. Would like to see an article on pitches and conditions.

  • South_Indian on October 7, 2010, 5:05 GMT

    Can we have a decent fast bowler's pic here instead of Zaheer? May be the author wanted to keep the whingers happy! Better pics could have been (only suggesting) of Donald or Waqar for speed, Akram for swing and may be Lillee for both speed and swing. Zaheer is just a club bowler compared to the greats.

  • on October 7, 2010, 5:02 GMT

    Isnt it a bit ironical? An Opening batsman talking about swing bowling!!

  • youfoundme on October 7, 2010, 4:41 GMT

    I think the last bowler to play the game that had both these attributes was Shane Bond. Mitchell Johnson is probably the closest candidate, he just needs to practice it.

  • on October 7, 2010, 4:36 GMT

    Awesome Aakash, nice to see intricacies of physics/bio-mechanics of swing/fast bowling coming from a cricketer :)

  • crisspyman on October 7, 2010, 4:32 GMT

    Well said Akash.Both swing and express bowlers are tough to handle.But I personally feel a bastsman fears deadly fast bowling rather than swing bowling.Tearaway bowlers are a asset to any team.Most of the teams do not have those.Its coz they are rare in breed.But swing bowlers are seen in every country like zak,dale steyn,bollinger,amir etc.........So swing bowlers with tear away bowler at one end can ce disaster to any team.......

  • UltimateCricExpert on October 7, 2010, 4:24 GMT

    Very informative. Good. Also, you should have mentioned why bowlers with silnging action usually generates more pace than ones with high arm action.

  • nzcricket174 on October 7, 2010, 3:46 GMT

    At some point in his life Wasim Akram had both going at the same time. Later on, he lost the speed, though the swing is still there. This shows how hard it is to not only master both, but maintain both. Akram was almost the king of swing, yet he could not maintain both throughout his career.

  • VipulPatki on October 7, 2010, 3:30 GMT

    Nice article again Akash. I think Indian bowlers are not quick enough primarily due to either their lazy run up or due to improper jump or both. Sreesanth has a great run-up to the crease and a lovely seam position (adjectives that can't be used with his personality!) he loses a bit of control I feel when he bends backward a little too much. Irfan Pathan has a clumsy runup that has no acceleration to speak of. Abhimanyu Mithun is guilty of same error - A strong man like him ought to charge to the crease. Zaheer Khan jump a little too high; probably that explains why he loses some pace but still has no difficulty retaining excellent control of seam. Ishant Sharma, except for his wrist position has all things going for him and hence could be a genuine threat in the years to come. Agarkar was guilty of criminal misuse of his talent. I don't believe not eating beef has anything to do with lack of pace.

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  • VipulPatki on October 7, 2010, 3:30 GMT

    Nice article again Akash. I think Indian bowlers are not quick enough primarily due to either their lazy run up or due to improper jump or both. Sreesanth has a great run-up to the crease and a lovely seam position (adjectives that can't be used with his personality!) he loses a bit of control I feel when he bends backward a little too much. Irfan Pathan has a clumsy runup that has no acceleration to speak of. Abhimanyu Mithun is guilty of same error - A strong man like him ought to charge to the crease. Zaheer Khan jump a little too high; probably that explains why he loses some pace but still has no difficulty retaining excellent control of seam. Ishant Sharma, except for his wrist position has all things going for him and hence could be a genuine threat in the years to come. Agarkar was guilty of criminal misuse of his talent. I don't believe not eating beef has anything to do with lack of pace.

  • nzcricket174 on October 7, 2010, 3:46 GMT

    At some point in his life Wasim Akram had both going at the same time. Later on, he lost the speed, though the swing is still there. This shows how hard it is to not only master both, but maintain both. Akram was almost the king of swing, yet he could not maintain both throughout his career.

  • UltimateCricExpert on October 7, 2010, 4:24 GMT

    Very informative. Good. Also, you should have mentioned why bowlers with silnging action usually generates more pace than ones with high arm action.

  • crisspyman on October 7, 2010, 4:32 GMT

    Well said Akash.Both swing and express bowlers are tough to handle.But I personally feel a bastsman fears deadly fast bowling rather than swing bowling.Tearaway bowlers are a asset to any team.Most of the teams do not have those.Its coz they are rare in breed.But swing bowlers are seen in every country like zak,dale steyn,bollinger,amir etc.........So swing bowlers with tear away bowler at one end can ce disaster to any team.......

  • on October 7, 2010, 4:36 GMT

    Awesome Aakash, nice to see intricacies of physics/bio-mechanics of swing/fast bowling coming from a cricketer :)

  • youfoundme on October 7, 2010, 4:41 GMT

    I think the last bowler to play the game that had both these attributes was Shane Bond. Mitchell Johnson is probably the closest candidate, he just needs to practice it.

  • on October 7, 2010, 5:02 GMT

    Isnt it a bit ironical? An Opening batsman talking about swing bowling!!

  • South_Indian on October 7, 2010, 5:05 GMT

    Can we have a decent fast bowler's pic here instead of Zaheer? May be the author wanted to keep the whingers happy! Better pics could have been (only suggesting) of Donald or Waqar for speed, Akram for swing and may be Lillee for both speed and swing. Zaheer is just a club bowler compared to the greats.

  • CricEshwar on October 7, 2010, 5:09 GMT

    You've been churning out really informative articles Aakash. Would like to see an article on pitches and conditions.

  • farata on October 7, 2010, 5:22 GMT

    Well-written Akash. Then, of course, there were the 2 most lethal combinations of speed and swing.. the two Ws.. at his peak, Waqar was probably the quickest of them all.. and he had that seriously destructive swing right from the start.. Wasim was the same, though he slowed down with time, while improving his control and swing.