Fundamentals Of Fast Bowling Techniques
- By SP. Bhatia
There is much more to fast bowling than sprinting
towards the batsman, ball in hand, and hurling it
towards the stumps with all your might. Fast
bowling is an art that can be learnt and honed with
is the beginner's guide to fast bowling:
1. The basic grip: This depends upon the type of
delivery you want to bowl. You must master the
basic grip and bowling action before trying
Grip the ball with fingers & not the palm. Put the
middle and index fingers on either side of the
seam, thumb should be directly underneath. After
the bowler has gripped the ball, he should turn it
to the side and check the gap between the ball and
the 'V' formed by the thumb and index finger.
2. The run-up: For beginners, the run-up must be
about 5 to 11 paces long. The run-up should be
consistent and comprise big strides, as that helps
the bowler get into a smooth and steady rhythm. The
bowler will gain momentum if he pumps his arms
while running in to bowl.
3. The delivery stage & follow-through:
(A) The bowling action commences at the end of the
run-up and includes the delivery & follow-through.
Beginners should bowl with a side-on action, the
bowling hand under the chin and weight moving from
the left foot to the right foot. At the start of
the delivery stride, the bowler should take off
from the left foot (for right-handers). The body
should tilt upwards and the bowler should move his
right shoulder towards the batsman. He should fully
extend his front arm and focus his eyes on the
wickets at the batsman's end. He should lean his
upper body away from the batsman and the rear foot
should bend parallel to the bowling crease. The
front foot should be extended to gain balance that
will propel him forward.
(B) When the bowler lands on his right (rear) foot,
he should be side-ways from the point of view of
the opposite end. He should bring his left hand
above his head and look over the left arm towards
the wickets. He should simultaneously start moving
his rear leg forward.
(C) He should transfer the body-weight on to his
leading foot, bring the front arm down, extend the
bowling arm out behind him, and turn his left hip
and shoulder towards the batsman.
(D) The bowler should cock his bowling wrist. The
bowling arm should be extended upwards and straight
to its highest point and the ball should be
released. The follow-through begins once the ball
is delivered. The head and eyes should be kept
steady after delivery, and the bowling arm should
be brought down across the body. The left arm will
flail upwards & am backwards. The right knee should
be close to the body. The chin should not be
dropped in the follow-through.
1. The in-swing grip: The bowler should hold the
ball with the seam vertical and facing fine-leg.
The middle and index fingers should be fairly close
together on either side of the seam and the ball
should rest on the flat of the thumb. The shiny
side of the bowl should face the off-side.
2. The ball should be directed on the line of the
off-stump to give it room to swing in flight. The
run-up should be straight, but the bowler should
aim to release the bowl from slightly wide of the
3. As he approaches the crease, he should be
sideways with his arm held high. He should look at
the target from 'inside' his bowling arm towards
the target. He should lean away from the batsman
and keep his front hip in line with the front
4. The head should be held straight, eyes on the
target. His weight should be transferred from the
rear leg to the front leg as he releases the ball.
5. The bowling arm should be kept straight and
brought down to the right side of the body with the
shoulders facing forward, and the back arm moving
upwards. A smooth and relaxed run-up and proper use
of the left arm will help the bowler stay balanced.
1. The grip: The ball should be held with the seam
vertical and angled towards first slip. The middle
and index fingers should be close together on
either side of the seam. The ball should rest on
the side of the thumb. The shiny side of the ball
should be held on the leg- side.
2. (A) The bowler should observe his target over
his non-bowling arm, position sideways, the back
foot parallel to the crease. He should lean
slightly backwards. A raised front leg will help to
propel him forward.
(B) He should turn his body to face the wicket as he prepares to
release the ball. The leading arm should extend
upwards but needs to be completely vertical. The
wrist should be cocked until the ball is released.
The bowling arm should be straight and the weight
should be gradually transferred onto the left foot.
The chin must not be dropped.
(C) The bowler should follow-through vigorously; swinging his
bowling arm across the body, shoulder and hips
faced forward, the left arm swinging upwards and
backwards. The right knee should be close to the