How to play slower ball in cricket?

Hello and Welcome! In this article, we will understand what is a slower ball and how to play slower ball in cricket!

Shorter formats of cricket like T20 and T10 have been booming for a few years and with that the batters and bowlers have come up with a lot of new options in their respective fields to perform better and provide value to the team.

The biggest question of t20 players especially the batters is ‘HOW TO PLAY SLOWER BALL IN CRICKET?’ Even, you might have experienced that while facing a slower delivery you often get beaten or even if it connects, it gets mistimed.

So, let us understand what is a slower ball and how to play a slower ball in cricket.

WHAT IS SLOWER BALL?

Before knowing how to play slower ball in cricket, let us understand what is a slower ball.

In cricket, a slower ball refers to a type of delivery in which the bowler reduces the speed of the ball to deceive the batsman. It is a variation of pace bowling used to disrupt the timing and rhythm of the batsman, making it difficult for them to play their shots effectively.

To bowl a slower ball, the bowler typically holds the ball with a different grip or releases it with a modified action to reduce its pace. The objective is to make the ball travel through the air at a slower speed and arrive at the batsman’s end with less pace than expected.

There are various techniques to bowl a slower ball, and different bowlers may employ different methods. Some common types of slower balls include:

1. Off-cutter: The bowler holds the ball with the seam angled towards the leg side, and upon release, imparts a sidespin that causes the ball to cut away from the batsman.

2. Leg-cutter: Similar to the off-cutter, but the seam is angled towards the off side, causing the ball to cut into the batsman.

3. Back-of-the-hand slower ball: The bowler grips the ball with the knuckles facing the batsman and releases it with a flick of the wrist. This action generates backspin, reducing the speed and causing the ball to arrive slower than anticipated.

4. Slower bouncer: Instead of a typical bouncer, which is a fast short-pitched delivery, the bowler bowls a slower bouncer by reducing the pace but maintaining the trajectory, causing the ball to arrive at the batsman at a slower speed.

The objective of a slower ball is to deceive the batsman into mistiming their shot, resulting in a mishit or a catch for the fielding team. Skilled bowlers use variations in pace, line, and length to keep the batsmen guessing and create opportunities for wickets.

HOW TO PLAY SLOWER BALL IN CRICKET?

Now as we know what is a slower ball, let us understand how to play slower ball in cricket.

You must have seen in the t20 leagues or even in one day matches that bowlers in death overs use a lot of slower deliveries like slower length ball, slower bouncer, off cutter, leg cutter, back of the hand deliveries, knuckle ball and many variations as such.

Herr are few points to consider on how to play slower ball in cricket-

As a batter if you are playing in the death overs, you will naturally look for boundary every ball as you have to get the most out of that particular over. So, even in the death overs TRY NOT TO RUSH ON THE BALL & HIT HARD because to play the slower ones, you have to wait for the ball and play as late as possible.

  • WATCH THE GRIP OF THE BOWLER WHILE HE/SHE RELEASES THE BALL as some bowlers hold the knuckle ball grip or cutter grip in the run-up itself. It becomes easy to play if you have a hint of what the bowler will bowl next.
  • MAINTAIN A STABLE HEAD POSITION AND STANCE till the ball comes to you. The more stable you are the better you can judge the pace and length of the ball.
  • NEVER PLAY PRE-DETERMINED SHOTS because if you are a right-handed batter and you think to hit over mid-wicket and the bowler bowls a leg cutter, no matter how hard you hit, you will either get beaten or get an edge because ball and your bat swing are going in different directions, so there is no chance you can middle the ball.
  • IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO HIT A BOUNDARY ON SLOWER BALLS as many batters try to do. When ever they get a slower ball they try to slog the ball hard while sometimes placing the ball in gap and taking 1 or 2 runs can be a better option.
how to play slower ball in cricket

WHY DOES A BOWLER BOWL SLOWER DELIVERIES?

In t20 matches, if a bowler is bowling with the same pace each ball, especially after the ball has stopped swinging then the batter will not have to think much about shots he/she needs to play as the batter only has to hit according to the length of the ball.

But if the bowler has variations then the batter will be tensed about the next ball and where to play the shot. Indirectly, if you have variations as a pacer, you put pressure on the batter and make him/her think about what the next ball will be.

If the bowler has that kind of variation then he/she can be a tough task for the batters. JASPRIT BUMRAH, HARSHAL PATEL, ANDREW TYE, SHARDUL THAKUR, DEEPAK CHAHAR and many more bowlers are fine examples of bowlers who can have a lot of SLOW BALL variations.

how to play slower ball in cricket
how to play slower ball in cricket. credit-nzc.nz

TIPS TO GET USED TO THE SLOWER BALLS

There is nothing to worry about on how to deal with the slower ones. When we get used to something, it gets easier. So get used to playing the slower balls while you practice.

-Ask the pace bowlers to specifically bowl cutters and slower bouncers while you are batting in the nets.

-In the beginning, be patient and don’t try to slog the ball hard. Just try to middle in the direction of the ball.

-When you get comfortable with the pace and spin of cutters then you can practice big shots which comes in your range according to your strengths.

how to play slower ball in cricket .picture credit-www.cricketwarehouse.com.au

FINAL THOUGHTS

Anything in the world is easy if you practice it good enough. Every player has their strengths and weaknesses. Don’t think much about your weaknesses. Just try to improve whatever seems difficult to you and with time it will get easier.

As a cricketer, the first thing you should do is enjoy the game. We play because we love this game so don’t forget to enjoy while in the side just improve on the little things you feel where you can do better.

We hope by now you clearly know ‘HOW TO PLAY SLOWER BALL IN CRICKET?’ .

Have you ever faced slower balls? what does it feel like to play them? PLS COMMENT YOUR VIEWS BELOW.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.

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