Swinging a cricket ball
To get the best possible chance of any sort of movement in the air or off the pitch, a fast bowler should grip the ball "seam up". Learning this basic grip will get your wrist behind the ball, an essential starting point for any bowler. With the seam vertical, the ball is held in the fingers, resting on the third finger and thumb, with the middle and index fingers either side of the seam. Try to land the seam as straight as possible on the pitch.
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How To Get A Cricket Ball To Swing
BBC SPORT | Cricket | Laws & Equipment | Cricket's stigma
Catherine Tucker does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. Cricket is supposed to be the epitome of sporting integrity. Swing bowling essentially involves being able to change the direction of the ball in mid-air. A cricket ball has a core of cork and is covered by a leather casing with a slightly raised seam sewn in.
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In the first overs, bowlers generally focus on conventional swing, when the ball moves towards the dull, or non-shiny, side. For inswing, the seam needs to point to leg slip; for outswing, towards first slip. To move the ball in the air, a subtle change of grip is needed. But the seam of the machine-stitched Kookaburra balls, the kind being used in the ongoing South Africa-Australia series, merges with the leather sooner than the hand-stitched Dukes and SGs, both of which have more pronounced seams. This results in the ball going flat, and bowlers find it difficult to move it in the air.
The basic idea of swing bowling is to get the cricket ball to swing sideways as it moves towards the batsman. A swing bowler can use a conventional swing, a reverse swing, or a contrast swing. If you want to add inswing to a cricket ball, hold the ball so the seam is between your index and middle fingers and so the shiny side of the ball faces the batsman. Then, angle the seam 20 degrees towards the batsman and swing as usual.