HomeCricketwhat is "doosra ball" in cricket?

what is “doosra ball” in cricket?

What is a doosra ball in cricket? There are two answers to this question. First, it is the most famous variation of an off-spinner. Second, it is the most controversial ball in cricket. This ball variation is a rarity nowadays. Just like a leg-spinner has googly, which moves the opposite direction to their stock ball. Similarly, the off-spinners have a Doosra which turns in the opposite direction to the standard off-spin. So, for right-arm off-spinners, the Doosra will turn from right to left – away from the body of a right-handed batsman. While for a left-arm orthodox spinner, a Doosra would turn from left to right – in towards the body of a right-handed batsman.

History of Doosra

Saqlain Mushtaq showed the world what is a doosra ball.

Although there is no clarity about who is the brainchild behind Doosra. An unconventional delivery, Doosra got famous after its use by former Pakistani off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq. He first used it in the series against Australia at Sharjah more than 2 decades ago. Therefore, we can say a doosra ball is a relatively new variation in cricket. The name “Doosra” is given by former Pakistani wicket-keeper Moin Khan. In Hindi/Urdu, Doosra means “the second one” or “the other one”. Many modern greats such as Muttiah Muralitharan, Harbhajan Sigh, and Saeed Ajmal used this variation quite frequently.

How to bowl a Doosra

To know about how to bowl a Doosra ball in cricket, there are a few different factors that will come into focus. To bowl the perfect googly, we have to take care of some fundamentals of bowling. These are- (i)Grip and Run-up, (ii) Release, and (iii) Spinning the ball. There are many ways to bowl a Doosra ball in cricket.

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Grip and Run-up

Grip of a doosra ball.

The grip used for bowling a to bowl a Doosra is exactly the same as the grip used for bowling a normal off-spin. However, some bowlers make slight changes according to their preferences. The bowler goes through their routine bowling stride. This is usually 8-10 steps. It allows the bowler to gather some momentum in order to bowl the ball towards the batsman.


Muttiah Muralitharan releasing a ball

When the bowler’s arm approaches the batsman, he should turn his wrist slightly and show part of the back of his hand to the batsman before releasing the ball. The bowler may have to contort his shoulder a little bit to get the arm and wrist into this position. If the right arm off-spinner is gripping the seam properly, the seam of the ball should now point towards the first slip for a right-handed batsman. An orthodox left-arm bowler should release the ball so its seam points towards fine leg when preparing to bowl a Doosra to a right-handed batsman.

Spinning the ball

Bending the arm slightly during this phase of delivery definitely helps you bowl the Doosra more easily. This is very hard to accomplish when you have a completely straight arm when you are bowling.  15 degrees is the maximum therefore your arm cannot bend too much.

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Saeed Ajmal’s doosra Ball

Saeed Ajmal bowling

One thing we can notice in Saeed Ajmal’s Doosra is that he uses the index finger with great force to ‘flick’ the ball as it leaves his hand. Therefore, he has to grip the ball tightly with his middle finger while maintaining a slight bend in the index finger. The middle finger starts the rotation process, while the index finger flicks the ball and applies the direction of spin.

Controversy surrounding Doosra

Muttiah Murlitharan giving a test

You can not bowl this delivery with a straight arm. Therefore it was always surrounded by controversy. Certain bowlers like Muttiah Muralitharan, Harbhajan Singh, Saeed Ajmal, Johan Botha, and Shoaib Malik were banned from bowling the delivery. All because their bowling actions were deemed illegal by the ICC. According to the laws of cricket, when bowling, a bowler may bend their arm at the elbow joint up to a maximum of 15 degrees. The cricketers mentioned earlier in the paragraph have exceeded this limit while bowling the Doosra. Therefore whenever some one tries to bowl illegally, ICC ask them to change their action or stop bowling that delivery. Although Saqlain Mushtaq – the bowler who popularized the Doosra – was never punished!

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karan pathak
karan pathakhttp://thesportslite.com
Cricket Aficionado and Aspiring sports management professional

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