There was a time not long ago when leg spin was king. Shane Warne and all that.
The off spinner was consigned to the role of holding up an end. He wasn’t a match winner, but he was probably the best available. He was Pat Symcox, John Embury and Carl Hooper.
However, times have changed. Leg spin is now for chumps and part timers like Steve Smith. Off spin is the new king.
Why is this so?
It’s simple really. The off spinner can now bowl leg spinners. Legally. Well not legally, but like speeding, everyone’s doing it and the odds are you won’t get caught.
Why be a plodding off spinner when you can do both?
So my educated follower base, here are the 5 easy steps to teach your child how to bowl off spin.
1) Teach them what 15 degrees means.
Your child isn’t learning to be an off spinner to bowl off spin. That’s a ludicrous concept. He wants to be an off spinner so he can be a leg spinner.
To do so, he needs to understand what the 15 degree law means. Not that he needs to adhere to it, but one must have a depth of verbal defences when accused of breaching this arbitrary number.
“I’ve been tested”
“I have ICC clearance”
“My action is modelled on Murali’s”
These phrases need to be embedded in the young child’s vocabulary to ensure he can master the art of off spin.
2) Buy your boy a long sleeve shirt
To be able to bowl his off leg spinning delivery to its maximum potential, you will need to cover up the throwing arm of your child.
We recommend cotton blends for their combination of breathability, hardiness and soft feel on the skin.
Ensure the shirt is white.
Don’t fall into the trap of saving a few dollars by buying short sleeve. This will only result in an exposed throwing elbow.
3) Show your child videos of the great off spinning actions
The history of cricket is full of great off spinners. Peter Taylor, Phil Tuffnell and Zaheer Khan to name a few. However, none of these guys were off leg spin chuckers.
You need to show your child tapes of those at the pinnacle of tenuously bowled deliveries. Those that had laws changed by the powerful Asian bloc to ensure the could continue to be a 15 degree man. Those than were once recruited by the New York Yankees to pitch in the World Series.
Murali, Botha, Shillingford, Samuels… Dust off the betamax and watch the wonder in your child’s eyes.
4) Get a properly fitted glove
It is critical that your child be fitted for a mitt by professionals. An ill fitting glove will only cause discomfort, loss of confidence and in some cases can cause finger development problems.
I would love to hear how your child responded to my coaching tips. Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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