The wrong ’un is also called a googly (or less often these days – a bosie) is a great weapon in the leg spinner’s armory.
A leg-spinner turns from the leg side to the off side, but a wrong ’un turns the opposite way off the wicket, from off to leg. Spin difference, paired with it being very hard to pick, makes it an extremely valuable and dangerous weapon for a leg spinner. Bowled correctly, the ball can also bounce a bit more, adding to the venom of this great variation.
The grip should be the same as the grip for a normal leg-spinner: two fingers up, two fingers down. You should have a very relaxed, wobbly wrist. If you have a stiff wrist, it will make it very hard to bowl.
Have the middle finger a bit looser than normal, resting on the seam rather than gripping it will make this variation a bit easier.
The run-up should be exactly the same as it is for any other ball. Remember to build momentum toward the crease so the delivery is explosive and doesn’t just rely on the shoulder and the arm. If your delivery is all shoulder and arm, variations like the googly will be easier for the batsman to spot, simply because he doesn’t have to compute so much information.
On release, instead of the ball coming out the front of your hand like a regular leggie (remember, for this delivery you end with the fingers extended forward), you turn your wrist so the back of your hand is facing the batsman and the ball comes out the back of the hand. This change in wrist position allows the ring finger to be spinning the ball the other way.
Your front arm has to reach up straight and then go out towards the batsman to keep you in a good posture and have your body driving towards the target. Dropping your arm or pulling it out to the side instead of straight will make your bowling arm drop, also making it hard to get in the right position to bowl a wrong ’un. Again, it will also send a signal to the batsman that you are varying your normal delivery. Every aspect of your delivery should be the same.
A good tip is to try and bowl the wrong ’un with a scrambled seam, instead of a nice straight seam like a leg-spinner. This makes it harder to pick because the batsman doesn’t get any clues by watching which way the ball is spinning.
Squeezed out of the back of the hand, a wrong ’un can at first be difficult to control. To get started, eliminate all the complications of run-up and follow-through. These are important, but at first you just need to get comfortable with this new delivery.
Practice bowling this variation from a standing start first to keep it uncomplicated. It takes time and patience to get the hang of it, so take your time and practice as much as you can until you bowl it in a game. Any variation to your normal delivery should be second-nature to you. You should be as confident bowling your variations as you are in bowling your stock ball.
Your new wrong ’un is worth persisting with. You’ll be surprised how much “opposite” turn you will get, and how much it can bounce. The batsmen will be even more surprised if you follow these instructions and master this potent leg-spinner’s weapon.
Jason Krejza applies his vast experience working with the world’s best players and coaches to his own coaching. Jason had a history-making Test debut when his 12 wickets for the match against India in 2010 included eight wickets in the first innings. For more information visit www.elitecricket.com.au