Originally Posted by SJS
Barnes was different from these leg spinners in that he did not bend his wrist at all. His wrist was firm in line with his bowling arm as would be for a medium pacer, He just used his very long fingers to snap almost violently at the time of release. The fact that he did not turn his wrist at all is what made the ball spin viciously in the air "without losing the integrity of the seam position". The seam continued in the direction in which it was pointing as it would do for a seamer. This is why his deliveries could first swing in the air, and then after pitching, break away like a leg break making him near impossible to play.
He could control the swing and extent of break off the wicket by merely adjusting the direction in which the seam was poniting. Thats why he was not a wrist spinner but a swerve and break bowler and he bowled at fairly high speeds and released the ball from a very high point - again something regular leg spinners dont do. His arm was very erect during delivery and the wrist was not bent. There arent many pictures of Barnes available but you can get an idea from this sequence.
Awesome pictures, SJS, thanks for posting these. But it's difficult to see from them exactly what he was bowling.
This is a very odd grip indeed. And it looks entirely different to the grip shown in the (posed) 4th photo below.
This is my favourite of these photos. Look at the intensity of his eyes!
What's interesting here is that his wrist is looking rather cocked - you can imagine he is going to snap the wrist in delivery after all. In fact it reminds me of a leg-spinner's googly grip. But we know it can't be because that's one ball which it's commonly recognised that he didn't
A staged photo, but useful because he does look as though he's actually about to bowl the ball, albeit, one imagines, not at full pace. Unfortunately I can't make out what he's doing as far as grip etc is concerned. What you can see, however, is how wonderfully high his action is. If that's as high as he managed to get when bowling in match conditions, it's as high a delivery point as could possibly be imagined.
Staged, and posed. So of less interest than the others perhaps. However once again is it possible to discern a suggestion of a cocking/snapping of the wrist? I reckon basically he's bowling here a finger-spun leg-cutter. We can't see the seam so I'd imagine he's pointing it straight down the pitch - with the likely result that the movement he's likely to produce is going to be in-swerve in the air and leg-cut off the pitch.
But perhaps I'm reading too much into one photo....
Anyhow many thanks for posting these photos SJS.