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Thread: Masters of the Slower Delivery

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    International Vice-Captain Noble One's Avatar
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    Masters of the Slower Delivery

    Given the IPL Twenty20 is currently undeway, now is a good time to ask the posters on CricketWeb the following:

    Just who is the best bowler of the slower ball in world cricket?

    Do some bowlers possibly overuse the delivery? Which pace-bowlers lack a good slower delivery? Perhaps you can suggest a bowler from a previous era who possessed a superior slower delivery.

    Despite being a very average pace bowler, I have always found Dilhara Fernando to possess the most awesome slower delivery. Made so many good batsman look rather foolish, something his stock deliveries are largely incapable of doing.

    Just to add, it wouldn't be a slower ball thread without the following YouTube - Chris Read

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    JJD Heads Athlai's Avatar
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    Chris Cairns > Fernando
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    Global Moderator vic_orthdox's Avatar
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    What Twenty20 has shown is the requirement to have more than one type of slower ball to be successful. It's why Victoria wouldn't play Siddle in their first choice Twenty20 line-up.

    Rana Naved's effort where he manages to bowl a wrong'un is awesome.

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    Yeah best thing about Cairns was that he had 4 or so variations of the slower ball he could whip out.


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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Cairns also had one completely conventional slower-ball and what I often call the seemer-Beamer (i.e., it seems like it's going to be a Beamer then turns-out to be a Yorker), which is an incredibly difficult ball to bowl.

    Dilhara Fernando has what I'd say is the best disguise of the slower-ball - his slower-ball is, for all intents and purposes, impossible to pick out of the hand so your only chance is to pick it as it's on its way down, which is damn difficult. I've seen more batsmen fooled by the Fernando slower-ball than anyone else - which is odd, because apart from that slower-ball he doesn't have a lot to recommend him. Amazing that a bowler who's inferior to so many in most respects has the wood on anyone in that one.

    Ian Harvey's was also excellently disguised - bowled out of the back of the hand. Stephen Harmison's is one of the worst-disguised I've ever seen - he actually slows the arm down - and I've never seen any batsman fail to pick that out of the hand.

    As for is it over-used - yes, hopelessly so by some bowlers, and Harvey was one of the worst culprits, which again is something of an irony. Many bowlers over-use a change-up ball, and the slower-ball is no different.

    That was another thing that impressed me about Cairns - not only did he have two completely different slower-balls, he was a master of when to use them. In terms of a complete package with the slower-ball, I can't look past him.
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend andyc's Avatar
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    Franklyn Stephenson was one of the pioneers of the slower ball, especially in limited overs stuff, UIMM.

    Have to say I'm a fan of the slower bouncer that seems to be becoming more popular. No real reason why, maybe just because it can make batsmen look a bit silly.
    Last edited by andyc; 16-03-2010 at 07:42 AM.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noble One View Post
    Just to add, it wouldn't be a slower ball thread without the following YouTube - Chris Read
    What many are less aware of is that Graham Thorpe, who fell victim in that same game to the conventional Cairns slower-ball, was duped in exactly the same way as Read in 1999 by Courtney Walsh on his comeback Test (that is, Thorpe's comeback) in 2000. Walsh hardly ever bowled the slower-ball all career, but brought it out of the hat in that last year.

    Cairns, BTW, had learned that particular slower-ball from Franklyn Stephenson, who apparently achieved a similar dismisssal in the C&G (it was Gillette in those days) Cup final at some point in the early-1980s, might've been 1983. To my knowledge, there is no remaining footage of that anywhere. EDIT: apparently the batsman was Brian Hardie.
    Last edited by Richard; 16-03-2010 at 08:22 AM.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyc View Post
    Franklyn Stephenson was one of the pioneers of the slower ball, especially in limited overs stuff, UIMM.
    Not the slower-ball itself as such, that's been around about as long as the Googly or the Arm-ball, but that particular ball which looks like it's going to be a Beamer and turns-out a Yorker was something I don't think anyone has ever noted had been bowled before him.

    Even since him precious few have ever mastered it. As I say, it's incredibly hard. I've tried it myself a few times (not with a batsman actually facing, of course) and I can't do it for the life of me. Shoaib Akhtar has tried it a fair few times and has several times ended-up bowling a high Beamer, which even at 74mph (which is slow by his standards) is deadly.

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    Franklyn Stephenson was sussed very quickly. Not least because he bowled Brian Hardie with it in the opeing overs of a One-Day County final. Hardie looked a bit of a prawn ducking under a good length ball that hit middle stump but Stephenson was never effective with it again.

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    International Vice-Captain King Pietersen's Avatar
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    Shoaib Akhtar had a particularly good slower ball IIRC, which appeared to come out of the hand like a saucer and dip very late on the batsmen. Think he bowled 4 in a row to Michael Vaughan in a Test match, Vaughan played and missed at all 4.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    In that same series he also Beamed Ian Bell twice in the same game and could easily have been taken out of the attack.

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    Fanie de Villiers had a very good slower ball, often got Tendulkar out with it.

    Shabbir Ahmed also had a good one.

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    Dilhara probably had one of the best slower deliveries as it was almost impossible to pick. Wish he was a bit smarter with the rest of his bowling though.

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    Courtney Walsh

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