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Yeah I'm largely with SoC, Hurricane and Top_Cat with this one.
Some (or even a lot) of predominantly seam bowlers just send most of their deliveries down attempting to get a bolt upright seam. If they bowl good areas and there's something in the wicket then when the ball lands ever so fractionally on the left or the right of the middle of the seam then it deck in or away, threatening both edges. This "random" seam movement is effective because it's easily repeatable and literally impossible for the batsman to pick out of the hand or before the ball lands. Philander is currently the best exponent of this type of bowling, but the likes of Asif, Clark and Pollock had a bit of a variation on this with a natural seam "wobble". It was the same premise essentially but with their natural actions the seam wouldn't stay entirely upright and this probably contributed to their greater movement as it gave them more exaggerated angles while still hitting the seam every delivery.
However, there is definitely a way to control the direction of your seam movement if you so desire. If you release the ball for an outswinger or an inswinger and it doesn't go in the air but the seam is in still in place when the ball pitches, then it will go that way off the deck anyway. This method gives bowlers more control over which way the ball is moving but is also much easier for the batsman to read and harder to land on a consistently good line because the ball will often go in the air first.
I guess the sort of movement you get depends on your method of trying to achieve the swing in the first place, whether it's by pointing the seam in the swing direction or more by tilting the ball on it's axis.
**** knows. Bottom line is it's a pretty inexact science at least in my experience.
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On point, then, if an outswinger generally seam's away, and an inswinger seams back in, does that mean that those jaffas we get which swing in and straighten away off the seam(like Anderson, Broad to Clarke in the Ashes ) are essentially flukes? I'm now convinced by the responses here that a quality bowler with proper seam presentation knows generally which way it'll move off the deck. But swinging it in and moving it out off the seam is surely something which few intend right?
As Riggins pointed out, some bowlers naturally will move the ball off the deck in the opposite direction to their natural swing because they - probably unwittingly - roll their fingers down the side of the ball ever so slightly at release. They accidentally bowl little cutters sometimes when attempting to swing the thing. But yeah, I highly doubt any bowler thinks at the of his mark "I'm going to swing this one in from off off to middle but then have to straight back down the line and clip off"; there's a massive luck component in those kind of jaffas. It's a bit like the natural variation of a spinner though; you still have to present the seam correctly and hit your areas so it's still very much skill-based.On point, then, if an outswinger generally seam's away, and an inswinger seams back in, does that mean that those jaffas we get which swing in and straighten away off the seam(like Anderson, Broad to Clarke in the Ashes ) are essentially flukes? I'm now convinced by the responses here that a quality bowler with proper seam presentation knows generally which way it'll move off the deck. But swinging it in and moving it out off the seam is surely something which few intend right?
Last edited by Prince EWS; 06-11-2013 at 12:42 AM.
I'm pretty sure Ewen Chatfield said he just tried to get it to hit the seam on a good line and length, and what happened after than was beyond his (and hopefully the batsmen's) control.
I'm equally sure that Richard Hadlee would have disagreed with this (though as an earlier poster mentioned, much of his "seam" movement was really late swing which seemed to increase after pitching)
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Sorry, I just skimmed earlier posts. No, I haven't read his autobiography, might have heard a commentator quoting it.
I remember reading about Ambrose that he bowled with a seam position constantly fluctuating between the 5 0' clock and the 7 o'clock angle in the air, and the precise angle of it hitting the deck was unknown to him, though of course he bowled it right at the off-stump to make the batsman play at it. I guess McGrath has to be the one with the most control on the seam. Also, because Ambrose was faster than McGrath. Plus, I don't really what happens if the seam and the swing conflict each other. Anybody know?
I'm no magician but have bowled the occasional ball which swerved on way in the air and moved the other on pitching. I never full control over it (or was close, tbh) but found it was more likely when I wasn't going for big swing, just point the seam slightly in the direction you want to swing and let the deck do the rest. Was obviously much more likely on a cloudy day with something in the deck too.
Yeah, once or twice I reckon I got a slight away swinger to cut back in after pitching and hit off stump, made me look like genius.
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