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Seam and conventional swing bowlers

Bolo

State Captain
Just about everyone can manage a bit of both. But just about all the top quicks focus on one or the other with the new ball and I'm struggling to think of bowlers who were top level at both.

Who comes closest to being able to switch from Anderson to Philander mode when they want to? Or could manage both in a single delivery at an exceptional level?

Wasim is the best fit I can think of. I've watched a couple of guys who were outstanding at one and got a big boost from the other.

And I can think of players from before my time with reputations for both. But I'm not sure how justified they were. When you read player biographies they always describe a million bowling styles with lavish praise even if the bowlers weren't the best at them or bowled thae variations so infrequently in their careers that most fans might never see it happen.

So what excellent bowlers used both?
 

zorax

likes this
Isn't it a biomechanics thing? Like, doesn't a bowler need fairly different actions in order to get to ball to swing Vs getting it to seam, thus making a bowler capable of doing both well exceedingly rare?
 

OverratedSanity

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Isn't it a biomechanics thing? Like, doesn't a bowler need fairly different actions in order to get to ball to swing Vs getting it to seam, thus making a bowler capable of doing both well exceedingly rare?
Eh more to do with the wrist position than anything else tbh
 

zorax

likes this
I wouldn't have thought so. Care to elaborate?
Just wondering. Can Morne Morkel, for instance, simply choose to bowl swing without a significant change in his action?

I've read people talk about needing a more traditional side-on action to get outswing, but more open chested to get inswing going. Not sure how accurate that is either.
 

Top_Cat

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To even play grade level you need to be pretty damn good at both, really. Top level at both is a tough ask because of the nature of being top level at anything naturally precludes this. You don't get as good as these guys by trying to be good at everything but by specialising in what you're actually great at and building your game around that. Guys like McG could swing it, would just use it more around the wicket ball whereas the opposite, an Anderson, hits the seam more as a containment option, for example.

Wasim a solid shout but can barely think of anyone else. At one point, a bloke like Craig McDermott was world class at hitting the seam and getting that big away curve when conditions demanded it. On the modern front, reckon Abbas could head that way if he wanted to. Obligatory mention of Midge Johnson's summer when he added pace, accuracy and reverse to both of those things and murdered anyone to death who dared stand 22 yards away from him with a stick.
 
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smalishah84

The Tiger King
Wasim the only one of the top of my head that I could think of.

Asif bowled some magical spells when he had the conditions. He was primarily seam but swung it beautifully when in England.
 

GRAB

State 12th Man
S. Pollock ca. 1996 had a mean outswinger. Became more reliant on seam later on. Agree Wasim is probably the best shout here though.
 

trundler

Hall of Fame Member
Hadlee had a deadly one if I'm not wrong. Marshall learnt it from Lillee and Wasim of course had that too. Dunno about Pollock but a great line and length merchant ought to have one.
 

Prince EWS

Global Moderator
This is why I loved Asif; he'd completely change what his main weapon was going to be depending on the conditions, and was almost equally good at both approaches.

Philander and Anderson who you mentioned are actually interesting examples in that I think they actually attempt to do what Asif did but are just much better at one mode of attack than the other.
 

Daemon

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Just wondering. Can Morne Morkel, for instance, simply choose to bowl swing without a significant change in his action?

I've read people talk about needing a more traditional side-on action to get outswing, but more open chested to get inswing going. Not sure how accurate that is either.
Being side on definitely helps but only because it makes it your wrist point away more naturally. At the end of the day it's all about the wrist.

Someone like Morkel can bowl swing but it'll come at the cost of something else because that's not what he works on all day long.
 

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