Contact Us
Top banner desktop

Different types of Bowling in Cricket

Its often said Batsmen wins the game, Bowlers wins you the tournament. Here is everything about the different types of Bowling, Delivery Names, Variations Pace and Spin bowling, their variations and styles.

Last updated: 01.08.2019
Different types of Bowling in Cricket | Sports Social Blog

Get 100% Deposit Bonus on Bilbet

Exclusive bonuses and freebets available in IPL 2024. Turn your Cricket Knowledge into Money!

In Cricket, bowling cannot be generalized with the term throwing. Bowling is directing the ball towards the batsmen and the stumps which are covered. The fielding team always plays with the motive of defending the runs scored by their batting sides. Bowlers aim to take wickets or restrict the batsmen from scoring runs. Both the objectives go hand in hand. When a team loses initial wickets or when the run rate is low, it'll create pressure on the batsmen leading them to commit errors.

There are several kinds of bowling. But it is broadly classified under two types:

1. Pace bowling


2. Spin bowling  


Pace Bowling:

Pace bowling is an approach where the bowlers depend on the speed of the ball to get the wicket of the batsmen. Players who train in pace bowling are usually termed as fast bowlers or pacemen. Pace bowling is designed to stir the batsman to make a mistake by delivering a ball in style. Fast bowlers, with their main focus on pace, through seam or swing, try deviating the ball. On the other hand, slow bowlers will divert the batsmen with an array of spin and flight.

Inswing and Outswing

Swing and Seam are subtypes of fast bowling. A seam is the circular leather stitch that joins the two halves of the ball. The stitch is slightly elevated. In Seam bowling, the ball is released in such a way that the seam hits the pitch and deviates. So, the ball either gets diverted in any direction or goes straight. The seam of the ball is also used in swing bowling but in a dissimilar way. In swing bowling, the seam of the ball is used along with the wrist position and shiny and rough side of the ball. Weather plays an important role in swing bowling. However, a paceman cannot be classified based on the style of bowling. A skilled bowler would bowl a mixture of all. They can be divided based on the average speed of their bowling.


Types of pace bowling in terms of speed of the ball (km/h):

S. No

Type of pace bowling

Speed of ball (km/h)


Fast pace over









Medium pace



The understanding of the distinction between the terms fast-medium, medium-fast, and medium is very narrow. The deliveries bowled by fast bowlers vary from the bouncer, inswinger, leg cutter, off-cutter, outswinger, slower ball, Yorker to knuckleball. The techniques that influence pace bowling include grip, wrist position, action, run-up, follow-through, line, and length.

The best way for a fast bowler is to bowl in a different line and length which makes it difficult for the batsman to decide whether to attack, defend or leave. The optimum use of fast bowling can be done only when the bowlers employ different variations in the delivery in sequence or as per plan and when the team has a right mix and change of fast bowlers with different styles.

Spin Bowling:

Spin bowling relies on the ability to rotate the ball to put out the batsman. This causes the ball to turn at an angle after it bounces off the cricket pitch. The batsmen are unsure of the direction of the ball after the bounce. The deviation of the ball changes for each delivery depending on the grip of the ball held by the bowler and the nature of the pitch. Sometimes this leads the batsman to hit a mistimed shot and lose his wicket. The average speed of the ball is 70-90 km/h.

Spin bowlers are more useful in the later part of a game. This is because during the course of the game the ball gets old and worn out which could have more grip on the pitch. The pitch begins to dry and crack as the game progresses. This, in turn, acts in favour of the bowling team. Wrist spin and finger spin are the two types of spin bowling in cricket.

In wrist spin, as the name already suggests, the bowlers use their wrist to impart spin to the ball. They release the ball from the back of their hand and so it passes over their little finger.

There are two kinds of wrist spinners:

Wrist Spinner

  • Right-handed wrist-spinner who is also known as leg spinner: The wrist spin action causes the ball to spin from right to left i.e. anticlockwise rotation on the cricket pitch.

  • Left-handed wrist-spinner who is known as a left-arm-unorthodox spinner or chinaman bowler: The wrist spin action causes the ball to spin from left to right i.e. clockwise rotation on the cricket pitch.

Finger spin bowling refers to using specific hand movements to spin the ball.

Usually, the finger spin bowlers turn the ball less than wrist spinners.

Finger spin bowlers are also divided into two types:

Finger Spin

  • Right-handed finger spin is called off-spin.

  • Left-handed finger spin has no official name. However, it is known as slow left-arm orthodox spin.

Finger spinners are also discussed separately based on the grip on the ball. The deliveries bowled by spin bowlers include arm ball, leg break, carrom ball, off break, googly, and much more. Spin bowling is less tiring when compared to fast bowling as pacemen had to have a lengthy run-up. The motion of the ball resulted by an off-spin delivery and a left-arm unorthodox spin(chinaman) are similar. Also, leg-spin delivery and slow left-arm orthodox spin produce similar ball movement.

The design for a perfect proportion of a bowling side does not remain the same always, it depends on the format, the opponent team batsmen, the state of the pitch and the weather. A mixture of these bowlers in perfect proportion stabilizes the bowling unit of a team. 

Read more in details on sping bowling: Leg Spin Bowling | Off Spin Bowling

Top banner desktop

Chase Your Sport

Stay up-to-date on the latest sports news, stats, expert analysis and trends, including cricket, football, wrestling, tennis, basketball, Formula One and more. Find previews, schedules, results of upcoming events, and fantasy tips on Chase Your Sport.