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Chinaman Bowler: A rare commodity in world cricket

Prattay Khan
990   //    Timeless

Kuldeep Yadav is probably the best chinaman bowler currently
Kuldeep Yadav is probably the best chinaman bowler currently

Chinaman is a bowler who bowls left-arm leg-spin and the major difference between a chinaman and a left-arm orthodox is that the former turns the ball into the right-hand batsmen while the latter turns the ball away from the right-hand batsmen.


Chinaman bowlers are both unorthodox and effective and not the easiest to pick off the hand or off the track. They can stun the opponent on their days and can get wickets in clusters.

Chinaman bowlers are fearless in nature and can be quite expensive when they are not having the best of days but on their day, these wrist spinners can win a game on their own. They can deceive the batsmen with flight and guile. The googly or the wrong'un that they possess, makes them even more deceptive and they bank on their googly a lot more than the stock ball - orthodox leg spin.

A chinaman's courage to flight the ball above the eye line, and their ability to bounce back strongly even after getting hit for a maximum makes them lethal.

Moreover, they are more of a threat to the left-handed batsmen than the right-handed. Their stock ball goes away from the left-hander, which brings the slips and silly mid-off into play, and if the googly is misread, it can rattle the stumps or the batsman could be found plumb in front.

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Brad Hogg

The world had not seen much of these bowlers, but as the T20 leagues evolved with time, lots of franchises opted for chinaman bowlers.

In the international arena, Brad Hogg, who was a part of the Australian limited overs' squad for a long time and made some major contributions playing for Kolkata Knight Riders and Perth Scorchers, is one of the best chinamans the cricketing world has seen.

At present, Kuldeep Yadav is leading the way in international cricket as far as chinaman bowling is concerned. The young lad, who was picked by KKR for his extravagant performance in the Under-19 World Cup 2014, ultimately proved to be a fruitful buy for them.


Yadav's first international assignment was against Australia in Dharamsala. The Test series was levelled 1-1 and he made a crucial contribution with the ball to make sure Team India win the series 2-1. Currently a part of India's LOI teams, he is one of the leading spinners in the world.

Apart from these big names, Australia had played Beau Casson in a Test and West Indies had stuck with Dave Mohammed for a few matches as well.

Lakshan Sandakan is turning out to be a familiar face in the Sri Lankan spin attack and previously an RCB player, Tabraiz Shamsi represents South Africa at the highest level as well.

Even Shivil Kaushik, who played for the Gujarat Lions, proved to be quite handy.

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