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The art of Knuckleball in Cricket

  • A Knuckleball is a type of slow delivery which is quite different from a normal slow delivery.
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 17:41 IST

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A Knuckleball is a type of slow delivery which is quite different from a normal slow delivery. Eddie Cicotte is sometimes known as its inventor. The factors which contribute to the delivery are the speed of the air, the speed of the delivery and the action of the bowler.

A knuckleball is the pacer's premium weapon if bowled properly and is almost difficult to analyse. The flow of the air over the seam causes the ball to alter from laminar to turbulent flow. The ball is pitched just short of the good length or one foot away from the fully extended batsman's leg. The physics of knuckleball in cricket is just similar to that in baseball.

Many batsmen struggle to analyse the knuckleball as the grip of the ball is not easily noticeable due to which the pace of the ball varies. To make the delivery successful, three-four deliveries are bowled fast. Then the knuckleball is bowled. It is because the batsman will find difficult to calibrate with the unexpected change in the pace of the delivery.

The three-four deliveries that are bowled fast are outside the off-stump region. Then the knuckleball is bowled in the stump region. Sometimes, successive knuckleballs are bowled which makes the batsman have no idea about the circumstance. The hardest part of the delivery is that the ball has to cover a long distance and fall in the correct mark of the pitch

The ball is gripped with the knuckles of the index and middle fingers, which is quite different from that in normal delivery in which ball is gripped entirely with the index and middle fingers. When the knuckleball is bowled, the seam will be stable and it won't be revolving due to which the ball becomes slow after it is bowled. It takes a lot of time to master this bowling.

Distinguished bowlers of knuckleball are Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur, Zaheer Khan from India, Andrew Tye from Australia, Andile Phehlukwayo from South Africa etc.

Published 10 Sep 2018, 18:36 IST
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