Cricket is a popular sport that has iconic shots and bowling actions. And in the game of cricket, the leg cutter is a highly effective delivery that can trouble batsmen and bring wickets. But do you know how to bowl a perfect leg cutter?
Leg cutter is a type of delivery that moves away from the batsman, making it difficult to play with precision. It is typically done by the fast bowlers where their deliveries move to the leg side. And batsmen find it difficult to play due to the sudden change of line.
What Is A Leg Cutter?
A leg cutter is a cricket delivery that moves away from the batsman after pitching. It is predominantly used by fast bowlers to deceive batsmen and induce edges or mistimed shots.
The ball drifts from leg to off or from off to outside off, making it challenging for batsmen to judge its movement accurately.
The movement of the leg cutter is primarily a result of the ball’s interaction with the air and the seam position. When the ball is released, the bowler imparts a combination of sidespin and backspin on the ball.
The sidespin causes the ball to move away from the batsman, while the backspin helps in maintaining control and accuracy. To achieve the desired movement, the bowler holds the ball with a specific grip.
The seam of the ball is angled slightly towards the leg side, allowing the ball to cut across the seam as it is released. By cutting across the seam, the ball encounters more air resistance on one side, leading to lateral movement.
But to execute this delivery the perfect way, a bowler needs to bowl fast to ensure proper swing.
Who Invented The Leg Cutter?
The leg cutter was first popularized by the legendary English fast bowler Sydney Barnes in the early 20th century.
Barnes, known for his exceptional control and variation, mastered the art of the leg cutter and used it to great effect during his career.
However, many other great fast bowlers also perfected this shot, as this delivery went through a complete revolution.
Ideal Pitches For Leg Cutters
The leg cutter is most effective on pitches that offer variable bounce or have a dry and abrasive surface. Such pitches help the ball grip the surface, encouraging sideways movement.
Additionally, pitches with minimal grass cover provide less assistance to seam bowlers, making leg cutters a potent weapon.
Perfect Bowling Action For Leg Cutters
To bowl a perfect leg cutter, bowlers should focus on the following aspects of their bowling action:
- Grip: Hold the ball with the seam angled slightly towards the leg side.
- Run-up: Maintain a smooth and balanced run-up to generate sufficient momentum.
- Release: While releasing the ball, apply slight pressure on the seam with the index and middle fingers, enabling it to cut across the seam and create movement.
- Follow-through: Maintain a fluid follow-through, directing the weight towards the target and staying balanced.
Leg cutter is prone to sweep shots, as batsmen tend to defeat the ball on the leg side while punching it hard. So, this delivery also needs to have a perfect length beside the line of the ball.
Step-by-Step Guide To Bowl A Perfect Leg Cutter
Mastering the art of bowling a perfect leg cutter requires practice, focus, and attention to detail. Here is a step-by-step guide that will help you develop and execute a flawless leg cutter:
Step 1: Grip
Begin by holding the ball with a specific grip. Hold the ball with the seam angled slightly towards the leg side. The positioning of the seam is crucial for generating the desired movement.
Step 2: Run-up
Maintain a smooth and balanced run-up to the bowling crease. A controlled and consistent run-up will help you generate the necessary momentum for a successful delivery.
Step 3: Release Point
As you approach the crease, focus on your release point. Aim to release the ball slightly wider on the crease compared to regular delivery. This wider release will aid in cutting the ball across the seam, creating the desired movement.
Step 4: Applying Pressure on the Seam
As you release the ball, apply slight pressure on the seam with your index and middle fingers. This pressure will assist in cutting the ball and generating the sideways movement away from the batsman.
Step 5: Wrist Position
Maintain a relaxed and supple wrist throughout the delivery. A loose wrist will allow for better control and fluidity in executing the leg cutter. Avoid gripping the ball too tightly, as it can hinder the natural movement of the delivery.
Step 6: Follow-through
After delivering the ball, focus on maintaining a fluid follow-through. Direct your weight towards the target, and ensure a balanced finish to the delivery stride. A proper follow-through helps with accuracy and control.
Step 7: Practice Regularly
To perfect your leg cutter, consistent practice is essential. Set up targets and focus on hitting those targets consistently. Work on variations in pace, line, and length to keep the batsmen guessing.
By following these steps and dedicating time to regular practice, you can improve your control and accuracy while bowling a leg cutter. Remember, mastering this skill requires patience and perseverance, so be persistent in your efforts.
Common Mistakes While Bowling A Leg Cutter
Mistake: Inconsistent grip on the ball.
Solution: Ensure a firm grip with the seam angled correctly.
Mistake: Lack of wrist control.
Solution: Focus on maintaining a relaxed wrist while releasing the ball.
Mistake: Poor follow-through.
Solution: Emphasize a balanced and fluid follow-through toward the target.
Mistake: Inaccurate line and length.
Solution: Practice bowling at a specific target to improve accuracy.
Five Top Bowlers Known For Their Leg Cutters
- Wasim Akram (Pakistan): Akram’s mastery of swing bowling extended to his deceptive leg cutters, which troubled batsmen worldwide.
- Bhuvneshwar Kumar (India): Kumar’s ability to swing and seam the ball, combined with his leg cutters, has made him a formidable force in limited-overs cricket.
- Brett Lee (Australia): Known for his raw pace and his popularity in the cricket world, Lee developed a lethal leg cutter that regularly caught batsmen off guard.
- Mitchell Starc (Australia): Starc is renowned for his left-arm pace and his ability to generate significant movement with his leg cutters, making him a nightmare for batsmen.
- Trent Boult (New Zealand): Boult’s skillful use of the leg cutter, coupled with his swing and seam bowling, has established him as one of the premier fast bowlers in modern cricket.
These bowlers have consistently utilized leg cutters to outfox batsmen, resulting in numerous wickets and match-winning performances.
Mastering the leg cutter is a valuable skill for any fast bowler. Understanding the concept, practicing the perfect bowling action, and avoiding common mistakes can significantly enhance your effectiveness on the cricket field.
With a little practice, you can refine your skills and become a potent force in the bowling department. And don’t forget to ask for help from your coach or training is you are practicing in a sports academy. They will be more than happy to help you out!