Knuckle ball (cricket)

In the sport of cricket, a knuckle ball (or knuckleball) is a type of delivery employed by a fast bowler, and a type of slower ball. As similar to a slower ball, the bowler's intention is to deceive the batsman into playing too early so that they either miss the ball completely or hit it high up in the air to offer an easy catch.

The ball is bowled by the bowler positioning the ball on the knuckles of their index and middle finger, instead of in the fingers themselves. The delivery deceives the batsman as from a batsman's perspective, the ball appears to be a stock delivery, however when it is released is slower than expected.

The delivery was adopted from baseball’s knuckleball. The physics of the operation are largely the same. However, the seam on a cricket ball is equatorial, and thus the extent of erratic movement is reduced due to the symmetry (at least in the conventional release position where the planes of the ball's trajectory and the seam are nearly co-planar).[1]

Though Jeetan Sareen developed the knuckle ball for cricket as early as 1989, the Knuckle ball was first introduced by India's Zaheer Khan in 2011 world cup. Bowlers who often use the knuckleball include India's Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Australia's Andrew Tye. Tye's lethal use of the knuckleball leads to vast success in limited overs competitions, and his eventual selection for Australia. Tye's fame is largely due to his world-renowned use of the knuckleball.[2] Jofra Archer successfully deployed the knuckleball during the 2019 Cricket World Cup[3] and subsequent Test series against Australia.

References

  1. Selvey, Mike; Marks, Vic; Bull, Andy; Hopps, David (April 4, 2011). "Cricket World Cup: The writers' verdicts". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  2. "Andrew Tye, and the magic of the knuckle ball". Cricbuzz. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  3. Jack Watson (12 July 2019). "Cricket World Cup 2019: Jofra Archer's newfound mystery dazzles Australia as Ashes inclusion beckons". Independent. London. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
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