Q: What is the science behind Mohammad Shami's bowling techniques?
Krishna: Shami is a right-arm fast bowler who has the ability to move the ball off the seam and using swing, including reverse swing, to move the ball both ways. He has bowled persistently at around 140 km/h (87 mph), with his highest bowling speed being 153.2 km/h.
The secret of Shami's success lies in his wrist with his run-up and action being quite smooth. He bowls in the channel. His wicket taking ability and bowling reverse swing make him one of the lethal bowlers of the world and which is why he has been described as 'unplayable' at times regardless of the formats.
If a bowler is constantly bowling in the right areas, attacking the batsmen, it creates more and more pressure, and they are more liable to make mistakes. So that is Shami’s real strength.
Shami has the best seam position in world cricket. Shami with a red ball seemed miraculous. His smooth action, perfect seam position and ability to reverse swing the old ball makes him lethal some times
He developed good fitness by taking a scientific approach.
His plus points:
Smooth run -up.
Proper synchronization of upper body and lower body, cross base alignment (alignment—having the body properly set up to project the ball on the desired path is very crucial. We can view alignment as a bowler's body position before s/he starts walking as well as how they make their approach to the foul line so that they maximize their chances for success. ). His front foot lands in alignment with his back foot. His non-bowling arm and wrist position is really good.
Best seam presentation. He releases the ball in a 12 o clock position, so that he can swing* and seam** on both sides. He’s very upright in his delivery, and keeps his wrist behind the seam of the ball so that the ball has a chance of going in either direction depending on what he wants.
His front foot lands in alignment with his back foot just before releasing the ball.
His bowling action is near perfect.
* The aim of swing bowling is to cause the ball to move in the air (or 'swing') whilst delivering mainly fast-paced balls to the batsman, in the hope that the change in the ball's flight path will deceive the batsman and cause them to play the ball incorrectly.
Swing bowling involves the use of a newer ball which is only slightly worn. The bowling side will continually polish one side of the ball by applying sweat to it as well as rubbing it against their clothing to shine it, whilst leaving the opposite side unshined (Saliva was banned by ICC due to COVID-19 Pandemic). The speed of airflow over the rough and smooth sides of the ball will cause the ball to move in flight towards the rough side and away from the shiny side. Swing bowlers will often use a subtly altered grip on the ball to accentuate this effect.
The two main forms of swing are inswing, where the ball begins wider of the batsman and travels into the batsman's body, angling towards the stumps, and outswing, where the ball begins in line with the stumps but moves so that it is slightly wider of the stumps by the time it reaches the batsman. As the shiny side will also become worn over the course of play, swing bowling is usually effective when the ball is newer, with the older ball being more useful for spin bowling or other forms of fast bowling. However, there are other types of swing, such as reverse swing, which involve using a much more worn ball.
Swing bowling is heavily dependent on the condition of the ball.
Typically, a swing bowler aligns the seam and the sides of the ball to reinforce the swing effect. This can be done in two ways:
Outswinger: An outswinger to a right-handed batsman can be bowled by aligning the seam slightly to the left towards the slips and placing the roughened side of the ball on the left. To extract consistent swing, a bowler can also rotate his wrist toward the slips while keeping his arm straight. To a right-handed batsman, this results in the ball moving away to the off side while in flight, usually outwards from his body. Inswinger: An inswinger to a right-handed batsman can be bowled by aligning the seam slightly to the right and placing the roughened side of the ball on the right. To extract consistent swing, a bowler can also rotate or "open up" his wrist towards leg slip. To a right-handed batsman, this results in the ball moving in to the leg side while in flight, usually inwards towards his body. The curvature of swing deliveries can make them difficult for a batsman to hit with his bat. Typically, bowlers more commonly bowl outswingers, as they tend to move away from the batsman, meaning he has to "chase" the ball to hit it. Hitting away from the batsman's body is dangerous, as it leaves a gap between the bat and body through which the ball may travel to hit the wicket. Also, if the batsman misjudges the amount of swing, he can hit the ball with an edge of the bat. An inside edge can ricochet on to the wicket, resulting in him being out bowled, while an outside edge can fly to the wicket-keeper or slip fielders for a catch.
** Seam bowling is a bowling technique in cricket whereby the ball is deliberately bowled on to its seam, to cause a random deviation when the ball bounces.
Classic seam, wobble seam, cross seam are different types of seam bowling
Seam bowling is different from swing bowling. The swinging ball relies on movement in the air due to a difference in airflow on either side of the seam, whereas the seaming ball relies on more abrupt movement after the ball's seam makes contact with the pitch.