Knuckle Ball

Knuckle Ball

Knuckle ball in cricket is a form of delivery executed by a fast bowler. This type of delivery falls under the slower ball deliveries. This technique is used to be able to deceive a batter into playing a ball ahead, making them either miss the ball completely or hit it high up, making it easier to catch by their opponent. In this delivery technique, the ball is bowled using the knuckles of the index and the middle finger. The ball appears to look like a stock delivery but in a slower version, making a batter confused on what type of return would be most effective to score against the opponent.

The Origin of the Knuckle Ball in Cricket

The knuckle ball, also known as knuckleball was adapted from the knuckleball move in baseball. Executing the move, in terms of physics is practically the same. However, with the cricket ball different from the baseball ball, the movement seems to be reduced in symmetry as well as erratic compared to the movement of the baseball ball delivered with the knuckle move. The knuckle ball move in cricket was adopted in 1989 and was developed by Jeetan Sareen. It was introduced in the World Cup in 2011 by India’s Zaheer Khan.

Bowlers do not necessarily have to deliver a knuckle ball during a match. However, there are a few exceptional players who are popularly known for using the knuckle ball delivery approach. Among these players include Andrew Tye from Australia who plays for the One Day Internationals and the Twenty20 Internationals of the Australian National Cricket Team. Locally, he plays for Gloucestershire County Cricket Club and the Perth Scorchers in Western Australia. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is also a well known cricket player who uses the knuckle ball delivery. He plays for Uttar Pradesh locally as well as the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League. He is one of the very first Indian bowlers to take a five-wicket haul in all formats of cricket. Jofra Archer is another English player who successfully executed a knuckle ball during the 201 Cricket World Cup.

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