Reverse Swing- Pace Bowling in India


Pace bowling in Subcontinent is highly dependent on the ability to reverse the ball. Although lot of factors are dependent on Ball to reverse. Mainly consisting of the below

  • Bowlers with Speed with 85Mph+
  • Rough Pitch Surface
  • Rough Out field
  • Maintenance of Shiny side

In the Subcontinent with the absence of exaggerated lateral movement, reverse swing becomes a very highly sought after trait for a fast bowler to make his presence felt. With contemporary ground conditions, Rough Out Field is a very rare commodity. However with the presence of the other 3 parameters, teams can explore this weapon from time to time. Bowlers with speed in the air make it even more challenging to face this for batsmen.

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Key Fast Bowlers from Current Series

Ishant Sharma

Just completed getting his 300 International scalp, his mode of dismissals comparison between his overall career & games in India, shows a distinct difference.

It depicts the art of reverse swing which bowlers adopt here. He has attacked the stumps more which reflects in the below visuals.

Bowled+Lbw increases to 50% in India

As depicted very clearly the % of Dismissals increase to 50% from 34% overall for Lbw+ Bowled.

Mohammad Shami

One of the Finest components of reverse swing in home conditions, would be missed to an extent by the home team. He is out with injury during the Australia series.

The presentation of Seam while he delivers is probably one of the best in the world. Based on his Dismissal split mentioned below, his attack on the stumps & pads of batsmen is very high.

44% of Lbw+Bwld increases to 58% at home for Shami

By default Shami’s mode of taking wickets were high with 44% overall, with games in India this shoots overwhelmingly at 58%.

James Anderson

Legendary Jimmy who has been around the international circuit for almost 18 years now, is a fine example of reverse swing to all bowlers around the world. Anderson who in his initial days had brilliant exponent on conventional swing. But as he gained valuable experience touring Subcontinent, he developed the awesome art of reverse swing.

His below Dismissals mode at overall level, very much similiar to Ishant Sharma with 33% wickets with Lbw+ Bowled.

34% jumps to 45% in India

There were some ongoing discussions regarding his record in India. With the exhibition of reverse swing in the 4th Innings in 1st Test, reminded everyone what he is capable of. His dismissal % of Bowled+LBW is very similar to Ishant with close half of the wickets, coming from reverse swing.

Stuart Broad

Another contemporary star for England who has picked more than 500 wickets at Test level. He generally has the tendency to take big scalps which he is famous for.

However if you look at below Visual for Broad overall vs. India numbers you might be shocked when it comes his mode of dismissals.

34% overall Dismissals drops down to 20% in India for Lbw+Bowled

This depicts that he has not really used or mastered the art of Reverse swing as well his bowling partner in Anderson. he relies mainly on cutters to get the missing lateral movement. This has very low probability of success with the pitches being slow.

Hence the Impact of the fast bowlers will largely dependent on how they challenge the batsmen’s defense into play.