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What Is A Googly In Cricket?

Googly is a special type of delivery in cricket which is bowled by a leg spinner. This is an exceptional quality of a bowler which is effective in confusing the batsman.  Among the various rare skills and techniques in cricket, one of the most challenging is the googly. But what exactly is a googly? Most of the spectacular and amateur players do not know much about this special bowling style. In this article, we will try to find out the origins of googly, its mechanics, and some other details. Let’s get started!

Definition and origin of googly

As I mentioned earlier, a googly is a deceptive delivery in the game of cricket that is bowled by a spin bowler, specifically a leg spinner. It has a character of unpredictable trajectory and spin which causes confusion and difficulty for the batsman. The origin of the googly dates back to the late 19th century, with English cricketer Bernard Bosanquet credited as its inventor. Bosanquet discovered that by using a wrist action while releasing the ball, he could spin it in the opposite direction than expected, catching batsmen off guard. The term “googly” was coined due to the unique movement of the ball, appearing to “go” in one direction but spinning the other way. Since its inception, the googly has become a crucial weapon in a spinner’s arsenal.

How to bowl a googly

To successfully execute a googly, a bowler must master the art of wrist manipulation. Below is the way of bowling googly.

  • Firstly, it is important to maintain a consistent grip on the ball, with the index and middle fingers positioned across the seam.
  • As the delivery stride begins, the bowler should focus on the wrist action, rotating it sharply at the point of release.
  • This flick of the wrist generates the necessary spin to make the ball deviate in the opposite direction to the batsman’s anticipation.
  • Additionally, varying the speed of the delivery can enhance the effectiveness of the googly, making it even more challenging for the batsman to pick up the change in movement.
  • Practicing this delivery extensively, with a keen focus on wrist control and accuracy, is crucial to achieving mastery of the googly in cricket.

Recognizing a well-executed googly

One of the key aspects in recognizing a well-executed googly in cricket is the reaction of the batsman. When faced with a well-disguised googly, the batsman may exhibit signs of confusion or hesitation. They anticipate the ball to spin in one direction but find the ball with a sudden spin in the opposite direction. This can be observed through the batsman’s body language, such as a late adjustment in footwork or a mistimed shot due to misjudging the line and length of the delivery.

Additionally, a well-executed googly often causes the batsman to lose their balance or struggle to make clean contact with the ball. These visible cues provide valuable insights to the opposing team and fielders, allowing them to capitalize on the batsman’s vulnerability and increase their chances of taking a wicket.

Key players known for googly

Among the key players renowned for their googly delivery is Abdul Qadir of Pakistan. Qadir’s impeccable control and ability to impart sharp turns with his wrist made him a formidable force in the cricketing world. Another iconic figure is Shane Warne from Australia, who mesmerized batsmen with his lethal googly, often referred to as the “Ball of the Century” due to its dramatic deviation. These players, among others, have showcased the effectiveness and impact of the googly in cricket, leaving their opponents in awe and their fans in sheer admiration.

Importance of googly

Googly can be a great weapon for any bowling team. Below are a few importance of this bowling style.

  • It offers a unique element of surprise, capable of deceiving even the most experienced batsmen.
  • The ability to disguise the direction of the spin creates uncertainty and forces the batsman to make split-second decisions. Moreover, the googly adds an extra layer of complexity to the game, testing the batsman’s technique and reflexes.
  • Its strategic value lies in its capacity to disrupt the rhythm and flow of the opposing team’s batting lineup, creating opportunities for wickets and turning the tide in favor of the bowling side.
  • The successful execution of the googly demands a combination of technical mastery, intuition, and tactical acumen, making it an indispensable weapon for bowlers seeking to outwit their opponents on the cricket field.


How is Googly different from a regular delivery?

A googly is different from a regular delivery because it confuses the batsman by deviating unexpectedly. While a regular delivery spins in the same direction as the bowler’s hand, a googly spins in the opposite direction, making it difficult for the batsman to read and play the ball accurately. It is unpredictable and the chances of the batsman getting out is higher with this delivery.

Who is credited with inventing the googly and when was it first introduced in cricket?

The googly is credited to an English cricketer named Bernard Bosanquet. He introduced it in the early 20th century, around 1900.

What are the key characteristics of a googly and how does it deceive the batsman?

The key characteristics of a googly include a leg-spinner’s action, where the ball is released out of the back of the hand instead of the front, and it spins in the opposite direction to a traditional leg-spin delivery. This change in spin direction confuses the batsman, as they expect the ball to spin away from them but it instead spins towards them.

How does a bowler grip the ball to deliver a googly and what are the variations of this delivery?

To deliver a googly, a bowler typically grips the ball with the index and middle fingers slightly spread across the seam. The variations of this delivery include the traditional googly, where the ball spins from leg to off for a right-handed batsman, and the topspin googly, where the ball spins in the opposite direction.


The googly in cricket is a deceptive bowling technique that has been used by many skilled bowlers to outsmart opposing batsmen. Its origins may be debated, but its effectiveness in the field is unquestionable. Through its unique spin and unpredictable trajectory, the googly has become a crucial weapon in the arsenal of cricketers worldwide. Its mastery requires precision, practice, and strategy, making it a highly regarded and respected skill in the sport. As the game of cricket continues to evolve, the googly will undoubtedly remain a key element in the art of bowling.

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