Cricket Bowling Tips: Fast Bowling / Controlling Swing

by Abhimanyu

Dale Steyn: Setting The Angle Of The Seam

Dale Steyn: Wrist Cocked For An Away Swinger

Dale Steyn: Wrist Cocked For An Away Swinger

I am 15 years old and am having some problems with controlling swing when I am bowling. I don’t grip the ball to bowl swing but the new ball swings, sometimes inswing and sometimes outswing, without my knowing.

So sir please can you help me to control it.
I bowl in the first spell and with the new ball.


Hi Abhimanyu, this is a common problem for young bowlers who are bowling with the new ball. Even first class cricketers can have days when the ball swings erratically and is difficult to control.

The lovely thing is, that by accident you have discovered how to swing the ball both ways, now you need to control it.

Swing bowling is controlled by your bowling hand, to be precise, it is how you set the ball in your bowling hand and the angle of the seam. The seam is the ‘rudder’ that controls the balls flight and swing.

Dale Steyn is currently the best swing bowler in the world, have a look on YouTube at footage of Dale, he has a fantastic bowling action for young bowlers to copy.

You can also check out a clip of Dale setting up and dismissing Ian Bell in a test match. Copy and paste this link into your browser.

Some simple fast bowling tips to help you …

1. Set the ball in your hand correctly, like Dale Steyn has done in the main photo on this page. Put your first and second fingers on top of the seam and your thumb on the seam below.

Practice flicking the ball up in the air, so that the ball spins backwards, with the seam staying straight up. This is the reverse of the wrist action for swing bowling, it helps you to develop the ‘feel’ of controlling the wrist action and how tight or loose you need to hold the ball to control the seam, the goal is to make it spin up without the the seam wobbling.

2. With a partner, stand 5 yards apart, hold your elbow with your none bowling hand, flick the ball to your partner with your wrist. The goal is to keep the seam up straight and with the ball spinning backwards.

3. With your partner, stand 10 yards apart, in a standing position, bowl the ball to your partner ( don’t let it bounce ) with the seam up, no wobbling. You’ll learn to control the ‘feel’ and wrist action with these drills.

4. Away Swing: Cock your wrist up ( grip as described above) and angle your bowling hand slightly to first slip, ( not straight) this sets the angle of the swing. Bowl this gently to your partner, you’ll see the ball starts to swing ( for a right arm bowler ) from right to left. Make sure your bowling hand sweeps across your body past your left hip.

5. In Swing: Turn the seam slightly toward fine leg and put your thumb on the outside of the seam, this allows your wrist to ‘soften’ and release the ball with a flick so that the bowling hand can now sweep down and through past your right hip. Remember to play around with this, develop the feel of these deliveries.

5. Cross Seam: If the ball is swinging prodigiously and you can’t control it, hold the ball across the seam , this will stop the swing and allow you to bowl straight. This helps to settle yourself and get a line and length going, you can then go back to your normal grip later and work on bowling your away or in-swing.

This is also used to rough the ball up for reverse swing.

6. Tape Ball Swing.
Try taping up one half of a tennis ball to practice playing with the swing in the nets, this is how many of the great Pakistani fast bowlers mastered their arts.Turn the ball around and experiment with it.

Be patient, swing bowling is an art, play with the ball and experiment to find what works for you.

Happy Fast Bowling, Coach

Comments for Cricket Bowling Tips: Fast Bowling / Controlling Swing

Feb 27, 2015 Jerk NEW
by: Kaleem ahmed Sir i am 15 years old from pak
.here is a major problem that i fail to bowl correctly when i bowl my knee get a bent so it becoma ajark.plz tell me how can i improve it?

Feb 26, 2015 My Promblem of Bowling…. NEW
by: Ankit Chandrakar Sir,I am 10 years problem is when i going to delivered a ball i cannot control ball my ball goimg wide or no ball and the main problem is i didn’t pace in my ball and sometime i delivered jurk balls.So,sir please help me………..

Feb 26, 2015 Swing control NEW
by: Muddasar Ma right hand sa fast ball karta ho mary speed achi ha mary ball in swing hoti ha magar kam out swing ki koi tip bata da sir plz.

Jan 07, 2015 Swing NEW
by: Jahangir ranjha Sir i am 16 years old mein left hand sai balling krta hon is liye jab mein new ball sai ballin krta hon tu meri ball out swing hoti hai or ball ki speed bhi fast hoti hai lekin kai bar jb mera dil in swing ko hota tu out ho jati hai or kai dfa khudbakhud in swing ho jati hai yani ball ki grip control nai hai mera k mein apni mrzi sai swing ker skon please tell some tips for my problem

Jan 05, 2015 Help line and need of help . NEW
by: Muhammad Saif Rasul If any one wants help he can get help from me regarding fast bowling by asking me questions on my Facebook account (Muhammad Saif Rasul) . I want to know about the proper dite , exercise and training for a 16 years old fast bowler.

Dec 24, 2014 Fast Bowling Tips – Controlling Line and Length
by: Coach Pybus Hi Fast Bowlers. Thanks for all the questions.I dont do tape ball tips I am afraid.

Please check out this page here to find all the bowling tips.

Cricket Bowling Tips/Fast Bowling

You’ll find answers to most of your bowling questions.

Best wishes Coach

Dec 21, 2014 u cn only help
by: vishu sir i try to get wickets by fast bowling…… bt sir my bowlimg is not so fast n my friends tell me that in an over i can throw only one ball that can make difficulties for batsman …… i want to swing ball on both the sides……. and also to fasten my balling…. i hav got my inspiration fron shami and anderson

Dec 17, 2014 Help
by: Arko “HELP PLEASE”
Hi Coach,
I have the same problem .I used to ball acurate in net but in a match I started to bowl out swing. It swinged too much so I pitched the ball full in the off stump line .But I became surprised that my ball out swinged so much that it was giten wide. So, I changed the grip and the sine part but no result. Then I tried off-cutter but still no result!! Then my captain suggested to bowl cross seam but I was so nervous I pitched the ball way out of batsman reach.
Now I’m frustrated.
The match was won but i’m really dissapoint.
One thing to add is the pitch is a mat made with jute fiber.
Help me.

Dec 16, 2014 Swing tennis ball
by: Anonymous Hi Sir how can I swing tennis Ball.

Nov 28, 2014 Swing or control on line or length
by: Asad Sir i am right arm fast bowler .i have recently start fast bowling about 4 month ago .i tried diffirent bowling actions like junaid khan,nuwan kulasekara etc .when i bowl with action of junaid khan my pace increased but ball not swing a lot and when i bowl with nuwan kulasekara’s bowling action i lost my pace but ball have swing with angle without my knowing.tell me sir how can i crease my pace and swing a ball a lot.

Nov 15, 2014 swing
by: abhinav hi i am 14 ; i can swing any ball

Oct 04, 2014 Xxx
by: Anonymous Sir,I can ball fast and my line length is good but my action is not so good

Oct 04, 2014 Xxx
by: Anonymous Sir,I can ball fast and my line length is good but my action is not so good

Oct 04, 2014 Xxx
by: Anonymous Sir,I can ball fast and my line length is good but my action is not so good

Sep 24, 2014 Cricket
by: Naveen yadav I am naveen from delhi New ball se mai swing nhi kr pata ho & old ball se to bilkul hi nhi hoti so plz tell me.mai kaise swing karu

Sep 19, 2014 pace
by: Anonymous hi coach i just want to ask that ,do u need pace or line and length to be able to get wickets?thanks coach

Sep 19, 2014 pace
by: Anonymous hi coach i just want to ask that ,do u need pace or line and length to be able to get wickets?thanks coach

Sep 19, 2014 pace
by: Anonymous hi coach i just want to ask that ,do u need pace or line and length to be able to get wickets?thanks coach

Sep 19, 2014 pace
by: hi sir i am just wanting to know how to improve my pace, because i am pretty accurate with my line and length. i just need to improvement in my pace.thank you

Sep 19, 2014 pace
by: hi sir i am just wanting to know how to improve my pace, because i am pretty accurate with my line and length. i just need to improvement in my pace.thank you

Aug 23, 2014 How to swing
by: Faisal Fabian Sir, i don’t know that a bowl is how to swing… But i always produce out swing with new bowl without skills…
Please coach me…

Aug 12, 2014 New ball control
by: Kashif Afridi hi sir i am a 16 year guy and also a member of Multan U-17 team.I am a fast baller but i am not having control on new ball whereas i can ball much better with old ball and can control it as i want to but with new ball same thing doesn’t happens it goes on its own due to which i ball couple of wide’s in one over…….so what should i try to improve this

Aug 11, 2014 IN SWING

Aug 02, 2014 pace
by: chetan I am a fast bowler, I really bowl wuick bit sometimes I looses my pace why…?? Plz help

Jul 27, 2014 bowling
by: hamza gee hy sir i am not able to ball a yorker plz give me a tip

Jul 26, 2014 Can swing it both ways
by: Anonymous I am very greatful to u sir but know my coach have taught me how to swing the ball with straight seam I am 13 years of age

Jul 26, 2014 new ball
by: ali in the pic above.. is dale gripping outswing or the inswing with tht new ball…
cause i cant inswing with new ball…

Jul 23, 2014 Bowling
by: Ali murtaza HELLO SIR IAM 15 years old IAM a fast bowler Ii don’t know how to swing a ball can to give me easy tips to swing a ball. I am very thankful to you

Jul 23, 2014 Bowling
by: Ali murtaza HELLO SIR IAM 15 years old IAM a fast bowler Ii don’t know how to swing a ball can to give me easy tips to swing a ball. I am very thankful to you

Jul 17, 2014 Swing both sides
by: Anonymous Sir,
I’m am 15 now. I have a natural out swing bowling action and I have a lot of pace too. I try to practice in swing but it doesn’t seem to work. Is thee a problem with my action, pace or something else?

Jun 14, 2014 swing
by: faris hi sir,
my name is faris and im twelve years old and i am having problem in swing the ball i bowl pretty fast but it is easy playing my bowling without swing please tell me how to out swing or in swing

Jun 13, 2014 how toswing a ball
by: kashif Hy sir;
i have good bowlivg action , pace and line but i am not able to swing the ball

Jun 05, 2014 fast bowling
by: Tejus chaware hello sir,,,,, i am 15 year old fast baller my problem is my balling speed is not so fast so i want to know how can i get more speed and pace on my bowling

May 22, 2014 Shakir
by: Anonymous hi sir!
I am 15 years old.I play with tape ball daily .Sir tell me what should my pace. please write in kph.
Thank you.

May 15, 2014 want tips for swing
by: vikas sir,
I can bowl line and length with a very gud pace bt unable to bowl swing ball with old balls I meant 20-30 overs old ball plz givee me some tips

May 13, 2014 bowling Action
by: Shivam hi SirMy problem is my bowling action bcz most of bowl white so please tips for fast bowler action.

May 08, 2014 asking to star
by: pankaj sir, my problem is simple,the problem is that i always bowl in full length, i tried so much good length,,,,,, and cross seam

Apr 05, 2014 XXX
by: waleed hlw sir i,am left arm fast bowler and didn’t know to how to control the out swing

Apr 04, 2014 sb tripura cricket association under-16
by: sreemon bhaumik hello sir i am 15 years old and i am bowling from 7 years.sir it became my habit to cock the wrist in while releasing the bowl,as a result the bowl always swings in,therefore i can’t bowl outswing.sir please help me of this problem.

Apr 03, 2014 line length prblem
by: rohan Sir i use bowl the bal with speed but sir bcoz of it my line and lengt miss and i give too mvh run.

Mar 18, 2014 given solution to the problem
by: Anonymous hellow sir
i just want to ask when ever i bowled more than 2 over maximun i started tired and pain in my body
i just want to say that can u tell me the soluton of this problem

Feb 21, 2014 line and lenght
by: xxx heelo sir.
sir my problem is that I can’t bowl in the line and length I want to bowl in so most of the time by bowl goes wide plzz help me out as soon as possible

Feb 04, 2014 reverse swing with a tape ball
by: zia haidari how can we create reverse swing with a tape ball on a street?does it depend on a weather also?

Jan 25, 2014 How to bowl quick with a Tape ball
by: wAk* Hello Sir, I am a 19 year old fast bowler, I love to bowl quick yorkers, When I was 17-18 I was bowling at a decent pace but Nowadays I Can’t, I want to bowl as quick as I can, Give Me some Useful Tips on How to bowl quick with a Tape ball?

Dec 30, 2013 swing
by: azadvirsambhi global sir I wana ask that I can swing the ball but not so perfectly sometimes it swings and sometime it doesn’t tell me how to control this

Dec 06, 2013 Hello! Sir how are you? Sir mera problem hai k mujh sy pace nai nikali jati please btaye k pace kaisy nikalo
by: Jahanger Sir mera prblem hai mujh sy pace nai nikali jatiHi Jahangar, you must write in English please, get an adult or english speaker to translate for you.

Thanks Coach

Dec 05, 2013 Tennis ball – Pace bowler
by: Muhammed Sajid Sir I just want to know how to create swing with a tennis ball in cricket without tape rolling?
is it natural swing possible with it or need to try new grips to swing it?
Hi Muhammed, practice with the tape ball, it allows you to learn how to swing it both ways and adjust your line.

You can use a basic grip for this, thumb underneath and first and second fingers on top of the seam.

Best wishes Coach

Nov 28, 2013 Fast bowling wrist position
by: Anonymous sir whenever i bowl, my wrist falls off like a leg cutter. i am not able to control this and,because of this, my speed has dropped and i am also not able to swing the ball. i am a fast bowler so pls help me out.Hi, this is a common fault for young bowlers, I want you to take a cricket ball and stand in front of a mirror or pane of galss so you can see your reflection in it.

I want you to shadow bowl, that means to go through your bowling action without letting go of the ball.

Now shadow bowl, keeping your action the same as in match time, now focus on keeping the seam upright and straight all the way through your action.

As the bowling hand gets to the top of your action check to make sure the seam is straight and as you pull down, watch carefully and again, make sure that the seam stays upright and straight all the way through your action.

This way your brain and body will learn to keep your wrist and fingers behind the seam.

Repeat this on a daily basis until you have made it automatic.

Best wishes Coach

Nov 20, 2013 swings
by: tirtho Hi sir i am 14 years boy i practice cricket. i want 3 swinging grip in and out ,and for the speed of the ball please guide me. i want in, out, revers swings.when i realease the ball in cutter grip the ball travels in a bad line , when it goes in good line the ball does not cut. please tell me the grips of cutter and swings individualy. sir please. guide me.

Sep 21, 2013 Cricket fast bowling – reverse swing and normal swing
by: mihir Hi sir i am mihir i am 13 years old, some times my ball swings alot in both directions, but some times it doesn’t. Some tims it reverse swing, some times doesn’t, please tell me some grips for swinging and leg cutter and off cutter.Hi Mihir, if you are playing tape ball cricket then the ball will swing either way just by turning the ball around, you don’t need to worry about grip , just the side the tape is on will make the ball swing.

At your age, focus on being able to control where you want the ball to go, if you do this you will be able to control where the batter looks to score. It is the first part of being able to bowl to a plan.

Again don’t worry about lots of grips and trying to do too much with the ball. Concentrate on bowling quick with control, using the tape ball will allow you to master swing with a basic grip.

best wishes Coach

Sep 08, 2013 tell me the answer
by: Sachin Suthar please, .. tell me the answer of my question sir.. what you say about my question?Hi Sachin, you will find all the answers to your questions on the cricket tips pages. I mention on the Ask Coach page that I am currently busy making video resources for the website which I will be launching soon, This is currently taking up my time. Check out the cricket bowling tips and you will find the answer there.

kind regards Coach

Aug 24, 2013 Fast bowl
by: Saleh Imtiaz Sir,I’m 15.I want to know,how to keep bowling good line and length with tape tennis ball? and how to bowl inswing and outswing with tape tennis bowl?

Jul 12, 2013 pace bowling
by: sachin suthar hi , sir , i am a 15 years old boy and we only play cricket with nivia tennis ball on cemented pitch , my bowling speed is not so fast , i just want to know how can i get more speed or pace to my bowling?

Jul 06, 2013 swing bowling
by: sankalp singh Hello Sir, I’m a 10 years old boy, when I bowl I want it to go straight, please help me.HI Sankalp, go to the cricket bowling tips pages and look through the help there, there is plenty of help for you to work on your bowling accuracy.

regards Coach

Jun 29, 2013 It’s really effective
by: Srivathsa k kumar Hello sir, I am a medium fast bowler, I was not able to take wickets because of the swing of the ball, the ball misses the edge of the bat or else the ball goes wide. For this reason i was not able to take one wicket in this season. through these tips i got control of the ball. I hope that i will get wickets next season.Hi Srivatar, thanks for the comment, if you are beating the bat repeatedly, bowl from a little wider in the crease, this will help to hit the edge. Bowl at off stump to challenge the batter to play.

best wishes Coach

Apr 30, 2013 swing
by: Akshay Hi, first of all thanks for the teachings. I’ve tried these types and i get the oppsite swing from these angles and sometimes it swings as tell above. Thank You

Apr 05, 2013 Swing
by: Poorav Hi sir my name is poorav vyas i can’t some times i swing the ball i can’t swing the ballGo to the cricket bowling tips page and have a look at the tips on bowling swing.

Best wishes Coach

Mar 10, 2012 Thanks
by: Abhimanyu Sir ,
A very great thanks from the bottom of my heart I will practice it as you have told.

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Richard Pybus

About Richard Pybus

I'm Richard Pybus, I've coached Pakistan, Bangladesh, Middlesex, Titans and the Cape Cobras in South Africa and the goal of this site is to help you to play winning cricket.