Introduction

There are three types of swing bowling:Conventional swing Reverse swing and Contrast swing. In the past few years cricketers have been bombarded with new methods of the ball’s deviation through the air, but very can differentiate between the physics of each. One of the few men is Rabindra Mehta, a NASA scientist and former club fast bowler based in California, who has studied cricket-ball aerodynamics for nearly three decades.

Swing Bowling
The term Swing Bowling is used in Cricket for a type of ball bowled by fast or medium pace bowlers to the batsman.The Philadelphian’s Bart King helped to perfect swing bowling in the early 20th centaury.

Why Does A Cricket Ball Swing
The aerodynamics of swing is that the wind moves very close to the ball towards the shiny portion and disturbs over the seam on the other side of the ball at a distance, creating a vacuum area. So the process of the ball moving towards the vacuum side is ‘Swing’. This process influences the ball many a times in the 22 yards distance. Therefore the coaches advise the bowlers to release the ball and make a parabola in the air and not to press or hit the ball on the ground, i.e. low trajectory, to induce the air on the ball. The essence of swing bowling is to get the cricket ball to deviate sideways as it moves through the air towards or away from the batsman. In order to do this, the bowler makes use of four factors:

The raised seam of the cricket ball
Asymmetry in the ball caused by uneven wear of its surface The speed of the delivery

so that the separation point moves to the back of the ball on the turbulent side. Turbulent air separates from the surface of the ball later than laminar flow air. and turbulent flow. The ball swings towards the rough side 3 The seam is mostly not vertical but tilted 4 If the air friction is too much it should cause the spin on the ball. the bowler induces the ball to swing in that direction. with an off cutter or leg cutter hand action. At speeds of 145 km/h and above. or laminar flow. Thus by keeping the seam and roughness to one side. Over time. In this critical region.The bowler’s action The asymmetry of the ball is encouraged by the constant polishing of one side of the ball by members of the fielding team. while allowing the opposite side to deteriorate through wear and tear. At speeds around around 130 km/h the airflow around the ball is in transition between smooth. working at 120 to 130 km/h takes advantage of this. and then ‘break’ the other way upon bouncing. 5 Even an irregular stone would swing like this. A mediumpace bowler. all the flow is turbulent. Swing Bowling. Skilled bowlers can even make a ball swing one way.New Ball 1 The brand new ball do swing 2 It is against the Bernoulli’s Principle. Inswing . Conventional Swing A swing bowler aligns the seam and the sides of the ball to reinforce the swing effect. this produces a marked difference in the aerodynamic properties of the two sides. the raised seam and other minor imperfections in the ball’s surface can induce turbulence while air flowing over other parts of the ball remains laminar. On the laminar flow side it remains towards the front. The result is a net force in the direction of the turbulent side.

the rough side is placed on the leg side. Outswingers are considered to be one of the more difficult fast deliveries for a right-handed batsman to play. Once the ball has worn and been polished so that one side is rougher than the other. The ball is placed on the pad of the thumb. pushing it to the left. When the bowler delivers the ball. and releases the ball rotating about a horizontal axis with the seam along the rotational “equator”. From a right-handed batsman’s point of view. The result is that the ball curves. i.An inswinger is bowled by holding the cricket ball with the seam vertical and the first two fingers slightly across the seam so that it is angled a little to the leg side. The angle of the seam to the direction of motion produces an aerofoil effect as the ball moves through the air. This thumb position locks the wrist in a position inclined to the leg side. To a left-handed batsman. This is because the ball moves away from his body. mid-way or chest on positions. which also tends to push the ball to the leg side. Outswing An outswinger is bowled by holding the cricket ball with the seam vertical and the first two fingers running along either side of the seam. the rough side is placed on the left. not the position of hips or shoulders. Also.e. brushing close to the ear. This swing away from the body is the source of the name outswinger. The result is that the ball curves. or swings in to the batsman. At release the wrist should remain cocked so as to help impart backspin along the orientation of the seam. which also tends to push the ball to the left. Inswing can be bowled from side-on. To help achieve this position the bowling arm should be near vertical. This is enhanced by differential air pressure caused by movement of air over the rough and smooth surfaces. the swing is in towards the body and towards the leg side. This means that any miscalculation can result in an outside edge off the bat and a catch going to the wicketkeeper or slips fielders. This is enhanced by differential air pressure caused by movement of air over the rough and smooth surfaces. The angle of the seam to the direction of motion produces an aerofoil effect as the ball moves through the air. outswingers often mean the batsman has to swing his bat away from his body. It is the wrist position that is crucial. or swings to the left. . the swing is away from his body towards the right. so an inside edge can ricochet on to the wicket and get him out bowled. he angles the seam so that it points slightly to the left as well.When the bowler delivers the ball. he angles the seam so that it points slightly to the leg side. towards the off side. pushing it to the leg side. Once the ball has worn and been polished so that one side is rougher than the other.

Reverse Swing Former Pakistan international cricketer Sarfraz Nawaz was the founder of reverse swing during the late 1970s.Physics Of Outswing 1. Shine the cricket ball with spit on one side so that it is more aerodynamic through the air than the rough side 2. and he passed his knowledge on to former team-mate Imran Khan who in turn taught the duo of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. used reverse swing. 3. Have the seam at an 20 degree angle with it facing away from the batsman.Normal swing occurs mostly when the ball is fairly new. try and get the ball to pitch on middle and off and on the same length as a normal delivery. coached by Venkatesh Prasad. Andrew Flintoff and Simon Jones have been known . The English pair of Andrew Flintoff and Simon Jones are also well known for the ability to reverse swing the ball having been taught by Troy Cooley . When you bowl. The Indian pace duo of Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma. the aerodynamics of the asymmetry change and it is more difficult to extract a large amount of swing.This is known as Reverse Swing. As it wears more. which enabled India to win the home series against Australia in 2008.

Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma of India also managed to get the reverse swing as early as just 8 overs.to produce reverse swing in balls as young as 15 overs old. the ball generally had the seam straight up (not angled) and swung towards the smooth side. That is when I developed the new term: “contrast swing. and requires bowling at high speed. The result is always a swing to the side with the later separation. the ball will swing into the batsman if you keep the ball in the out-swing position. so the swing is away from the seam. this is called reverse swing and is a very complex but effective delivery that requires much pace and a certain bowling action. dry weather conditions.” So how is contrast swing different from conventional and reverse swing? For one thing. both sides have turbulent flow. as it relies on uneven wear of the ball. Reverse swing is difficult to achieve consistently. but only the fastest bowlers can regularly produce reverse swing. tends to occur mostly in hot. Contrast Swing However. This was obviously not reverse swing and it was somewhat difficult for me to explain to the bowlers and coaches what was going on. the swing direction is determined by . Normal swing can be achieved at relatively moderate bowling speeds. With an older ball. In essence. but here the seam causes the airflow to separate earlier on one side.

a ball with a contrasting surface roughness is flying through the air at a relatively low speed with the seam straight up. the boundary layer over the upper surface separates relatively early in a laminar state while that on the bottom rough side becomes turbulent and separates later. In this case. In Figure 4(a). This asymmetry results in a side force which makes the ball swing towards . as opposed to seam and smooth/rough surface orientations.the bowling speed.

Thus. Late Swing There are several possible explanations for late swing . The most exciting feature about contrast swing is that just about any bowler (regardless of bowling speed) can implement it in practice. As most cricketers are aware.where . it is much easier to release the ball with the seam straight up. since the bowling action is the same for both types of swing. the flow field is different as shown in Fig. even mere mortals should be able to swing such a ball. transition occurs on both sides of the ball. If the ball is released at a much higher speed. and in either direction. rather than angled towards the slips or fine leg. the only difference being the orientation of the ball. but the turbulent boundary layer along the rough bottom surface is thickened and weakened (in the same way that the seam weakens the turbulent boundary layer in reverse swing). As a result the boundary layer on the rough side separates relatively early and the ball now swings towards the smooth side. In this case. 4(b).the rough side.

The flight path of a ball with a constant sidewaysacting force applied to it is parabolic: the amount of the sideways movement naturally increases along the flight path. Experiments in wind tunnels show no noticeable difference in the amount of swing between dry and humid air. i). iii). The ball is initially above the transition speed for turbulent flow on the shiny. . and there is no measureable aerodynamic difference in the state of the ball due to moisture. or experimental. Humid air is less dense than dry air although the difference is minimal . Some More Points On Physics Swing Bowling Humidity: Despite being widely observed in practice. with the seam becoming angled and thus initiating late swing. there is currently no theoretical.sideways movement occurs only late in the ball’s flight. evidence for humidity having any affect on the amount of swing.and so would be expected to induce less swing. ii). It is an illusion. particularly after bouncing. non-seam side. initiating late swing. The ball rotates slightly in flight. but drops below this threshold as it deccelerates in flight.

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