The inswinger or in-swinger is a variation of the cricket serve used by swing bowlers. A distinctive feature of this technique is the maximum difficulty in repelling a blow by a right-handed batsman since he has to bounce the ball off his body.
The most important aspect of the implementation of this serve is the capture of the ball. There are two ways at the moment – front-on and side-on.
In the first case, the bowler grabs the projectile with three fingers so that the ball is fixed in an upright position exactly in the middle of the seam. This type of grip is called an inswinger front-on or perpendicular to the ground seam. For the capture to meet expectations, the following will be required:
- fold the middle and index fingers of the hand in the upper part of the projectile along the seam;
- fix the thumb in the same way under the ball;
- make sure that the smooth half of the ball is facing away from the batsman while the rough half is in the direction of rotation.
It is worth noting that for this type of ball capture technique, the serve movement will also have to be adjusted: the bowler will need a dynamic take-off run and a biting hand movement, which will give the projectile an additional impetus.
In the second case, an inswinger side-on bowler holds the ball so that the seam is at a 45-degree angle to the ground. Therefore, when capturing a projectile using this technique, the player will need to:
- Place the top two fingers firmly on the top of the ball and place the thumb directly on the seam. An important point: the thumb should rest on the bottom of the ball strictly along the seam.
- hide the smooth side of the ball from the batsman.
Players serving with this technique prefer a more measured take-off run, picking up speed in the last steps. At the moment of the throw, the whole body is involved, but the hand must remain rigid. More skilled bowlers engage their backs during the movement, creating additional amplitude.
It is believed that the inswinger is not as difficult for the batsman as the outswinger, as the throw has a better chance of being deflected. The advantage of the technique lies in the ability to deceive the batsman: the ball can fly between the bat and his body. In this situation, the batter has few options in which he can make a good hit on the ball.
A serve based on this technique has been proven to be effective in practice. So, Balwinder Sandhu managed to read his opponent and earn points on the Gordon Greenidge reception in the 1983 World Cup finals. Perhaps this did not affect the match’s outcome, but the player admitted in the post-match interview that he represented only inswinger in the throwing process.