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Ten Best Doosra Bowlers in Cricket

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Devang Joshi

date post

Jun 17, 2024

Ten Best Doosra Bowlers in Cricket


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A “Doosra” is a form of off-spin that requires variety and the use of fingers to get the length right. When the ball is pitched, there is a hint of turn when the ball moves away from the batter towards the off-stump area.

The cricketing world has so far witnessed some of the finest off-spinners who used the doosra cleverly, and after the advent of T20 cricket bowlers have sharpened their skills while delivering the doosra.

In this piece, we discuss ten doosra specialists who varied their lengths while bowling the doosra depending on the wickets and conditions. We take a look at these bowlers in detail:

Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka)

Arguably one of the greatest off-spinners of all time, the legendary Muralitharan used his wrists and fingers cleverly while bowling a doosra as he drew the batters forward with his ploy, putting them in two minds about whether to play on the front foot or the back foot. Muralitharan was a match-winner on any day due to his wicket-taking abilities with the doosra.

Harbhajan Singh (India)

One of the finest off-spinners to play for India, Harbhajan Singh’s length was difficult to judge as his doosra and off-spin looked almost similar, which created problems for the batters. Sometimes he delivered it just like an arm ball.

Saqlain Mushtaq (Pakistan)

Saqlain Mushtaq bowled the doosra with accuracy, flight, and turn. His doosra made the batters play the shot early. The batters were foxed even when they tried to play the sweep shots against his doosra, as they were outsmarted due to the line. The former off-spinner experimented with his variations.

Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka)

Herath bowled the doosra like a top spin delivery that left the right-handers and nipped back into the left-handers, which unsettled the batters to adjust their technique at the last moment. The former Sri Lankan off-spinner created doubt in the minds of the batters with his accuracy, deceptive length, and flight.

Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan)

Ajmal’s doosra grip looked much like that of an off-spin, as his variations created problems for the batters in terms of shot selection because he bowled the doosra much closer to the off stump or outside the off stump. His flight, turn, and bounce around the good length area put the batters in two minds.

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Johan Botha (South Africa)

Botha mixed his length and pace cleverly and his flight outsmarted even a well-set batter when it came to playing on the front foot. His doosra looked much like a top spin as he applied variation with his fingers while tossing the ball up to the batters.

Monty Panesar (England)

Panesar learned the doosra from former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, as he sometimes bowled quicker through the air or flighted the ball while delivering the doosra, depending on the conditions. The former left-arm England off-spinner used his middle finger to good effect while applying turn on the ball.

Moeen Ali (England)

Ali uses his wrists cleverly so that he can slide the ball in and get that extra bounce to surprise the batters. He varies his flight and turns depending on the wicket and conditions. Ali’s doosra sometimes looks like a straighter one that can put the batter to play in the wrong line.

Shoaib Malik (Pakistan)

Malik possessed a very clever doosra, as sometimes he bowled a much flatter length, while sometimes he tossed the ball up, which prompted the batters to go for the shot early. The former Pakistani all-rounder sharpened his skills by putting his fingers and wrists to good use.

Ravichandran Ashwin (India)

Arguably India’s most successful off-spinner in modern-day cricket in all formats, Ashwin is a class bowler with lots of variations up his sleeves. The off-spinner can adjust his length depending on the wicket while bowling a doosra or any other delivery, which is one of his biggest strengths. While bowling a doosra, he sometimes tosses the ball up to make the batter play forward or bowls a faster one to surprise the batter.

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