Doosra in cricket

Doosra in Cricket

Aspect Description
Definition A doosra is a type of delivery in cricket, primarily bowled by off-spinners, that spins in the opposite direction to their stock delivery. For a right-handed off-spinner, the doosra turns from the off-side to the leg-side of the batsman, which is the opposite of their usual off-spin delivery. The term “doosra” is derived from the Urdu language, meaning “the second one.” It was first popularized by Pakistani off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq in the late 1990s.
Bowling Mechanics Bowlers use a combination of wrist position, finger placement, and body alignment to impart sidespin on the ball. While bowling a doosra, the off-spinner adjusts their wrist position and finger pressure to generate the necessary spin in the opposite direction. It requires significant skill and practice as it’s challenging to control and disguise the doosra without an obvious change in action.
Difficulty The doosra is one of the most challenging deliveries to master in cricket. Bowlers need to maintain the same action for both off-spin and doosra, making it difficult for batsmen to detect the variation from their hand or wrist position. The ICC has set strict regulations on bowlers’ elbow flexion (bowling arm extension) to curb illegal actions, which adds to the difficulty of bowling a legal doosra.
Effectiveness A well-executed doosra can be highly effective against both right-handed and left-handed batsmen. It can deceive the batsman by spinning in the opposite direction, causing them to misjudge the line and length, leading to wickets or creating pressure. However, if not bowled correctly, it can be easy for batsmen to pick and score runs off.
Controversy The doosra has been a subject of controversy in cricket due to concerns over its legality. Many bowlers, including Saqlain Mushtaq and Muttiah Muralitharan, faced accusations of throwing (illegal bowling action) when bowling the doosra. The bowling actions of several spinners have been reported and scrutinized by the ICC, leading to debates over the fairness of the rules and the impact on the art of spin bowling.


A doosra is a delivery in cricket that has intrigued and perplexed batsmen and cricket enthusiasts alike. It is primarily bowled by off-spinners, and the key characteristic of a doosra is its spin in the opposite direction to the bowler’s conventional off-spin delivery. For instance, if a right-handed off-spinner bowls a doosra, the ball will turn from the off-side to the leg side of the batsman, a complete contrast to the usual off-spin trajectory. The term “doosra” is of Urdu origin, translating to “the second one,” emphasizing its distinctiveness.

To bowl a doosra, a bowler must adeptly manipulate their wrist position, finger placement, and body alignment to generate sidespin in the opposite direction. This requires exceptional skill and dexterity, as the bowler must maintain a consistent bowling action to prevent the batsman from easily picking up the variation. Due to its difficulty and potential to cause batsmen trouble, the doosra has become a coveted weapon for spinners.

However, mastering the doosra comes with challenges. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has imposed strict regulations on bowlers’ elbow flexion, aiming to eradicate illegal bowling actions. As a result, some bowlers have faced scrutiny and accusations of throwing when attempting to bowl the doosra.

When executed effectively, the doosra can deceive batsmen, leading to wickets or building pressure on the batting side. It is particularly useful against both right-handed and left-handed batsmen, as they are accustomed to facing traditional off-spin deliveries.

Yet, the doosra’s legality and impact on the art of spin bowling have sparked controversies. Several prominent spinners, such as Saqlain Mushtaq and Muttiah Muralitharan, have faced contentious debates regarding their bowling actions and the fairness of the rules.

In conclusion, the doosra remains a captivating and contentious aspect of cricket. It showcases the artistry of spin bowling, challenging bowlers to innovate while raising questions about fairness and integrity in the game. When bowled skillfully, the doosra continues to be a potent weapon in the arsenal of spinners, adding excitement and intrigue to the sport of cricket.

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