Monday, May 31, 2010


The Flipper (Not the Dolphin) is a bowling variation invented by Clarrie Grimmett back in the 1930's and is one of the variations I learned fairly early when I started bowling and for a while I used it but then dropped it. But since then having read Grimmetts 'Taking Wickets' I've learned that there's a whole bunch of variations of the bog standard Flipper that Richie Benuad hijacked and claimed for himself. In the same way that you use the wrist in different positions to bowl Leg Breaks, Top-Spinners, Wrong Uns and Sliders you can do virtually the same thing with the wrist using the 'Click' technique deployed with the Flipper.
Recently I've been ineffective in the matches I've played so far this year and in looking for solutions I've turned to the Flippers for a potential solution. I've been pretty much un-impressed with the standard back-spinning Flipper as it strikes me as being a slow version of a pace bowlers bog standard delivery. But the Top-Spinnng Flipper much favoured by Grimmett for a few years and the variation that he concluded was the better strikes me as being a potentially good ball. Of the variations that Grimmett did explore The "Wrong Wrong Un" and the Off-Spinning Flipper are those with very little mention in any books, other commentators across the years including Grimmetts biographer Ashley Mallett and Terry Jenner have dismissed all of the Flippers with the exception of the back-spinner as being either physically impossible to bowl or so difficult as to be virtually impossible and probably like Warne a part of Grimmetts overall plan to deceive batsmen into believing he could do far more than he actually could.
But the last couple of weeks I've been bowling the Top-Spinning Flipper and the 'Off-spinning Flipper' and seeing that there's a lot of potential with these balls. The Off-spinner in particular which I wrote off about a year ago as being nigh-on impossible to bowl has been a revelation. I've found that in practice situations I'm able to bowl this with exceptional accuracy line and length with variation of speed and flight not having any detrimental effect. I've noticed too that by angling the seam either back or forth increases drift and creates totally random spin direction which as yet I've not fathomed why one delivery it breaks to the leg and the next the off? The other really encouraging aspect to it is difference in speed which is vast from the slowest to the fastest but still managing to retain the accuracy. Needless to say in practice this is all academic, the effectiveness will come when bowling to a batsman, but if the practice results are maintained I may try and bowl a whole spell using the 2 obscure flipper variations and see if they get me some wickets in the next match?