The Mystery Ball: Facts and Background

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The game of cricket has many aspects that appeal to the connoisseur’s eyes.

Some people find the most appeal in the athleticism and power produced by fast bowlers.

Others adore the skill of the reverse swing, where the ball moves in ways that defy logic.

However, today, let’s focus on the off-spin bowling art, with all of its sensitivities, and how it has frequently been called the most romantic form of cricket bowling.

Technically, an off-spin bowler spins the ball away from a left-hand batsman and into a right-hand batsman.

The bowlers spin the ball with their wrists, fingers or both. Off-spin bowling is generally thought to be easier to play than leg spin bowling.

This is because off-breaks typically spin less than leg breaks and off-spinners have fewer delivery options than a leg spinner.

However, over the years, many torch-bearers have used off-spin bowling to win matches for their respective nations.

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Everything you need to know about Doosra, the mystery ball

What is Doosra?

If you are a cricket enthusiast, you may be aware of the term ‘’Doosra.”

In simple words, this mystery ball is the most eminent variation of an off-spin bowler.

Secondly, it is also regarded as the most controversial delivery.

Similar to a googly, Doosra is a weapon for off-spinners where the ball turns in the opposite direction to a typical off-spin.

This mystery ball will turn away from a right-handed batsman’s body, while it turns in towards the body of a left-handed batter.

The element of surprise is always there, which makes it one of the deadliest deliveries.

The background of the mystery ball

Doosra is an unusual delivery that gained notoriety thanks to the former Pakistani off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq.

More than 20 years ago, during the series against Australia in Sharjah, he used it for the first time.

Saqlain Mushtaq had no idea that the mysterious ball, which was named Doosra in the 1990s, would spark such intense debate and even alter the course of cricket history.

According to legend, Javed Miandad, the Pakistani coach at the time Saqlain was honing his delivery in the nets, would periodically tell him to “ball the Doosra” to deliver his distinctive delivery.

So, a ball called Doosra emerged from this place. The best batsmen were mesmerised when Saqlain started revealing it in international cricket.

They anticipated that ball would approach them like an orthodox off-spinner, but the right-handed batsmen saw it move away from them.

Saqlain spent many seasons playing for Surrey and held the top bowling position in each of them.

He was equally devastating in international cricket. In Hobart, he once enthralled a formidable Australian batting order while taking six wickets in the process.

Who invented the Doosra? 

Saqlain Mushtaq, a well-known off-spinner from Pakistan, created Doosra in the 1990s.

Muttiah Muralitharan, Johan Botha, Harbhajan Singh, Saeed Ajmal and Shoaib Malik are other international bowlers who are capable of delivering the mystery ball.

The left-handed off-spinners including Monty Panesar, Moeen Ali and Ranjana Herath also mastered this art.

When Doosra wasn’t yet established, spin bowlers would employ straight bowls in addition to their skill to mislead the batsman.

This means that a right-handed batsman facing a right-arm off-spinner is used to predict a straight or a typical off-spin bowl.

The batsman is more perplexed now that Doosra has been introduced, since he is unsure whether the bowl will be a straight one, an off-spinner or a Doosra.

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