Swing bowling in Cricket: Reverse Swing

I know! We have already been through “Swing bowling”, but there are 2 types of swing bowling in cricket. We have already understood about Conventional swing. Let’s understand Reverse swing is attained.

Basically Swing is categorised into two types; one is the “Conventional Swing” and the other is the “Reverse Swing”.

“Conventional Swing” is an art of swing bowling performed with a new ball.

“Reverse Swing” is an art of swing bowling performed with an old ball.

You might want to read “Swing bowling in cricket: Conventional Swing”

Science behind “Reverse swing”:

Now, what’s the big difference between swinging a new ball and a old ball? The phenomenon of an old ball cutting through the air flow is the same right? Or is it different for an older ball as compared to a new ball?

Let’s me address to all the above questions one after a another.

We already know how swing works with a new ball. The air flows faster at the smoother side of the ball than that of the slightly rough side, if bowler bowls with a new ball.

The catch is that with a new ball, both sides of the ball are quiet smooth. But, when we start to shine one side of the ball and kinda ignore the other side, it’s obvious that one side gets shiny and remains smooth and the other side gets old and rough.

As long as the ball is maintained in this condition “Conventional swing” comes into play. But, as a cricket match progresses even the shiny side of the ball gets a bit old and rough.

That’s when “Reverse Swing” comes into action.

At this point in time, one side of the ball is really rough and the other side of the ball is shiny but it is rough and shiny at the same time, if I may.

What happens now is interesting!!

As this old ball travels through the air, the air flow is bifurcated at the seam of the ball. Since, both sides of the ball are rough, the air flow is more chaotic at the “really rough” side of the ball and little less chaotic at the “shiny rough” side of the ball. But, don’t get me wrong, the air flow is turbulent on both sides of the ball.

It’s just that, at the “super rough side” of the ball, there is thicker turbulent flow. According to Physics, this allows the air to leave the “super rough side” quicker.

As a result, the ball experiences a force in the opposite direction making the ball swing towards the “shiny rough side”.