When do bowlers get an extra bounce in cricket?

Cricket is a global sport played on every populated continent on Earth. The cricket field bears a pitch that is curated by an expert who best understands the climate of the location of the venue. Thus, depending on the weather conditions, the cricket ball behaves differently in terms of bounce and pace.

Oftentimes, commentators are heard saying that the bowler is getting an extra bounce on the surface. This ‘extra bounce‘ is a skill that bowlers acquire after thorough practice. An extra bounce is achieved when bowlers know two things: an understanding of the pitch, and when to release the ball.

Pitches in countries like South Africa and Australia are hard and less compact. After pitching, the ball tends to rise gradually as it approaches the batter. This makes it difficult for the batters to judge the timing of their shot.

Bowlers are at an advantage of they have a height of 6 feet or more. Since their release point would be higher, the ball will inevitably bounce more. However, not every tall bowler can generate pace and bounce. In order to do so, they need to ensure a few things.

  • Bowlers should release the ball as late as possible. This allows them to bend forwards. More the inclination towards the batter, more bounce will be eventually generated.
  • Bowlers need to have an optimum run-up; not too fast, not too short.
  • Bowlers should grip the seam loosely with their fingers well behind the ball.
  • Bowlers should release the ball such that seam hits the pitch.
  • Bowlers should create a snapping action with their wrist at the time of release. This can also help in generating pace.

Not only pacers, but even spinners can generate an extra bounce. However, spinners are better able to do so on cracked and dusty surfaces which are more prevalent in the Indian sub-continent.

Extra bounce is thus a handy weapon to possess for a bowler’s wicket-taking artillery.

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