The carrom ball is a type of delivery in cricket that is commonly used by finger spinners. It is a difficult technique to master, but can be super effective when mastered.
Australia’s Jack Iverson, who played only five matches in his test career, is regarded to be the first player to bowl the carrom ball. John Gleeson became the next known proponent of the carrom ball in the 1970s. In modern times, Sri Lanka’s Ajantha Mendis brought the delivery back to the limelight in 2008. India’s Ravichandran Ashwin, who calls the carrom ball sodukku ball, is known as one of the finest executers of this spin variant.
Carrom ball requires the bowler to grip the ball with the forefinger, middle finger and the thumb. The middle finger and the thumb help in release of the ball from the hand by snapping the fingers in the manner of playing carrom. The ball spins based on the position of the middle finger. If the middle finger is flicked from the off side of the ball, then the ball will spin from off to leg. If the middle finger is flicked from the leg side of the ball, the the ball spins from leg to off.
A carrom ball may not spin at all if gripped from the centre by the middle finger. This makes it a very difficult ball to pick-up by the batter who has to very carefully observed the manner in which the bowler’s fingers move upon release of the ball.