doosra ( , Hindi दूसरा) is a
particular type of delivery by an
off-spin bowler in the sport of
cricket, popularised by Pakistani cricketer Saqlain Mushtaq.
The term means
"(the) second (one)", or "(the) other (one)" in Urdu
). Saqlain Mushtaq
also invented a variant of the Doosra, a ball which he calls the
Teesra, coming from the same language and meaning "(the) third
Other bowlers have made considerable use of the doosra in
international cricket, including Sri Lankans Muttiah Muralitharan
and Ajantha Mendis
, South African Johan Botha
, Indian Harbhajan Singh
and the Pakistanis Shoaib Malik
The doosra is a relatively new type of ball. Saqlain Mushtaq is
credited with its invention, which was integral to both his success
and the future of off-spin bowling, as it is unlikely that any
off-spinner prior to him ever bowled a delivery which turned from
The naming of the delivery is attributed to Moin Khan
, the former Pakistani wicketkeeper
, who would call on Mushtaq to bowl
the "doosra" (the other one) from behind the stumps. Tony Greig
, a commentator in one of these
matches, eventually linked the word to the delivery and confirmed
it with Saqlain in a post-match interview. Thus the term became a
part of cricketing culture. The doosra is now an important part of
the off-spin armoury.
Some people, however, feel that the real pioneer of the doosra was
, who played for the
in the 1950s,
as he moved the ball both ways, despite gripping the ball like an
off-break bowler, and, like many doosra-bowling off-break bowlers,
had a questionable bowling action.
The bowler delivers the ball with the same finger action as a
normal off break
but cocks the wrist so
that the back of the hand faces the batsman
This gives the ball spin in the opposite direction to that for an
off break, causing it to spin from the leg
to the off side
The doosra is the off-spinner's equivalent of the leg-spinner's googly
spins in the opposite direction to the leg spinner's stock
It is possible for a left-armer (whose action mirrors that of an
off-spinner) to bowl the doosra, which in this case would turn from
off to leg. Sri Lankan left-armer Rangana
gained recognition by bowling the delivery, in
particular against the Australians during an A tour. England
left-armer Monty Panesar
to have bowled the delivery occasionally in domestic matches.
Increasingly, it seems that many other off-spinners are trying to
make use of the "doosra" delivery with varying degrees of success.
Interestingly, apart from Saqlain Mushtaq himself, all other
off-spinners attempting to utilise the delivery have had
accusations (for the most part dismissed) of throwing
levelled against them. These
include; Muttiah Muralitharan
, Saeed Ajmal
and Johan Botha
Another method, bowled by the former Warwickshire bowler Alex Loudon
, features the middle finger behind
the ball which 'flicks' the ball as it is delivered - spinning the
ball from leg to off. The success of this form of the doosra has
yet to be determined, as Loudon only made his One Day International
debut for England on 24 June 2006 against Sri Lanka. He did not
take any wickets but did bowl the doosra in the match. He has so
far not received any accusations of throwing. South Australian, Dan
Cullen has also been rumoured to be able to bowl the doosra.
has had success at the
start of his career using the middle finger flick style of
Muralitharan's doosra was the subject of an official report by
match referee Chris Broad
's tour of Sri Lanka in 2004, for illegal
straightening of the arm at the elbow during the bowling action.
biomechanical tests conducted at the University of Western
Australia in Perth showed that Muralitharan was straightening his arm
by angles of up to 10 degrees when bowling doosras, well outside
the International Cricket
Council acceptable guideline of 5 degrees for spin
Muralitharan was subsequently instructed by
Sri Lanka Cricket
not to bowl the
doosra in international cricket. In November 2004, the International Cricket Council
conducted more research into illegal bowling actions and found that
many bowlers whose actions were considered legitimate were actually
transgressing the rules. A rule change was proposed and accepted at
a meeting of ICC chief executives in early 2005, stating that any
bowler may straighten their arm up to 15 degrees, and
Muralitharan's doosra once again became a legal delivery.
In February 2006, in an attempt to silence the Australian crowds
and their 'no ball' chants, Muralitharan took another test at the
University of Western
, which saw all of his deliveries deemed legal,
including the doosra.
of Indian bowler Harbhajan Singh was
the subject of an official report by match
referee Chris Broad, on-field
umpires Aleem Dar and Mark Benson, and TV umpire Mahbubur Rahman after the second Test
between India and Bangladesh at Chittagong in December 2004.
Harbhajan bowling in the nets.
It was reported that his
arm is straightened by angles of up to 10 degrees, 5 degrees within
the ICC tolerance levels.
Pakistani all-rounder Shoaib Malik
also reported for his doosra before the first Test between
Australia and Pakistan in December 2004. Biomechanics tests,
similar to those performed on Muralitharan, were conducted, and he
did not bowl in subsequent Tests in that series. Unlike many other
cricketers accused of throwing when bowling their doosra delivery,
Malik is also a capable batsman, and some analysts speculate that
he might focus on his batting if prevented from bowling this
delivery. Malik was omitted from the Pakistani team for the first
Test against Australia in 2004, although this was due to the
reputation of the Perth pitch as being unfriendly to spin bowlers
rather than as a result of the controversy.
Malik returned to bowling in May 2005 following remedial work.
reported again, alongside Shabbir
Ahmed, after the first Test against England at Multan in November
In May 2006, Malik opted for elbow surgery to correct his bowling
action. He and the Pakistan Cricket Board had previously
unsuccessfully argued that a 2003 road accident caused the damage
to his elbow which makes his action appear suspect. Malik returned
to play in June 2006 but does not bowl doosra anymore.
South African Johan Botha
has been reported for his version of the doosra after the 3rd Test
match against Australia in 2006. Botha was playing in his maiden
test match at the time, taking 2 wickets. His bowling was later
ruled illegal, and he was banned, however this ban was lifted in
November, 2006. However, in April 2009, he was called for a
re-assessment of his bowling action after the series in Australia.
If his action is found to be illegal, he will be suspended from
bowling in international cricket until he has corrected his action.
In May 2009, he was allowed to bowl all types of deliveries except
Ban against the teaching of the doosra in Australia
In July 2009 in Australia, a spin summit held at Cricket Australia
's Centre for Excellence
decided not to teach the doosra to young spinners. The delegates at
the meeting included former Test spinners Shane Warne
, Jim Higgs
, Gavin Robertson
, Terry Jenner
and Ashley Mallett
According to them, the doosra cannot be bowled legally and unless
ICC decides to legalize all forms of chucking, it will not be
taught in Australia.
In 2004, Saqlain Mustaq, the developer of the doosra has claimed to
have developed a new variant called as the teesra which is a top
spinner in disguise of a off spin. He was supposed to have used it
in ICL matches.
- Saqlain signs for Ireland:
Cricinfo.com Retrieved 26 April 2007.
- Saqlain Mushtaq - Player Profile:
Cricinfo.com Retrtieved 26 April 2007.
- Moin Khan coined the term
- Sonny Ramadhin introduced doosra
- Rangana Herath. Cricinfo.com. Retrieved on
- Times Online: The Big Interview: Monty
- Ajantha Mendis finger flick doosra
- cricinfo: Harbhajan cleared to bowl
- cricinfo: Shoaib Malik
- cricinfo: Botha's action passed by the ICC
Botha reported for suspected action