The SLOB - The World's Best Slower Ball
by Ian Pont
Many people have been asking all about The SLOB and how to bowl it. So here it is!
Here’s the reason the delivery has been dubbed The World’s Best Slower Ball. The ball grip appears to the batsman like a perfectly normal delivery. The problem with many slower balls is they are obvious before you let them go. This is where the SLOB has a massive advantage. You show a regulation grip to the batsman and the deception starts to happen. In fact, you are actually only gripping the ball with your index and middle fingers – nothing else
However this is where it gets interesting! If you release this ball correctly, it looks like the ball is going head height, yet this release is extremely deceptive. And if you manage to perfect it, the ball can drop like a stone into the block hole
The SLOB name is taken from the first two letters of the first two words describing the ball bowled, Slower Obsolete Delivery. It’s been called this because it appears to be a rather innocuous delivery in flight
But here’s the best part (and the reason it’s been dubbed The World’s Best Slower Ball). The ball grip appears to the batsman like a perfectly normal delivery. The problem with many slower balls is they are obvious before you let them go. This is where the SLOB has a massive advantage.You show a regulation grip to the batsman and the deception starts to happen. In fact, you are actually only gripping the ball with your index and middle fingers – nothing else
The remaining fingers and thumb are then placed on the ball to superficially appear as if you are holding the ball normally (figure 1)
If you have the correct pressure grip from the two fingers holding the ball, you should be able to hold your hand above the ball without losing grip on it (figure 2).
This is the set up for the SLOB. Now you have to release it properly.
When you get to releasing the ball, you simply open your hand on release as if you are giving a ‘high five’ to the batsman (figure 3). It’s important to open your hand fully as you release and all the fingers and thumb come off at the same time.
The trajectory looks exactly like a beamer and the batsman ‘sees’ a very high delivery aimed at his head. Amazingly the ballstarts to drop on the journey and if you have been able to get it right, the final three to four metres will see the ball ‘dying’ into a Yorker length.
All that’s left is for you to go out and try this in the nets yourself. Remember to try to bowl the ball halfway up the back net behind the batsman on the full. This will be the sensation when you let it go. Its best to practise without a batsman first! But please have some fun with this delivery and try it.