Finger spin (also known as off spin) is a type of bowling in the sport of cricket. It refers to the cricket technique and specific hand movements associated with imparting a particular direction of spin to the cricket ball. The other spinning technique, generally used to spin the ball in the opposite direction, is wrist spin. Although there are exceptions, finger spinners generally turn the ball less than wrist spinners. However, because the technique is simpler and easier to master, finger spinners tend to be more accurate.
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The name finger spin is actually something of a misnomer, as the finger action is not a vital part of the mechanism for producing the characteristic spin on the ball. A finger spin delivery is released with the arm held in a fully supinated position, with the fingers on the outside of the ball (to the right for a right-handed bowler). If this supinated position is maintained through the release, the fingers will naturally cut down the side of the ball and produce a clockwise spin. The great English finger spinner Derek Underwood is famous for bowling finger spin in this manner.
Additional spin may be put on the ball through two other means: the active supination of the arm from an initially pronated position just before the ball is released, and the flexion or extension of the wrist at the moment of release. Both techniques increase the effect of the cutting mechanism. The slower a spin bowler delivers the ball, the more actively he must attempt to impart spin onto it to maintain the same rate of revolution.