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Paul adds smile to his spin

cricket Updated: Jan 03, 2011 02:17 IST
Subhash Rajta
Subhash Rajta
Hindustan Times
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It's difficult to find someone with a more cumbersome action than Paul Adams, it was nicknamed "frog in the blender". With head pointing skyward while delivering the ball, the former South Africa chinaman bowler used to keep everyone guessing how he managed to see the batsman.

The bowler, who has moved into coaching, saw little problem with his action then or now. "If I were to start my career all over again, I would still want to go about it with the same action. It's what gave me that uniqueness," said Adams, who took 134 wickets from 45 tests in his nine-year career until 2004.

How did he manage to see the batsman with his face turned skywards on his delivery stride? "It was just for a split second that my head would go down and the batsman would disappear. I could see the flight and the ball bouncing off the turf before it reached the batsman," he said.

Adams, who retired from the game three years back, laughed when told about concerns many had about his safety if batsmen were hit straight back at him. "I've had quite a few guys caught and bowled. Didn't I," he asks. "Many did try and run down the wicket and smash me out of the park thinking I didn't notice them using their feet, but I always had my eyes on them

Did he never felt the oddity of his action? "It's just that my head would go down a bit, but otherwise if you look at alignment, it was good."

The spinner is thankful his coaches didn't try too hard to change his action when he was growing up. "When I was 10, people tried to change my action and make it more orthodox, but I could just never correct it. And then they left me alone, allowing me to do it my own way."

As a coach, would he recommend a similar action to any aspiring spinner. "Well, if he could spin the ball hard and land it in the right areas, I would let him carry on with it."