Stuart Broad explains the art of swing bowling and wobble seam

Ever wanted to swing the ball? Heard pundits talk about the wobble seam and found yourself confused how it works? England legend Stuart Broad provides an explanation

There are only subtle changes to my grip.

My stock delivery to the right-handed batter is always the wobble seam where, to be honest, I don’t mind which way it nips, but generally, I’ll look to try and nip the ball back to off stump.

With the shiny side facing in towards the legside, I actually angle the seam towards leg-slip. I’ll vary the depth of that angle depending on the dryness of the pitch.

I’ll probably start with a smaller wobble, so maybe aim it just to the side of the keeper’s left hand. Then I actually grip across the seam. Again, varying my finger position, I probably start quite closed and then will open up more if I feel like I need the ball to wobble a little bit more.

Ultimately, the wobble seam is the imperfect presentation of the seam. So if you’re bowling a perfect away-swinger, you want the seam to travel perfectly. To bowl a wobble seam, you want the seam to travel like this so it can catch the edge of the seam or the leather and seam.

There’s no point the seam coming down perfectly, so I change it to aim to the left of the keeper and then still deliver the same thing with my wrist. Then, when my fingers pull down, the seam will wobble down.

If I want to try and bowl an away-swinger to the right-hander, I simply tilt the seam, aiming towards first slip or second slip, and place my fingers directly behind. Again, sometimes closed fingers, sometimes wider. And I bowl the same delivery with my wrist but the seam will come down straight rather than wobbling and that will help the ball swing away.

To the left-hander, imagine almost just flipping it around really. Again, I hold it so the shiny side faces the legside. To swing the ball away from the left-hander, I want the shiny side doing that.

But then to wobble it, I actually aim the seam towards my first slip, and put my fingers directly down the back of the ball. When I release it, although the shiny side is this side, the batter should see it wobbling down and can hopefully nip back towards the stumps, but it can also stand up away from the seam.

And then when I bowl my swinger to the left-hander, which I try and use irregularly, I like to use it and try and bowl it fuller if I can to try and draw a drive. I’ll hold my seam towards first slip and almost with my action imagining I’m arcing the ball towards the slips.

I want to try and be greedy with this and start it at the stumps to swing it into the channel. But what the batter should see is a much straighter seam with no wobble. It should be coming down much straighter and bending away from them.

I suppose from a batter’s point of view, you can pick up whether the seam’s wobbling or swinging. From my point of view, I just hope it’s too late by the time they spot it.