How The Term 'Doosra' Originated In Pakistan

How The Term ‘Doosra’ Originated In Pakistan

Harbhajan Singh Could Have Easily Taken 700 Test Wicket: Saqlain Mushtaq
Harbhajan Singh and Saqlain Mushtaq (Photo-Twitter)

Spin bowling is an art for the intellectuals. The form of bowling has seen its variations and deceived the batsmen over the years. One of the variations spin bowling has to offer is ‘Doosra’. The term originated in Pakistan with spin legend Saqlain Mushtaq believed to be the father of the delivery.

Doosra is a part of off-spin but different from the regular. The doosra moves in the opposite direction of off-spin, away from a batsmen, and often confuses them. In the past, Sri Lanka legend Muttiah Muralitharan, Johan Botha from South Africa, Saeed Ajmal and Shoaib Malik have used the ‘doosra’ to the fore.

Muttiah Muralitharan
Muttiah Muralitharan. Credit: Getty Images

How the term ‘doosra’ originated?

Veteran India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, currently out-of-favour from the national team, also bowled the doosra. He considered it to be a leg cutter. Harbhajan Singh said, it was former Pakistan wicket-keeper batsman Moin Khan, who used to say ‘doosra’ a lot. Doosra, in hindi, refers to the other one and that is how he used to ask Saqlain Mushtaq to bowl that delivery from behind the stumps.

Moin Khan, Pakistan, India, 2019 World Cup
Moin Khan says the Pakistan team has the firepower and the talent to beat India in the UK. Image Courtesy: Getty

“No one else bowled the doosra in India, which pitched and turned away from the batsman and that delivery of mine was, I think, better than the ones bowled by other off-spinners. I used to call it leg-cutter but it came to be known as the doosra because Moin [Khan] would shout from behind the stumps, asking Saqlain to bowl doosra (the other one). And that’s how it got famous,” was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.

Tony Greg, then commentator, was one of the first to link the delivery with Mushtaq in a post-match interview. It has since then, emerged as one of the most significant variations in spin bowling.