Spin on the ball not enough to create noise, says expert

Bipin Dani

In the ongoing Test between India and South Africa, at one point of time, there seemed to be a confusion on whether or not Kohli (in the first innings) was not being given out even though the ultra- edge suggested a feather snick.

The reason it was given was to understand that the cricket ball when bowled at a certain pace makes a ‘ whirring noise ‘ which the batsman can hear. It is the seam (which is actually thread) which makes this noise and when it passes the bat close enough the energy is converted into sound ..a minor one , but still a sound.

However, Dr. Rabindra D. Mehta, a Sports Aerodynamics Consultant in the USA who has been following the game, does not buy the argument.

Speaking exclusively, he said, “The spin on the ball is not enough (even for spinners) to create the type of sound it is talked about. And, even if it did, it would be a present throughout the flight…not just when the ball crosses the bat”

“In this case though, it was a VERY SMALL spike …not much above the background noise level, in my opinion…. it is also possible that it came from some other source…. assuming one thinks that it is above the background level. Since the third umpire saw a gap between the bat and ball, he was correct in ruling it “not out.”

After watching the replay, he commented, “The slight “noise” you see when the ball passes the bat is part of the background noise. If you follow the trace as the ball passes his trouser leg, you see a similar slight blip BEFORE the ball touches the trouser leg. Of course there is a larger blip when the ball clips the trouser leg”.


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