They are the masters of deception, the jokers in the pack; illusionists conjuring wickets out of thin air with nothing more than an ambled approach and a wonky grip. Not for them the brutish physicality of the pace bowler nor the reactive slogging of the batsman. Theirs is a more cerebral art. They stand alone in a team sport. They are Twirlymen.
Having himself failed through a combination of injury and indolence to become a leg-spinner of renown, Amol Rajan pays homage to that most eccentric of all sporting heroes - the spin bowler. On a journey through cricket history Rajan introduces us to the greatest purveyors of that craft, from W. G. Grace to Graeme Swann via Clarrie Grimmet's flipper, Muttiah Muralitharan's helicopter wrist, Shane Warne's ball-of-the-century and all the rest.