Batting is one of the three main functions of a cricket team. Batting is the only way cricketers can score runs. To win a match of cricket, a team must score more runs than their opponent.
When a team is batting, they will have two players on the field. The two batspeople stand at either end of the pitch and await a delivery from a bowler. When a bowler delivers a ball, the batsperson can choose not to play the ball with their bat or choose to try and hit the ball.
A batsperson will face six deliveries every over before the bowler changes sides and bowls to the other end of the pitch. Batters can switch sides when running, but the bowler never does. Batspeople will bat until they are out or an innings ends.
The bat is used to hit the ball. It is flat faced on one side and made of willow. The length of the bat is no more than 38 inches and it can be no more than 4.25 inches wide.
Batspeople must wear helmets to protect their head. Bowlers can bowl balls at speeds of up to 95 mph. If that were to it a batsperson in the head, it could cause serious injury. Helmets have a metal grill on the front to further protect batsperson's faces.
Batspeople wear thick padded gloves to protect their hands and fingers. The gloves also allow them a firm grip on the handle of the bat.
Finally, they need to wear soft padded kneepads that cover the entire bottom part of their legs. These are to avoid serious leg injuries that could occur from taking a delivery to the shin.
When batspeople are preparing to face a ball, they will stand side on to the opposite end of the pitch. Their feet will be around a foot apart to allow them to balance when facing the delivery.
Both hands will be on the bat with the dominant hand further down the handle. As the delivery comes, the batsperson will lift the bat back ready to decide on which shot they want to take.
When hitting the ball, a cricket batsperson has many decisions to make. The most important is whether they want to take a shot or not.
If a delivery is not deemed playable by the batsperson they may choose to lift the bat over the ball as it passes, move it out of the way or, if the delivery has the potential to be an lbw (leg before wicket) or hit the stumps, the batsperson may defensively strike the ball with their bat.
If the batsperson decides to hit the ball, they can hit the ball a number of ways. They are:
A drive is when the batsperson chooses to play the ball directly in front of them or to their strong side. They try to drive the ball back past the bowler. This shot is effective because there are usually few fielders behind the bowler and this means runs can be scored.
A sweep is when the batsperson bends down and sweeps their bat across the pitch in order to send the ball off to the side. This shot is typically rare and used against spin bowlers as a way to generate extra power on the ball.
A cut is when a batsperson uses the edge of the bat to utilize the speed of a delivery in order to play a shot behind them. This is a risky shot as many captains will place fielders behind the batsperson to avoid being caught by cut shots.
A pull shot will play the ball forward to the on side of the pitch. This requires a lot of power from the batsperson to change the direction of the ball across their body.
A hook shot is similar to a pull but the ball will be played behind the batsperson. This is also a rare shot as it requires a short delivery to be pulled off correctly.
The goal of all of this batting is to score runs. Runs can be scored in three main ways:
Extras are runs that are granted by bowlers or fielders mistakes.
Boundaries are runs that are granted if a batsperson is able to hit the ball to the boundary at the edge of the field. If the ball touches the ground at any point before reaching the boundary, the batting team are awarded four points. If the ball doesn't touch the ground and clears the boundary, the batting team are awarded six points.
Running between the creases are for any balls that are played but do not reach the boundary. Whenever a batsperson plays a ball, they can decide to run. If they run, their teammate must also run to the crease they just left. For every instance that the pair run between the creases on a given delivery, the batting team is awarded a run.
There are a few important statistics that define how good a batsman is:
Here are some of the best batsmen to ever play in cricket:
Here are some of the best batsmen currently that you should know: