Batting - Place and Run!!!
- By Polly Umrigar
MODES OF DISMISSALS
There are ten ways in which a batsman can lose his wicket:
1 : Bowled
2 : Caught
3 : Handled the ball
4 : Hit the ball twice
5 : Hit wicket
6 : LBW
7 : Obstructing the field
8 : Run out
9 : Stumped
10 : Time out
THE ART OF PLACING THE BALL
It is unwise for a
batsman to specifically make up his mind where he will be hitting a ball even
before it is bowled, unless the circumstances are exceptional, like a
specialist batsman wanting to keep the strike with a tail-ender at the other
end, or a situation wherein a team needs to accelerate with several wickets in
Not the best runner between
wickets, but one of the best 'placers' of a cricket ball
At the time of taking strike, the
batsman should know the exact position of every fielder. Only then will he be
mentally conditioned to placing the ball in the right areas.
The batsman should adjust his shots to give the greatest yield. There is no
point in thrashing hard drives straight to the men in the covers and not
getting any runs, when the same deliveries could have been played on either
side of the fielders with soft hands, and the batsmen would have got ones or
The art of placing the ball in the right areas can be acquired through
match-practice. It cannot be learnt and mastered overnight.
A fast scorer is not one who slogs. A 'slogger' is bound to fail most of the
time. On the other hand, a batsman who is constantly looking for scoring
opportunities will come out on top. He who concentrates on picking up singles
by punching the ball through the gaps will be more successful.
RUNNING BETWEEN THE WICKETS
Watching two batsmen steal cheeky singles from right under the noses of the
fielding side can be an exhilarating experience for a cricket spectator.
Good and effective running between the wickets is a matter of judgment and
experience. It is generally accepted that the striker is responsible for
calling when the ball is hit in front of the wicket, whilst the non striker
shall make the call when a stroke is made behind the wicket. Either party must
obviously have the right to deny the partner's call if he thinks it is too
dangerous. In such cases, it is important that the denial of the call be loud,
clear and prompt. Under all circumstances, the initial call by the striker or
non striker should be "Yes" or "No", and "Wait" if there is any uncertainty.
If the ball is stroked to third man (behind the wicket) and the batsmen set off
for a run, the non-striker while crossing his partner should tell him whether a
second run is possible or not, as the ball will be in his direct line of
While taking runs, a batsman should pay due regard to the running speed of his
partner. It is essential to ensure that each run is just as safe for the
partner as it is for him.
It's not a ghost,
it's Sourav! - Tendulkar
(right) and Ganguly steal a
quick single against England
at Leeds, 2002.
The non-striker should 'back up' as
the bowler runs in to deliver the ball. His feet should be outside the popping
crease when the bowler releases the ball. However, his bat should be grounded
within the crease. The bowler can run him out before releasing the ball if he
discovers that the non-striker has 'backed up' too far and hasn't kept his bat
grounded within the crease. The non-striker should always stand slightly wide
of the stumps.
While completing a run, the batsman should ground the bat short of the popping
crease and slide it over.
The first run should always be run fast.
Once the first run has been completed and a batsman is in the process of
turning for a second, he should always turn towards that side of the ground on
which the ball is struck, to check how far it has gone and how close a fielder
might have got to it.
Quick singles can upset the bowler and fielders. Shrewd batsmen are known for
making mental notes. They figure out who among the fielders are agile, who are
slow, who have good throws, who struggle to make quick returns, and who are
right-handed / left-handed.
Even if a run-out looks inevitable, a batsman who is sprinting between wickets
should never ever give up. Many a batsman has made his ground safely because
the wicketkeeper or bowler or fielder has fumbled with the ball in his
excitement to run the batsman out, or a fielder has made a wild throw.
If the bat is dropped accidentally while running, one should carry on running
instead of stopping and picking it up!
If a specialist batsman and tail-ender are at the crease, the latter should
sacrifice his wicket if there is a run-out situation. This also applies when
there are two specialist batsmen in the middle. A batsman who might be
struggling to time the ball should sacrifice his wicket if his partner has
settled down the crease and is playing confidently.
A runner if requisitioned should ground his bat within the popping crease