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Line and length in cricket refers to the direction and point of bouncing on the pitch of a delivery.The two concepts are frequently discussed together.
The line of a delivery is the direction of its trajectory measured in the horizontal plane. More simply, it is a measure of how far to the left or right the ball is travelling, compared to a line drawn straight down the pitch. It is usually referred to in terms of the directions off (away in front of the batsman) and leg (in towards or behind the batsman), rather than left and right, however.
Different lines that the ball may be said to be travelling on may be towards off stump, middle stump or leg stump, outside leg stump, or outside off stump. Balls on a line outside off stump may be said to be in the "corridor of uncertainty" if they are within 12 inches of the line of off stump. Wider deliveries may be said to be giving a batsman "width". Balls delivered on a line outside leg stump are often referred to as "going down the leg side", or alternatively "on the pads", referring to the batsman's leg protection. Short pitched leg-side deliveries are often referred to as bodyline, literally meaning on the line of the body.
Line controls how much room the batsman has to play various shots, and sometimes dictates what shot he must play. A line directed at the wicket, for example, must be defended with the bat, as failing to hit the ball will result in the batsman being out bowled, whilst a batsman blocking the ball with the body is likely to be out leg before wicket.
Despite this most direct method of getting the batsman out, bowlers often concentrate their line outside off stump, where the batsman does not necessarily have to hit the ball to avoid being out. A line just outside off stump, sometimes referred to as the corridor of uncertainty, may cause the batsman to be in two minds whether or not he needs to hit the ball to prevent it hitting his wicket. In this state, the batsman has little choice but to attempt to hit the ball, as not doing so could be disastrous. By thus forcing the batsman to play at the ball with some element of uncertainty, the bowler's goal is to induce a poorly executed shot that may offer a catch to a fielder, or ricochet the ball into the wicket.
Line can also be used strategically to restrict run scoring. One method is to stack the fielders predominantly on either the leg or off side of the field, and then bowl consistently with a matching line, to make it difficult for the batsman to hit the ball to the opposite side of the field.
A deliberate policy of aiming the line of the ball at the batsman's body was employed by England during their 1932-1933 tour of Australia. This dangerous tactic has since been outlawed. See Bodyline for full details.
The length of a delivery is how far down the pitch towards the batsman the ball bounces. It is described as being either short (bouncing closer to the bowler), full (bouncing nearer the batsman), or a good length (an optimal length, somewhere in between).
The length of a ball controls how high the ball rises from the pitch as it reaches the batsman's position. A ball pitched too short may rise high and lose some of its pace, making it easy for the batsman to hit. A ball pitched too full does not necessarily deviate horizontally in its flight, also making it easy for the batsman to hit. A good length ball is a compromise between these two options, bouncing far enough from the batsman for lateral deviation to be significant, but not too far that he can react easily to hit it. For fast bowlers the "good length ball" is usually six to eight metres in front of the batsman, and for slower bowlers (spin) it is usually at about three to four metres before the batsman, though the optimal length will vary according to the state of the pitch, prevailing weather conditions and the height and playing style of the batsman.
A bowler can use variation in length to upset the rhythm of a batsman. A typical sequence would be a series of slightly short balls to force the batsman into playing shots with his weight on the back foot, to allow him more time to hit the ball, followed by a full ball bouncing near the batsman's legs. If the batsman does not react to the change in length quickly enough, he can be left with his weight on the back foot and, if he misses the ball with his bat, in danger of being out either bowled or leg before wicket.
Another attacking ploy is to pitch a ball very short, making it bounce up around head height as it passes the batsman. Such a bouncer requires the batsman to avoid being hit, and may intimidate him into uncertainty about the next few balls.
Leg theory is a bowling tactic in the sport of cricket. The term leg theory is somewhat archaic and seldom used any longer, but the basic tactic remains a play in modern cricket.
Leg spin is a type of spin bowling in cricket. A leg spinner bowls right-arm with a wrist spin action. The leg spinner's normal delivery causes the ball to spin from right to left in the cricket pitch when the ball bounces. For a right-handed batsman, that is away from the leg side, and this is where it gets the name leg break, meaning it breaks away from the leg. The turn is mostly when the ball pitches.
Bowling, in cricket, is the action of propelling the ball toward the wicket defended by a batter. A player skilled at bowling is called a bowler; a bowler who is also a competent batter is known as an all-rounder. Bowling the ball is distinguished from throwing the ball by a strictly specified biomechanical definition, which restricts the angle of extension of the elbow. A single act of bowling the ball towards the batsman is called a ball or a delivery. Bowlers bowl deliveries in sets of six, called an over. Once a bowler has bowled an over, a teammate will bowl an over from the other end of the pitch. The Laws of Cricket govern how a ball must be bowled. If a ball is bowled illegally, an umpire will rule it a no-ball. If a ball is bowled too wide of the striker for the batsman to be able to play at it with a proper cricket shot, the bowler's end umpire will rule it a wide.
Fielding in the sport of cricket is the action of fielders in collecting the ball after it is struck by the batsman, to limit the number of runs that the batsman scores and/or to get the batsman out by catching the ball in flight or by running the batsman out. There are a number of recognised fielding positions, and they can be categorised into the offside and leg side of the field. Fielding generally involves preventing the ball from going to or over the edge of the field, and getting the ball to either wicket as quickly as possible.
Leg before wicket (lbw) is one of the ways in which a batsman can be dismissed in the sport of cricket. Following an appeal by the fielding side, the umpire may rule a batter out lbw if the ball would have struck the wicket, but was instead intercepted by any part of the batter's body. The umpire's decision will depend on a number of criteria, including where the ball pitched, whether the ball hit in line with the wickets, and whether the batter was attempting to hit the ball.
The Laws of Cricket is a code which specifies the rules of the game of cricket worldwide. The earliest known code was drafted in 1744 and, since 1788, it has been owned and maintained by its custodian, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in London. There are currently 42 Laws which outline all aspects of how the game is to be played. MCC has re-coded the Laws six times, the seventh and latest code being released in October 2017. The 2nd edition of the 2017 Code came into force on 1 April 2019. The first six codes prior to 2017 were all subject to interim revisions and so exist in more than one version.
This is a general glossary of the terminology used in the sport of cricket. Where words in a sentence are also defined elsewhere in this article, they appear in italics. Certain aspects of cricket terminology are explained in more detail in cricket statistics and the naming of fielding positions is explained at fielding (cricket).
In cricket, a no-ball is an illegal delivery to a batsman. It is also the Extra run awarded to the batting team as a consequence. For most cricket games, especially amateur the definition of all forms of no-ball is from the MCC Laws of Cricket
In the sport of cricket, a bouncer is a type of delivery, usually bowled by a fast bowler.
In cricket, batting is the act or skill of hitting the ball with a bat to score runs or prevent the loss of one's wicket. Any player who is currently batting is denoted as a batsman, batswoman, or batter, regardless of whether batting is their particular area of expertise. Batting players have to adapt to various conditions when playing on different cricket pitches, especially in different countries - therefore, as well as having outstanding physical batting skills, top-level batters will have lightning reflexes, excellent decision-making and be good strategists.
Pace bowler is one of two main approaches to bowling in the sport of cricket, the other being spin bowling. Practitioners of pace bowling are usually known as fast bowlers, quicks, or pacemen. They can also be referred to as a seam bowler, a swing bowler or a fast bowler who can swing it to reflect the predominant characteristic of their deliveries. Strictly speaking, a pure swing bowler does not need to have a high degree of pace, though dedicated medium-pace swing bowlers are rarely seen at Test level these days.
Spin bowling is a bowling technique in cricket, in which the ball is delivered slowly but with the potential to deviate sharply after bouncing, and the bowler is referred to as a spinner.
An inswinger is a type of delivery in the sport of cricket. It is bowled by swing bowlers.
Off theory is a bowling tactic in the sport of cricket. The term off theory is somewhat archaic and seldom used any more, but the basic tactic still plays a part in modern cricket.
In cricket, a dismissal occurs when a batsman's period of batting is brought to an end by the opposing team. It is also known as the batsman being out, the batting side losing a wicket, and the fielding side taking a wicket. The dismissed batsman must leave the field of play permanently for the rest of their team's innings, and is replaced by a teammate. A team's innings ends if 10 of the 11 team members are dismissed—as players bat in pairs, when only one person is undismissed it is not possible for the team to bat any longer. This is known as bowling out the batting team, who are said to be all out.
A delivery or ball in cricket is a single action of bowling a cricket ball toward the batsman.
Wrist spin is a type of bowling in the sport of cricket. It refers to the cricket technique and specific hand movements associated with imparting a particular direction of spin to the cricket ball. The other spinning technique, usually used to spin the ball in the opposite direction, is finger spin. Wrist spin is bowled by releasing the ball from the back of the hand, so that it passes over the little finger. Done by a right-handed bowler, this imparts an anticlockwise rotation to the ball, as seen from the bowler's perspective; a left-handed wrist spinner rotates the ball clockwise.
Crocker is a team sport played between two large teams. Its origins are in cricket and baseball. It also makes the use of a rugby ball, or a soccer ball which may explain its name. It is a casual sport not played formally, but often found on British summer camps.
The Third Test of the 1932–33 Ashes series was one of five Tests in a cricket series between Australia and England. The match was played at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide from 13 to 19 January 1933, with a rest day on 15 January. England won the match by 338 runs to take a series lead of 2 Tests to 1 with 2 Tests to play.
The down-up is a commonly played stroke in indoor cricket. The successfully played down-up prevents any front court fielders from fielding the ball, meaning that bonus runs are scored.