The Bowler vs. the Striker
Batting in cricket is quite different from baseball, but there are certain obvious similarities. In cricket the striker stands at the ready in the popping crease with his bat in hand while the bowler takes a running start into the bowling crease and lets loose with a overhand delivery hurling the ball at speeds that can approach 100 miles per hour. Oh, yes, most balls are delivered so they bounce as close to the stiker's feet as possible and then spin either into him or away from him, making it very difficult to hit.
The first job of a striker is to guard the wicket and in doing so score runs. Scoring doesn't require that you grip it and rip it. In cricket, control is definitely the name of the game. A well-placed, looping drive can result in as many runs as a line drive over the boundary line. It is important to remember that the field is 360 degrees and there are only nine men out there, so if you can control your bat and have amazing reflexes and great hand-eye coordination you should be able to do some considerable damage. Accomplished batsmen have been known to score over one hundred runs, a "century", during a match.
Batsmen run the bases with bat in hand. It is not thrown to the ground. There are no bat boys and each bat is an individual matter varying in length to accommodate the size, strength and ability of the batsman; but bats cannot be more than 38 inches in length or over 4.5 inches in width at any point. The handle is round and the hitting surface is flat. Gripping the bat is more akin to wielding an axe than it is to swinging a baseball bat, but that all depends on the type of stroke taken. "Batting strokes" are grouped into two basic types; "forward " and the "back". Both can be used offensively and defensively and their use is dependent on the type of delivery the bowler users. A forward stroke is usually used when the ball bounces near the batsman to protect the wicket. The back stroke is generally used for slower deliveries when the batsman wants to drive it into the field. Of course, the batsman can cut or hook the ball and even hit behind him if he has enough control.
Batsmen wear padded protection on their legs and hands and can have additional protection for the arms, rib cage and head, but for most matches no protection is worn beyond the leg pads and gloves and the ubiquitous cup.
Cricket Watchers Guide
How the Game is Played
Bowler vs. Striker
The Ball & Bowling
Ins & Outs of Scoring
Glossary of Cricket Terms
Cricket in America
North American Cricket Clubs
C.C. Morris Cricket Library
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