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Thread: Basic questions

  1. #1
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    Basic questions

    I am a new follower in the US where there is zero cricket. I am starting to get the idea about some of the rules and terminology but much of it escapes me and I would like some clarification, especially about bowling. The issue is that my kid pitches baseball and I have discovered that bowlers seem to be less subject to injury than pitchers, and I am investigating that phenomenon with the goal of trying to keep my kid from ending up with surgery.

    My understanding is that bowlers are generally going to be limited to about 20% of the overs in a contest, but that is not a fixed rule except in T20. Is that right?

    I am also under the impression that the only actual rule is that bowlers cannot appear for consecutive overs, but other than that under the rules, a team can use any bowler pretty much anytime it likes without limitations. However, it seems that as a matter of custom and safety, most teams will use bowlers in "spells" with a partner bowler that last more or less a total of about 10 overs, and then both of those guys will be sent out into the field and replaced with a new pair and then brought back when that second group is done too. Do I have that about right?

    Is there timing in bowling? I watched some on youtube and it seems like bowls are roughly every 40 seconds or so in T20 with 240 bowls taking about 180 minutes with a changeover break. Does the bowler have to commence his run or get the ball out of his hands in some fixed amount of time after he gets the ball back from the field? If not, is he allowed to stall or is there a system of notifications and or warnings about stalling?

    Are bowlers generally going to bowl on consecutive days, especially in those 5 day tests? I can see a scenario where a guy has 20 overs on Day 1, maybe 10 more on Day 2 when the opponent is finally done with its innings, and then being needed again late on Day 3 after his team finishes its offensive first innings, and then continuing on Day 4. It could be 50 or 60 overs in that period. Is that something that occurs in real life with some degree of regularity?

    Does a bowler warm up before his spell begins? What is the rule about that?

    Is there some advantage to having a right handed bowler face a right handed batter? If so, do teams go out of their way to try to orchestrate that?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Cricket Web Staff Member Howe_zat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodk View Post
    My understanding is that bowlers are generally going to be limited to about 20% of the overs in a contest, but that is not a fixed rule except in T20. Is that right?
    In Test, first-class or anything with unlimited overs, bowlers can bowl as much as the captain asks them to. A fast bowler will usually bowl about 15-20 overs in a day of Test match cricket, while a spinner will usually bowl 20+. It completely depends on how many bowlers are in the team (almost always four or five), what pitch conditions are like (should I keep my spinners going? Is the pitch going to turn?), match situation (should I take the new ball and put my best bowlers back on? Should I bowl some part timers?) and whether or not the team you are playing has Muralitharan in it (should I bowl him from one end until the opposition are out? Yes.)

    In all limited overs cricket, be it 20 over, 40 over or 50 over, all bowlers are limited to 20% of the team's overs. This is to ensure that teams keep a similar team balance to that seen in the longer format. If rain reduces a match to an unusual number of overs, the bowlers' limits will be adjusted to match. In an ODI between England and India, rain reduced the match to 23 overs each. Both sides were allowed three bowlers who could bowl five overs and two bowlers who could only bowl four.

    Quote Originally Posted by rodk View Post
    I am also under the impression that the only actual rule is that bowlers cannot appear for consecutive overs, but other than that under the rules, a team can use any bowler pretty much anytime it likes without limitations. However, it seems that as a matter of custom and safety, most teams will use bowlers in "spells" with a partner bowler that last more or less a total of about 10 overs, and then both of those guys will be sent out into the field and replaced with a new pair and then brought back when that second group is done too. Do I have that about right?
    Yes on the rules. On pairs, sometimes. You will usually know going in who you want your new ball bowlers to be, and they are often seen as a pair. In limited overs matches, you normally expect those same two to be bowling at the very end of the innings ('at the death') as well. But different bowlers will have different lengths of spell they can bowl, and spinners will tend to bowl for much longer. A common tactic is to bowl two fast bowlers with the new ball, but to use your spinner bowling a long spell with the old ball from one end while you rotate your fast bowlers from the other end. As mentioned, it's all about what the captain thinks he needs at any one time, mixed with a general strategy for who he planned to be bowling at different stages of the day or innings.

    Quote Originally Posted by rodk View Post
    Is there timing in bowling? I watched some on youtube and it seems like bowls are roughly every 40 seconds or so in T20 with 240 bowls taking about 180 minutes with a changeover break. Does the bowler have to commence his run or get the ball out of his hands in some fixed amount of time after he gets the ball back from the field? If not, is he allowed to stall or is there a system of notifications and or warnings about stalling?
    There's no fixed amount of time, as the bowling side can make field changes between deliveries, or someone can demand more equipment, or the umpires can get out a light meter, or anything really. The only rule is that the bowling side is expected to get all the scheduled overs in by the end of the day, or the fielding captain can be fined. As a general rule, fielding captains tend not to give a toss about this and take all the time they like. In Test matches, a team that is trying to draw the game (by reaching the end of the 5th day without losing) will usually be accused of time wasting. Occasionally this leads to Dean Jones calling someone a terrorist.

    Quote Originally Posted by rodk View Post
    Are bowlers generally going to bowl on consecutive days, especially in those 5 day tests? I can see a scenario where a guy has 20 overs on Day 1, maybe 10 more on Day 2 when the opponent is finally done with its innings, and then being needed again late on Day 3 after his team finishes its offensive first innings, and then continuing on Day 4. It could be 50 or 60 overs in that period. Is that something that occurs in real life with some degree of regularity?
    Yes. You're not allowed to change your bowlers between days. Having bowlers that can't cope with the workload is a weakness that teams have to try and avoid.

    Quote Originally Posted by rodk View Post
    Does a bowler warm up before his spell begins? What is the rule about that?
    Yes. If you watch a live game you can usually see them doing some stretches while fielding, and just before they are about to start bowling, bowl a couple of practice deliveries (without a run up) to another fielder. The only rules, I think, are 1) you can't warm up on the pitch to deteriorate it and 2) you can't take all day about it (c.ref. earlier answer about time wasting.)

    Quote Originally Posted by rodk View Post
    Is there some advantage to having a right handed bowler face a right handed batter? If so, do teams go out of their way to try to orchestrate that?
    Some players, but not all, prefer facing either left handers or right handers. Which one they prefer to play against completely depends on their individual style and really you'd have to go through it on a case by case basis. The only general trend is that it's considered a bit harder to bat if the spinning ball is turning away from you, so offspin bowlers prefer facing left-handers while legspin bowlers prefer facing right handers. That's not everyone, though.
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    Hey I am also from the states and new to cricket. The rules took a bit for me to fully understand and even to this day I get confused about the fielding restrictions and placement of the fielders during test matches. What part of the states are you located if you don't mind me asking?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Howe_zat View Post
    Some players, but not all, prefer facing either left handers or right handers. Which one they prefer to play against completely depends on their individual style and really you'd have to go through it on a case by case basis. The only general trend is that it's considered a bit harder to bat if the spinning ball is turning away from you, so offspin bowlers prefer facing left-handers while legspin bowlers prefer facing right handers. That's not everyone, though.
    it's important to note that this is flipped for left handed spinners, so basically a left handed finger spinner (also called a slow left arm orthodox) spins it how a right hand leg spinner, and likewise a left handed wrist spinner (also called a left arm unorthodox spinner) spins it how a right handed offie would spin it.
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    offspin bowlers prefer facing left-handers while legspin bowlers prefer facing right handers.
    Is a right handed "offspin" a counterclockwise rotation of the ball from the perspective of the bowler?

    What are the rules with respect to introducing a new ball? This is alien to me.

  6. #6
    Cricket Web Staff Member Howe_zat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodk View Post
    Is a right handed "offspin" a counterclockwise rotation of the ball from the perspective of the bowler?

    What are the rules with respect to introducing a new ball? This is alien to me.
    No. Hold out your right hand with the palm facing away from you. Then move your middle finger down past your thumb as fast as you can. The ball spins between those two fingers and moves out of the hand spinning clockwise. When the ball pitches it turns from left to right. When a right-hander is facing, it spins from off (the side with the bat) to leg (side with the leg). Hence, offspin. The ball spins between the finger and thumb, so this is sometimes called finger spin. A left arm bowler doing this will spin the ball the other way with the same action, so is generally called a 'slow left-armer' or 'left-arm orthodox' rather than a 'left arm offspinner'.

    Now hold out your right hand with your knuckles on top and your fingers curved downwards. Rotate the whole wrist so as the thumb moves under your arm to the right while the little finger moves over your arm to the left. The ball spins anti-clockwise as you release it with this motion. When the ball pitches it turns from right to left. When a right-hander is facing, it will turn from the leg side back towards the off side, hence, leg spin. The ball spins out of the back of the hand and over the wrist, so this is sometimes called wrist spin. A left arm bowler doing this will spin the ball the other way with the same action, so is generally called a 'left-arm unorthodox' or 'left arm chinaman' rather than a 'left arm legspinner'.

    ~

    In Test and first-class cricket, a new ball is available after 80 overs. The bowling captain can choose to take it or not. If they are still in the field, they will get a chance to take a third new ball 80 overs after they took the last one.

    If the bowling side think the ball is damaged or falling apart, they can ask the umpires to change it. If the umpire agrees, they will change it for a ball that has been played for a similar number of overs, so if after 35 overs the ball splits, the umpire can change it for another ball that is 35 overs old.
    Last edited by Howe_zat; 25-01-2016 at 03:44 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howe_zat View Post
    . When a right-hander is facing, it spins from off (the side with the bat) to leg (side with the leg). .
    Having trouble with this. The "side" of what?

    If a batsman is standing in his place and holding the bat out, is the spin coming into his body or away from his body? Aren't his bat and his leg on the same side of the stumps? Or are you talking about with respect to his own body, ie, the bat is cocked and behind him somewhere so the ball comes into him closer to the stump.

    Baseball teams prefer to pitch righty vs righty and lefty vs lefty because a curve ball, which is thrown with a snap of the wrist, not quite like opening a doorknob as you describe but more like tightening a screw tends to move away and to the outside of the plate where it is harder to find it and harder to make contact with it. If the pitcher and the hitter are on opposite sides, then the curve tends to come into the hitter's body, and it is a little easier to hit.

    However some pitchers have mastered the art of a 'back door" pitch to an opposite side hitter that starts far off the plate and bends 8 to 12 inches in the air and then comes over home at the very last fraction of a second having been much too far away to reach with a 33 inch bat or even judge where it will be throughout its flight. Good luck hitting that.

    As far as replacing the ball, why would the defense ever want to do that? Scuffed should make it bounce even funnier and if it has been pounded for 80 overs it should be pretty dead at that point.
    Last edited by rodk; 25-01-2016 at 06:38 PM.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend zorax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodk View Post
    Having trouble with this. The "side" of what?

    If a batsman is standing in his place and holding the bat out, is the spin coming into his body or away from his body? Aren't his bat and his leg on the same side of the stumps? Or are you talking about with respect to his own body, ie, the bat is cocked and behind him somewhere so the ball comes into him closer to the stump.

    Baseball teams prefer to pitch righty vs righty and lefty vs lefty because a curve ball, which is thrown with a snap of the wrist, not quite like opening a doorknob as you describe but more like tightening a screw tends to move away and to the outside of the plate where it is harder to find it and harder to make contact with it. If the pitcher and the hitter are on opposite sides, then the curve tends to come into the hitter's body, and it is a little easier to hit.

    However some pitchers have mastered the art of a 'back door" pitch to an opposite side hitter that starts far off the plate and bends 8 to 12 inches in the air and then comes over home at the very last fraction of a second having been much too far away to reach with a 33 inch bat or even judge where it will be throughout its flight. Good luck hitting that.

    As far as replacing the ball, why would the defense ever want to do that? Scuffed should make it bounce even funnier and if it has been pounded for 80 overs it should be pretty dead at that point.
    Offspin spins into the body of a right hander, legspin spins away.

    'Side' here means left or right, not forward and back.



    Bit basic but that's the idea.

    You have similar strategies and dynamics with cricket bowlers to batsmen. Most batsmen don't like playing a ball that moves away from them, so bowlers who can make it move away (be it in the air or off the pitch) are usually at an advantage. Some bowlers specialise at what you describe - fast bowling which moves late and sharply in the air, but naturally that's an extremely hard skill to master. Against some batsmen or in some situations (like when the batsmen aren't under pressure to score and are happy to keep leaving the ball), you would prefer a bowler who brings it into them. Some batsmen are also more adept at playing quicker bowlers than slower ones, and vice versa. All this adds to the drama and tactics of the game.

    You would want to replace the ball because an old ball becomes softer and easier to hit, and it's usually quite difficult to make it behave erratically when its older. Some bowlers specialise in making the old ball talk; if it's well prepared you can experience a phenomenon colloquially known as 'reverse' swing, and spinners generally get more turn when the ball is more worn. But the new ball - with it's shine, hardness and protruding seam - offers a lot more to bowlers, and is usually preferred to the older one.
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    I think I have it. Offspin and legspin are named for where they are initially aimed, not the intended result. Is that right? If so, that's why I am confused. Americans would never name something for some interim objective.

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    As for the ball, in professional play, once a baseball is lost in the audience or if it is damaged in any way, a new ball from the ump's pocket is put in play. In the majors, the average ball lasts 9 pitches. In amateur play, someone retrieves the ball from the audience and throws it back in, but a different one is used until it goes out of play and has to be retrieved, in part because of imposed time limits to get all scheduled games in. We will go through about 4 to six balls ($7 each) in my 14u son's games. The notion of using a worn out partly damaged ball in a million dollar game where the league can afford better seems pretty unlikely to a newb.

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    I went to a match at Trent Bridge in 1979 as an exchange student in Nottinghampshire. From archived records, it seems like I went to see Nottinghampshire vs. Sussex in a three day, 100 overs per innings, 2 innings apiece contest.

    Is that type of game still played? It wasn't mentioned above. Is it reasonably plausible to think you can get in 400 overs in three days of play, given that 40 overs in T20 is usually going to be 3 hours? Ten times that number means 30 total hours in the field, and 10 per day seems a little excessive and risky especially if it is going to be a draw if you can't get all that done.

    Also, why aren't other limited over games divided into two innings apiece? For the newb, it seems like if your team bats first and will only bat once and its best aren't doing too well to start the game, only to be followed by the weaker batters, then it is time to turn off the tube early. But if it had two innings, maybe its batsmen will be better in the second innings and all is not lost.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by rodk; 26-01-2016 at 06:26 PM.

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    Ah man I feel for this didn't i

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    Quote Originally Posted by rodk View Post
    I went to a match at Trent Bridge in 1979 as an exchange student in Nottinghampshire. From archived records, it seems like I went to see Nottinghampshire vs. Sussex in a three day, 100 overs per innings, 2 innings apiece contest.

    Is that type of game still played? It wasn't mentioned above.
    Thanks.
    There was a specific rule - only in English county championship matches from 1974-1980 - that the first innings of a match was restricted to 100 overs, and the second innings (i.e. the other team's first innings) couldn't take the total for the first two innings past 100 overs.

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    I'm still a noob to cricket, so someone please explain to me why teams can score about 200 runs in 20 overs and lose in the IPL (Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals) but score only 418 runs in 167 overs in test cricket (New Zealand at Pakistan, yesterday) and win big, by a full innings after declaring itself out in the first innings, essentially taking only 1/4 of its allotted overs. Is it the quality of the hitters or the bowlers? Is it a different approach to hitting because wickets really don't matter too much in a 20 over game because nobody is taking them all anyway? I would think that a team would be prone to score more in the long game because weaker bowlers have to take a turn. Or are 5 day teams loaded up with bowlers so they can get through the games without having to rely on non-specialists, something that would suppress the score? TY

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    Quote Originally Posted by rodk View Post
    I'm still a noob to cricket, so someone please explain to me why teams can score about 200 runs in 20 overs and lose in the IPL (Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals) but score only 418 runs in 167 overs in test cricket (New Zealand at Pakistan, yesterday) and win big, by a full innings after declaring itself out in the first innings, essentially taking only 1/4 of its allotted overs. Is it the quality of the hitters or the bowlers? Is it a different approach to hitting because wickets really don't matter too much in a 20 over game because nobody is taking them all anyway? I would think that a team would be prone to score more in the long game because weaker bowlers have to take a turn. Or are 5 day teams loaded up with bowlers so they can get through the games without having to rely on non-specialists, something that would suppress the score? TY
    Conditions matter a lot. The surfaces they are playing on aren't identical. Pitches vary game to game, some are harder to bat on than others.

    Plus stuff like batting approach and team balance, as you mention. Also gaps in skill levels.

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