This quote is from another thread (I hope it works), because it was recommended that the topic be moved:
The more interesting subject, to me, however, in the above quotes is the perception of 'offense' and 'defense'. If Adders explanation is the standard understanding among cricketers (and I have no reason to believe it is not), I think it shows a fascinating difference in perspective between Brits (and the rest of the world) in viewing the contest of cricket and Yanks viewing the contest of baseball. The two games are obviously related (more so than either to football, rugby, basketball, etc.), but the more I compare them both, the more differences I find, especially subtle ones. I think it certain that most all baseball fans would automatically consider the batting side to be 'on offense', and the fielding side to be 'on defense', even though, very roughly comparable to cricket, you have to get 27 outs (or more in 'extra-innings' games) to win. In both games only the batting side can score runs (with the minor exception of penalty runs to the non-batting side in cricket), and only the fielding side can achieve wickets or outs. But in cricket it appears that taking wickets is viewed as an offensive action, whereas in baseball it is viewed as a defensive action.
As I've been watching cricket (via television) the last few months I've become more and more aware how critical taking wickets is, especially in trying to evaluate how well a team is doing during a match. I guess this is quickly obvious to someone new to the game when watching a test match: 100/0 is lots better than 200/9. It wasn't so obvious to me in limited overs cricket immediately. In ODIs for example, getting runs before you run out of overs seemed much more important than not 'using up' your wickets. But the more I've watched, the more I've learned that wickets in hand is critical, even in the last 5 overs, since with more in hand you can be much more aggressive at the crease. I've also learned that even though the 2nd power play is typically taken in overs 36-40, the RPO typically is much higher in overs 40-50.
So, what is the point of this post? Mostly I guess it's to ask if what I've said above sounds at all accurate to the rest of you, who know cricket so much better than I. My goal is to understand cricket better, so I may better enjoy watching and following it. When you come to the game in your old age, and especially when your first impressions are strongly influenced by unconscious associations with another game you know inside out (baseball), there are so many subtle (and not so subtle) nuances that you can totally misunderstand.
Thank you in advance for any further corrections to my misunderstandings any of you may provide.