Part one: Cricket glossary

Cricket is such a complex sport that understanding it can take a while for those new to following it. And the wide variety of terms used by commentators to describe the action doesn’t make the viewers’ life easier. Most times, one word or a phrase can act as a substitute for another.

Here, Cricfooty has put together a comprehensive guide of pretty much every cricketing term used for description.

Batting

Batsman/batter

What does it mean: A batsman is one who holds a cricket bat in his hand and faces up to a ball bowled to him by a bowler.

Bottom hand

What does it mean: The bottom hand for a right-hand batsman is his right hand and the same for a left-hand batsman is his left hand. The top hand is the left hand for a right-hander and right for a left-hander.

Front foot

What does it mean: The left foot is the front foot for a right-handed batsman and the right foot is the front foot for a left-handed batsman.

Back foot

What does it mean: The right foot is the backfoot for a right-handed batsman and the left foot is the backfoot for a left-handed batsman.

Batting grip

What does it mean: The manner of holding the bat. Some of the styles of batting grips are a strong bottom hand, loose bottom hand, strong top hand, holding the bat higher on the handle (examples being Mark Waugh, Adam Gilchrist, among others), holding the bat lower on the handle (example Sachin Tendulkar).

Bye(s)

What does it mean: A run awarded to the batting team when a batsman doesn’t make contact with the ball with his bat, and the two batsmen cross over. Usually, the batting team get a bye when the wicketkeeper fails to catch the ball. Byes don’t count as a run conceded by a bowler.

Leg bye(s)

What does it mean: When the ball makes contact with a batsman’s pad, forearm, chest, helmet, hip, thigh when he is attempting a shot, and the two batsmen cross over, runs are awarded to the batting team. Leg byes don’t count as a run conceded by a bowler.

Duck

What does it mean: A score of 0, also known as nought. Without troubling the scorers is a phrase for a batsman who has been dismissed without scoring a run. A score of 0 (zero) is also known as a blob.

Also: When a batsman crouches in order to avoid a bouncer or a short-pitched ball, he is said to have ducked under the ball/bouncer.

King pair

What does it mean: When a batsman has been dismissed for a zero (0) and on the first ball in both the innings of a Test match, he is said have to got a king pair. A pair means being dismissed for zero (0) in both the innings of a Test match.

Dead ball

What does it mean: A ball off which no runs can be scored. Usual instances include the bowler not delivering the ball because he missed his run-up, the ball slipping out of the bowler’s hand and the batsman stopping the bowler before he delivers the ball or backs away because of disturbances behind the bowler’s arm.

Bump ball

What does it mean: A ball that is deemed to have been caught directly off the bat by a bat-pad fielder but has bounced off the ground.

No man’s land

What does it mean: A phrase used when the ball lands where no fielders have been stationed.

Cow corner

What does it mean: A position, between long-on and deep mid-wicket, where fielders are not usually deployed. Likened to that of an area where only cows stroll.

Get off the mark/Off the mark

What does it mean: The first run for a batsman who was on zero.

Carry your bat

What does it mean: A batsman is said to have carried his bat if he remains unbeaten at the end of his team’s innings in which all 10 wickets fell.

Charge the bowler

What does it mean: When a batsman takes steps towards the bowler, leaving his crease, he is said to be charging the bowler. Other phrases used for this include come down the track, dance down the track, step out of the crease, come down the pitch, etc.

Cover drive

What does it mean: A shot played by a batsman in the direction of the fielder at cover.

Extra cover drive

What does it mean: A shot played in the direction of the fielder at extra cover, who is stationed in the region between mid-off and cover.

Cut shot

What does it mean: A shot played with the bat facing horizontally and through the fielders at cover and point and point and backward point. The cut is one of the strokes played with the predominant use of the bottom hand.

Upper cut

What does it mean: A shot played with the bat face pointing the sky and with the intention of sending a short ball directed at a batsman’s back shoulder (right for a right-hand batsman and left for a left-hand batsman) over the third-man. Example: Sachin Tendulkar hitting Brett Lee for a boundary at the WACA Test match in 2008.

Late cut

What does it mean: The late cut is employed by the batsmen to send the ball in the region behind square on the off-side. This shot is called so because the batsman delays his shot to allow the ball to almost go past him and then meet the ball. That way, he tries to find the gap between point and third-man or even between the third-man and the wicketkeeper.

French cut (a term used jokingly)

What does it mean: A term that is used when a batsman inadvertently edges the ball past the wicketkeeper and to the boundary.

Flick shot

What does it mean: A shot that is played using the wrists, to send the ball in the arc between mid-on and fine-leg. A ball that has pitched within the line of the stumps is usually ‘flicked’ onto the on-side.

Straight drive

What does it mean: A shot that is played with the full face of the bat, driving the ball straight down the ground, on either side of the stumps at the non-striker’s end.

Pull shot

What does it mean: A shot that is played with a horizontal bat and to a ball which is either short or short of a good length, hitting it anywhere between mid-on and square-leg.

Hook shot

What does it mean: A shot that is played with the batsman not always totally in control but to a ball that is over the head; the batsman’s intended hitting zone is behind square on the leg-side.

Sweep shot

What does it mean: A shot that is played with the predominant use of the bottom hand (right hand for a right-handed batsman and left hand for a left-handed batsman) and usually against a spinner. The batsman goes down on one knee and plays with a horizontal bat, to hit the ball square on the leg-side.

Reverse sweep

What does it mean: A shot that is played by reversing the grip on the bat, going down on one knee and hitting the ball. A right-hander reverse-sweeping the ball will hit it square on the off-side and a left-hander reverse-sweeping the ball will also hit it ‘square on the off-side’.

Switch hit

What does it mean: A shot that is played by switching the grip on the bat handle. A right-hand batsman (say, Kevin Pietersen) trying to play the switch hit will change his grip to that of a left-hand batsman (left hand as the bottom hand and right hand as the top hand) and then hit the ball. A left-handed batsman (say, David Warner) trying to play the switch hit will change his grip to that of a right-hander (left hand as the top hand and right hand as the bottom hand) and then hit the ball.

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Nick

What does it mean: A faint edge off the bat.

Nightwatchman

What does it mean: A non-specialist batsman (usually a bowler who is good with the bat) who is sent ahead of the specialist batsmen at the end of a day’s play in a Test match to protect the batsmen.

Tailender

What does it mean: Batsmen who bat at Nos. 8, 9, 10, and 11 are called tailenders.

Runner

What does it mean: When a batsman can’t run because of cramp or an injury, he could, until 2011, call one of his team-mates as a by-runner for him.

Outside edge

What does it mean: The edge of the bat that is farthest from the batsman’s body. When the ball catches the outside edge of a batsman’s bat, he is said to have outside-edged it.

Inside edge

What does it mean: The edge of the bat that is closest to the batsman’s body. When the ball catches the inside edge of a batsman’s bat, he is said to have inside-edged it.

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