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Terms of Cricket – Cricket Batting and Bowling Terms

Cricket uses terms and expressions as bizarre and as eccentric as the game itself. These terms can be used for both batting and bowling, and they are enough to confuse even the most seasoned cricketer. This article is a small sample of the common terms that are used during cricket matches around the world.

Batting shots

You might hear a player play a satta king “cover drive” or a wonderful “on-drive” from the back foot during a match. These are only a few of the many terms that can be used to describe different batting strokes. The expression chosen will depend on the style and direction of the shot. There are drives and pulls/ hooks as well as cuts, pulls/ hooks. If a batsman plays an “agricultural shot”, it means that he did not have the skill to swing, cut, or swipe at the ball. This is often embarrassing or disastrous.

Miscellaneous terms for batting

Batting order: You have the option to bat in the top (positions 1-3), middle (positions 4-7), or lower (8-11) order.

Back foot/frontfoot: A batsman may play a shot from either his front or back feet depending on the place he has transferred his weight before he plays a stroke.

Declare an innings

Bowled out: When a batting team loses all its wickets, it is called a complete innings.

Duck/golden duck/ pair/ King pair: A “duck”, which is when a batsman gets dismissed for zero(0), refers to the situation in which he or she is deemed unfit. A golden duck is a duck that has been faced on the first ball. A pair is a set of two ducks for the batsman (First class or Test match). A King Pair is a set of two golden ducks for the batsman during one match.

“Not out” means a batsman who isn’t out (example: 56 not out) or is unbeaten at the end an innings. This is a term batsmen love to hear from umpires, after appeals by the fielding side.


Fast bowlers: These bowlers average 90 miles an hour.

Fast medium: Bowlers average between 85-90 miles per hour

Medium pace/ seam bowlers – These bowlers are slower than fast men and depend on hitting the seam.

These delivery and techniques are used by fast bowlers: yorker, bouncer off-cutter, leg cutter, off-cutter and reverse swing.

The 70s saw the rise of spinners, a group that was known for their soulful vocals. They are slow bowlers who use turn flight, bounce and flight to disarm batsmen.

Leg break bowlers: These are spinners who move the ball from the leg stump to the off stump. Also known as “leggies”, and “wrist spinners”.

Off-break bowlers – Spinners who move the ball from off stump into leg stump – also known by “offies” and finger spinners.

Slow left-arm unorthodox/orthodox: Left arm spinners classified by whether or not they turn the ball conventionally.

Spinners can use a variety of deliveries depending on their bowling style, including the doosra and flipper, googly, and the Chinaman.

Other terms for bowling

Maiden over: A game in which no runs are scored (excluding leg byes or byes).

Ball tampering is an illegal attempt to alter the ball’s condition

Throwing: A prohibited action in bowling that involves the extension of the bowling arm beyond the point of delivery.

In all forms of cricket, an over is six legal deliveries

Sledging: A verbal attempt by the fielding team to disarm the batsman.

These terms are useful for avid cricket watchers or couch potatoes who want to understand cricket commentary and pub discussions.

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