If you’re a cricket fan and pay close attention, you’ve probably seen cricketers tapping their bats on the pitch between deliveries. Ever wondered why they do it? Let’s uncover the reasons and benefits behind this intriguing behavior.
Tapping a bat on a pitch: Reasons for it
Avoid bounce by flattening cracks
Batsmen often face surprises due to unpredictable pitch conditions. Cracks on the pitch can make the ball behave unexpectedly, leading to uneven bounce or deviations. To stay focused, new batsmen tap on areas where the ball might misbehave, helping to normalize the bounce and prevent mishaps. Experienced batsmen are better at identifying and managing these pitch irregularities.
Pitch Cleanup: Remove Stones
Sometimes, it’s not just the bowler’s footmarks or cracks on the pitch that pose a problem. There can be random objects that land on the pitch, and it’s crucial for the batsman to get rid of them. These objects can be distracting and make the ball behave oddly.
In these cases, you’ll often see a batsman either using their bat to brush the object away or bending down to pick it up and toss it aside, ensuring a smooth and distraction-free batting experience.
Tapping the bat goes beyond habit; it can also be a strategic move to disrupt the opponent’s concentration. Cricket is a mental game as much as it is physical, and using your mind effectively is crucial. Sometimes, batsmen face pressure from sledding or aggressive bowling, and slowing things down can help.
Until the batsman takes guard, the bowler can’t deliver the ball. So, using such tactics can not only disrupt the bowler’s rhythm but also their focus, leading to mistakes and allowing the batsman to gain control. Many players employ various tactics to unsettle the bowling unit, like MS Dhoni with his gloves or Steve Smith with his unique leave styles.
Get Over Nervousness
Batsmen often get nervous for various reasons, like making their debut or facing tough opposition. The pressure and noise from the crowd can add to this anxiety.
To calm their nerves and concentrate on batting, batsmen tap their bats on the ground. It’s a way to overcome nervousness, especially in big games. Some players, like Virender Sehwag, even whistle while they bat to feel relaxed and play freely.
Long Innings: Focus
Long innings can be a blessing for batsmen, allowing them to score big runs like a double or triple hundred. However, during a test match, playing such a lengthy innings can become monotonous and lead to a loss of focus. To stay concentrated for longer, batsmen tap the ground.
In cricket, there are two batsmen on the pitch: the striker and the non-striker. Tapping the pitch is also a way for them to communicate and share tips on how to play on that particular pitch.
Cricketers often walk down the pitch, tapping and talking to their partner. Sometimes, it’s just a habit, but in other cases, batsmen pretend to tap on the pitch as a way to communicate with their partner at the other end.
Batsmen tap their bats on the pitch for various reasons. Holding the bat in the air for too long can tire them mentally and physically. Staying relaxed while preparing for the ball is crucial. It helps in playing longer innings and slowing down the game. We hope this article gave you the information you needed to understand why batsmen do this.