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Cricket Tips for Batting Against Fast Bowlers

By Alex Oppenheimer

In cricket, a fast bowler can change the pace and outcome of a match. A typical fast bowl usually ranges from 85 to 90 miles per hour and can induce tricky spins once the ball bounces off the ground during the bowl. The fastest bowl recorded was by Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar, whose delivery was clocked at 100.2 miles per hour to England's Nick Knight in the 2003 Cricket World Cup. How is a batter able to achieve success against a fast bowler?


A batter's footwork is key to a good at bat. A fast bowler's pitch may have an odd spin and come off of the ground at an unpredictable angle, so do not commit to a specific direction right away as you may be able to do against an average-speed pitch.

Eye Contact

Although a fast pitch may be difficult to follow throughout, the most crucial spot to see is where the ball strikes the ground. Depending on where the ball comes in contact with the ground, the pitch may be a high bouncer, short pitched, good length, full pitched or a yorker, where the ball first bounces very close to the batter's swinging area. Seeing the ball well is a plus in batting, especially when facing a fast bowler.

Level Bat

If a pitch is coming in faster than normal, the batter will have less time to bring the bat around. Keeping the bat about waist level is proper as the batter will have time to level the bat in the direction of the playing field and enough room to generate some power in the swing. Hitting an offensive shot against a fast bowler can be done.

Off Pads Through the On-Side

This is a style of batting in cricket that may help against fast bowlers. As the batter, you must let the ball come to you. At the last instant, turn the wrists to the opposite field (left field for a right-handed batter, and right field for a left-handed batter). Let the angle of the bat do much of the work as this batting technique can easily find the gaps in the field.

Defense Shot

There are typically two types of defense shot in cricket: the forward defense and back foot defense. Although the forward defense may work against a fast bowler, it is more effective against a bowler who specializes in spinning his pitches. The back foot defense is more effective against fast bowlers, as the speed of the pitch will do a lot of the work if contact is made. The keys here are to keep the bat straight and down, and to hold the bat with soft hands to enable it to be moved up or down depending on the location of the pitch. In the back foot defense shot, the batter should not follow the ball especially against fast bowlers, but stay in line and protect the wickets behind him.

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