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ODI matches are played during the day or in the evening, a Day/Night (D/N) game under lights. Test matches are played during the day only.


[Graphic: Cricket bat]
  • The cricket bat is made of willow

Cricket bats are made up from either the English or Kashmiri willow Tree. Aluminium bats are prohibited.

[Graphic: The cricket ball with seam]
  • The cricket ball is made of leather, with a seam across it

Bats cannot be more than 38 inches (96.5 cm) long and 4.25 inches (10.8 cm) wide.

The ball is made up of cork and twine and stitched with leather. It is either red (day) or white (day and night). The ball should have a 9 inch (237 cm.) circumference, and weigh 163 g.

[Graphic: The wicket consists of three stumps and two bails]
  • The wicket consists of three stumps and two bails

Stumps are cylindrical and are made up of wood. The base is conical and is hammered into the pitch. The middle stump has a mini camera with a microphone. Stumps are 28 inches (71 cm) in length and the three are spread over 9 inches (22.86 cm). The bails are 11 cm wide.


A sight screen is a large flat board (about 10 m high × 15 m wide) used to provide contrast to the ball coming out of the bowler's hand.  This makes viewing the ball easier and thus improves the batsman's concentration.

[Graphic: Sightscreens]
  • Sightscreens give the batsmen visual contrast to the ball and avoid any distractions behind the bowler

The sightscreens also cuts out distraction behind the bowler's arm in the spectator stands, which would hamper the batsman's concentration.

The sight screens are placed just beyond the boundary, parallel to the wickets. Two sight screens are used on either side of the pitch (breadth wise). Sight Screens are usually white (when ball is red) or black (when the ball is white – played under floodlights).


[Graphic: Helmets]
  • Helmets are worn by the batsmen and fielders positioned close to the batsman

Players wear T-shirts and pyjama like pants and team caps. They are coloured for ODIs and white for tests. Sweaters are also used with the team colours. In Test matches, clothing is white, with the team colour as the neck border. A batsman is allowed to wear hand gloves, shin pads & a helmet. In addition he can also wear a chest guard, elbow guard, wrist band and slightly spiked shoes for traction.

[Graphic: Shin pads worn by the batsmen]
  • Shin pads are worn by the batsman to protect them from the velocity of the ball
[Graphic: Gloves are worn by the batsmen and fielders close to the batsmen]
  • Gloves are worn by the batsman to protect them from the velocity of the ball and the wicketkeeper. No other player may wear gloves

A fielder, fielding in the silly region may wear a helmet. A wicket-keeper has a large pair of gloves, also allowed to wear internal gloves, shin-pad and a chest-guard.
A wicket-keeper is allowed to wear a helmet, shin pads, and a pair of inner and outer set of gloves.

Pinch hitters

Fastest 50 in a Twenty20 match:12 deliveries; in a ODI match: 100 runs off 37 deliveries, 50 off 17 as of 2010-07-04

In one-day cricket a lower order batsman may be promoted up the batting order to boost the scoring rate by scoring runs quickly. This batsman is known as a pinch hitter. Pinch hitters increase the scoring rate by trying to score a greater percentage of their runs in fours and sixes. Strike rate is defined as the runs scored to the deliveries faced, expressed as a percentage. The strike rate of pinch hitters is usually above 90.

Test cricket

Test cricket is played amongst ten nations and is the highest form of the game. In test cricket, each team has two batting innings of unlimited overs. A test match is played over five consecutive days. 90 overs have to be bowled in a day. If it cannot be bowled, the lost overs are made up by starting the match earlier on the successive day. Each day consists of three sessions of about three hours each with a luncheon and tea interval in between. Since test cricket consists of unlimited overs, it is an equal contest between batsmen and bowlers unlike the batsmen friendly one-day matches.

The end of a day's play may be called off earlier than usual if fading light makes it impossible to bat properly. After every eighty overs in an innings the fielding team is entitled to a new ball, which they have to compulsorily take after 120 overs.

Test cricket is considered a slower paced version of the game as the run-rate – runs scored per over is significantly lower than that in ODI's. The team batting ends its innings if ten batsmen are dismissed, or if their captain feels that their total is high enough and declares – ends his innings. Most captains usually declare if their score is above 500.

The opposing team, Team B now tries to chase the target. Their first goal is to cross the follow-on score. This target is 200 runs less that what their opposition scored. If they successfully cross this target, they try their best to overtake what Team A scored. If they fail to achieve the follow-on target (by losing all ten batsmen), the opposing captain may choose to impose the follow-on. What this means is that Team B now bats in the third innings instead of Team A. Here's the summary of a test match.

Innings wise breakdown of test matches

Team A wins the toss and elects to bat. They go out and bat for an unlimited number of overs. The innings continues till all 10 wickets of Team A are dismissed OR

Until the captain of Team A feels that he has scored a very good total and it will be difficult for his opposition to chase the score. In this case he declares the innings at a suitable score irrespective of the wickets fallen.


Now for the 2nd innings of the match, Team B comes out to play and outscore A. Team B has 3 goals to achieve. The first, is to get a total of 200 less than Team A's score, to avoid the "Follow-On". The next goal is to cross the opposition's team's score.

If they do that, they try to score as many runs in excess of Team A's total. If they manage to score 200+ surplus runs,


Assuming that Team B has avoided follow on, Team A bats again. In the 3rd innings, Team A has to try and score as many runs as he can. If he is 'deficient' (i.e. Team B has scored more runs in the 1st innings than his), then he has to knock off those extra runs and attain a large target.

3rd innings
Team Score Comments
A 268 Difference is 129 runs; so for the 3rd innings he has to make up those 129 run deficiency and then continue ahead.
B 397


Team B now has to chase the target set by A. This target is the sum of A's two innings subtracted by his first innings. e.g.

4th innings
Team Score Comments
A 268 Team B has to chase 282 runs to win the match (268 + 410) – 397 +1 to win the match.
B 397
A 410

Except on the fifth day, umpires may extend play half an hour after stumps – the scheduled close of play for the day, if a team has a realistic chance of winning the match in those extra minutes. In the earlier days, most test matches used to be conducted over six days, with the fourth day a rest day.

Night watchmen

In test cricket, a night-watchman is a batsman promoted up the order and is required to play defensively so as not to get out. If a team begins its innings in the third session of the day, then after a batsman is dismissed, a night-watchman is sent in to protect a more accomplished batsman from the fading light, in which batting conditions are difficult. Night-watchmen sent are usually bowlers who can bat a fair bit, usually batting at positions 8 or 9.

Negative Bowling

In test cricket, the zone in which a wide is called is much more relaxed as compared to ODI cricket. If a bowler bowls continuously down the batsman's leg-side, it is known as negative bowling. Teams usually employ negative bowling to stymie the flow of runs. However, most teams come in for criticism if they use such downbeat tactics. In an ODI, negative bowling deliveries will be called a wide.

Victory margins

A team can win by 'n' wickets if chasing a target and 'm' runs if their opposition fails to overtake their set the target. If a team is forced to follow-on, and if they still fail to overtake the score (by totalling the scores of their two innings) of Team A, by getting bowled out in their second innings; then they lose the match by an innings and 'm' runs.

This may also occur if Team A batting in the first and third innings of the match, fails to add up the runs as to the opposition's second innings tally.

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