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If you are a beloved cricket fan and a keen observer, you must have noticed cricketers tapping their bats on the pitch in-between deliveries. One often wonders why they would be taping their bats and what is the purpose behind it?.
Well, the mystery is about to unfold. We have put together several reasons why the cricketers exhibit this behaviour on the pitch and its benefits.
Reasons why Cricketers Tap the Bat on the Pitch
Flatten the Cracks to Avoid Bounce
The uncertainty of pitches always surprises the batsman while batting. Hence, this particular behavioural aspect comes into play. Cracks on the pitch can cause the ball to deviate surprisingly from its trajectory. It can surprise the batsman with low or uneven bounce and cause them to lose concentration while batting, which is the last thing one wants in the middle.
Hence, whenever a new batsman walks onto the pitch, he is to be seen tapping on the pitch where the ball may have seemed to have had an uneven bounce, or might cause an unexpected deviation from the trajectory. This helps restore the normal bounce and the batsman avoids any mishaps. This behavioural habit happens more in new batsmen as they are unaware of the location of these cracks while well-settled batsmen will find it easy to locate the cracks and flatten them.
Remove Stones (or other particles) from the Pitch
It is not always that the bowler’s foot marks or cracks are the issues at hand. There are several occasions where unidentifiable objects might land on the pitch. It becomes important for the batsman to remove them from the pitch as they can cause distraction or can make the ball behave unexpectedly.
In such situations, you will always see a batsman walking towards the object to brush it off of the pitch with a bat or bending over to pick it up and throw it away to resume batting freely.
There are several reasons why a batsman feels nervous as he makes his way to the pitch. Nervousness can be caused because the batsman playing his debut match or the opposition going hard on him while he gets hit or sledging the young lad. This can be mentally challenging for a batsman as he has a lot of hopes riding on him. He may also face issues while facing a huge crowd hooting, booing, or cheering him.
To feel calm, batsmen tap their bats on the ground. This helps them calm their nerves and focus on batting. It’s nothing but a method to overcome their nervousness, especially through big games. Players like Virendra Sehwag whistle while they bat to feel relaxed and play freely.
Make Bowlers Wait
Tapping the bat becomes more than just a habit, it can also be a tactic to break the opponent’s focus. Cricket is not just a physical but also a mind game and using your brains in the right manner can take you places. There are occasions when a batsman feels pressure. For instance, sledging, and facing fiery bowling can be handled best by slowing things down.
As long as the batsman doesn’t take guard, the delivery cannot be bowled. Hence, making a team wait by such tactics can not only break rhythm but also their focus which leads to them making mistakes and helping the batsman take charge thereon. Many players use different tactics to break the focus of the bowling unit. MS Dhoni with his gloves, Steve smith with his different leave styles, etc.
Focus during a Long Innings
A long inning always serves as a boon for batsmen. It can help you score big runs, maybe a double or a triple hundred. Although, playing an innings that long, especially during a test match can get monotonous and can automatically result in losing your focus. To keep that in place, a batsman taps the ground to keep himself concentrated and focus for longer.
There are always a couple of batsmen at the crease – the striker and the non-striker. Now there is another resourceful usage of the habit of tapping on the pitch. To avoid losing a wicket, the two players need to communicate with one another to share tips on how to play on this pitch.
Cricketers are often seen walking down the pitch and tapping and, at the same time, communicating with their partner. This sometimes does happen as a result of habit. However, in some cases, batsmen just pretend to tap on the pitch to reach out and communicate to their partner on the other end.
There are plenty of reasons why a batsman taps his bat on the pitch. Holding the bat in the air for too long will tire a batsman faster both, mentally and physically. It is important to be in a relaxed position just when getting ready for the ball. It helps play a longer inning or slow the game down. We hope this article provided you with the necessary information and helped you gain a much clear perspective on the reasons behind a batsman tapping his bat.