How to adjust your game to wet conditions (part 1: batting) | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

How to adjust your game to wet conditions (part 1: batting)

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Being English, I'm used to playing cricket in most conditions. One of the worst is the wet and overcast day.

It's harder work for everyone. Cricket is much more fun when the rain stays away.

But let's say it's been raining before your game. The outfield is wet but playable, the light is poor and there is a risk of showers throughout.

What tactics do you adopt?

As a batsman you have to really be on your game. If there are showers you will be on and off, which makes it hard to build an innings with any fluency. When you are on the pitch, the ball may skid on, stop or grip the seam for lateral movement upsetting your timing.

Build an innings

Your basic tactics remain the same as any other day: Look to build an innings.

Depending on how much time you have, your first task is to get a feel for the pace and bounce of the pitch. In the wet the ball is more likely to keep lower but may behave in a number of different and difficult ways. The more you can get behind or leave early in your innings the better chance you have of success.

While you have to make a judgement based on the pitch you are on, it’s often safe to cut out the cross batted shots initially and look to get forward where possible (which is sensible batting in any conditions).

Overcast conditions mean the new ball could swing before it gets too wet. While this might only be for a couple of overs, if you are opening you still need to watch the ball carefully and avoid hitting through the line.

If you do go off for rain, make sure you restart your innings rather than looking to continue where you left off. Many batters mysteriously leave their confidence and timing in the pavilion and pay the price for not realising it.

Use the weather

There are few advantages to batting in poor weather. However there are a couple of tactics you can use to your advantage.

Bowlers will not be keen to slip and get injured. Seamers will be at a reduced pace and spinners will not feel there is any point in trying to spin the ball. Knowing this allows you to play with more confidence.

It's natural for fielding standards to be reduced. It's harder to see the ball, keep your footing and pick up/catch a slippery ball. Add in loss of confidence that many fielders have. You can watch for this and be ready to run tighter singles than you might normally try.

Many batsmen consider good innings in wet conditions as their best, which proves how hard it is. If you play sensibly, trust you technique and leave your aggressive tendencies to finer weather you are likely to have success.

Photo credit: diongillard

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I hate playing in damp conditions!!! Like this weekend, we played at a ground with no covers, and the pitch was just about playable, and was horrible to bat on, the ball stuck in the pitch and either stayed low or popped. the spinners were almost impossible to play!!

Re: playing swing, what do you mean by avoiding playing through the line and why? Is it as with spins, playing with the movement or do you mean get forward and defend?

I think we all hate damp conditions. Nobody wins on those days. When I say 'hitting through the line' I mean hitting the ball on the up and assuming it won't swing/seam. You need to watch the ball almost onto the bat.