Why it’s OK to be a slow-scoring batsman | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Why it’s OK to be a slow-scoring batsman

Batsmen who like to take their time over scoring runs are seen as selfish. But there are times when slow scoring is essential to the success of a team’s innings.

It’s not all Geoff Boycott throwing away games just to have a red inker.

If you are a slow batsman yourself you will know acutely what I mean.

The numbers of cricketers who are just out to improve their average and stuff the team are very few.  Most blockers consider it more important not to throw away their wicket than to biff a pretty 20.

It’s just as problematic to be 60-5 after 10 overs as it is being 22-1.

And that’s why teams need the slow batters as well as the flair ones.

Seeing off the good bowlers

There are times, especially at recreational level, where a bowler is dominant. And the ‘blocker’ comes into his or her own.

  • There is a new ball that is swinging and you are facing a former first-class player who is up for getting a hatful today.
  • It’s a dry turner that is having its 3rd use of the season and the opposition leg spinner has found his rhythm early.
I’m sure you can think of others.

The strokemakers in your side will back themselves to hit the bowler all round, and probably fail. Sometimes you just need to batten down the hatches and wait for the bowler to tire or run out of overs.

Going through the gears

Once the good bowler is out of the way, the slow-scoring batsman has done his job.

Really good players can go through the gears. He can accelerate to make up the difference against lesser bowling.

But even the worst blocker with no shots at all can have a swipe. Even if he gets out it’s fine because he is probably making room for a hitter who can make hay.

As always, it’s really all about making sure every batsman knows his role.

One of the best innings I saw firsthand was a club game I played last year where the opposition had set a target of just over 170 in 50 overs. This was probably about par on a tricky wicket.

Our experienced opener knew exactly how much time he had and set about his task by pacing his innings very slowly at first against an accurate opening attack. The run rate climbed steadily but we had a decent opening stand.

It turned out that the opposition only had 3 decent bowlers. As soon as the captain turned to a part-timer with a defensive field our opening bat opened his shoulders and played his shots. He ended up on 92 not out and won the game for us.

The perfect “slow-scoring” innings.

So before you complain about your defensive player, remember he can do a good job in difficult circumstances.

image credit: Kiran Raja Bahadur SRK

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This season I've been made a makeshift opener due to being fairly correct and playing straight. I'm okay being 'slow' but it's been a bit ridiculous this season - stuff like being on 4 after 10 overs doesn't really cut it I feel (we don't suffer to much as there are usually plenty of wides in there). We have a decent sort of middle order that like being protected but I really want to contribute a bit more.

I bat fine in the nets, playing drives, flicks and cuts, but in the game the balls that produce these shots seem to dry up, despite my partners seeming to play them every few balls. Seems like something is up mentally, but I think part of it is wanting to get a good look at bowlers i've never seen before, unlike in the nets. Do I need to consciouslly move up a few gears after a set number of overs do you think? If so, how can I do this - I don't necessarily want to go charging down the wicket (though not many really quick guys in my grade) but not sure what else to do. Take a leg stump guard? Take guard further out of the crease? Thanks!

Hello Stephen,

Time comes when you get frustrated, not getting runs as you needed. Its luck factor sometimes. So Keep your confidence up. Don't let it down.
Cricket means Basics, if you are perfect in basics( front foot, backfoot, drives, deffence..) no need to worry about score. You have the game, and you will succeed one or the other day.
What ever the format may be (test or ODI or T20) basics are important. If you score a 50 just slogging no one cares. If you score with good technique, everyone appreciates you.
Me too a Batsmen, so these are few points from my experience.

Hope this helps you.
Have a Great time ahead Smiling

I hope so!


i m Datrim .... i feel very nervous while i m batting and can hardly score even 3 runs although if i m gud at nets i perform badly in maths ... Sad do u have any suggestion??

I'd make sure that the situation in the nets is the same as the game i.e. bowlers are trying their best to get you out, and you're worried about losing your wicket. Perhaps there need to be some consequences to your getting out in the nets just like in a game? Something like 10 pushups every time you get out (all to be completed after you bat) might do it...

I think i've finally clicked on to my lack of run scoring - I tend to start playing very late in games, barely keeping out the bowler whether they're spinner, mediums or fast. Just need it to not rain so I can try this out!!

thanx fr the help buddy! Smiling i will defentetly try dis in the matches as well in the nets

I'm not nervous anymore for sure, but can't stop being a slow batsman - opening and out for 9 in the 13th over the other day. Would be a massive liability if we didn't get so many wides from the other bowlers, and at least I can blunt the new ball for our pretty fragile middle-lower order.