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Batsman

batsman playing pull short

In the sport of cricket, batting is the act or skill of hitting the cricket ball with a cricket bat to score runs or prevent the loss of one's wicket. A player who is currently batting is denoted as a batsman, while the act of hitting the ball is called a shot or stroke. The terms batsman or specialist batsman are also used generically to describe players who specialise in batting (as opposed to e.g. bowlers who specialise in bowling).

During an innings two members of the batting side are on the pitch at any time: the one facing the current delivery from the bowler is denoted the striker, while the other is the non-striker. When a batsman is out, he is replaced by a teammate. This continues until the end of the innings or 10 of the team members are out, whereupon the other team gets a turn to bat.

Batting tactics and strategy vary depending on the type of match being played as well as the current state of play. The main concerns for the batsmen are not to lose their wicket and to score as many runs as quickly as possible. These objectives generally conflict - to score quickly, risky shots must be played, increasing the chance that the batsman will be dismissed. Depending on the situation, batsmen may forgo attempts at run-scoring in an effort to preserve their wicket, or may attempt to score runs as quickly as possible with scant concern for the possibility of being dismissed.

As with all other cricket statistics, batting statistics and records are given much attention and provide a measure of a player's effectiveness. The main statistic for batting is a player's batting average. This is calculated by dividing the number of runs he has scored, not by the innings he has played, but by the number of times he has been dismissed. In limited overs cricket an additional important statistic is the strike rate, the rate at which a batsman scores his runs (number of runs scored divided by number of balls faced).

Sir Donald Bradman set many batting records, some as far back as the 1930s and still unbeaten, and he is widely regarded as the greatest batsman of all time. In the modern era, Sachin Tendulkar is widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen, with the most centuries both in the test and 50 overs format, most runs in the Test and 50 overs formats, the second highest score of 200 not out in one day cricket, among other records.

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