Tail in cricket – what is it?

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Those who have been interested in cricket for a long time know that many players play well either as a bowler or as a batsman. And rare cricketers manage to combine these skills. Given the game’s rules, it becomes very important in what order the batsmen enter the field. The term Tail refers to the end of the queue of players preparing to act as batsmen.

What is Tail in cricket?

This term is colloquial; of course, it is not found in the official cricket rules. It means the last players in the queue to become a batsman, but, as a rule, it’s not just about the order, but also about the playing qualities. The tail (or tail-end) includes players who are not proficient with the bat. As a rule, this is the name of batsmen who enter the field with numbers from 9 to 11.

  • In cricket, you can often find such a thing as a Long Tail – this means that most of the strong players in the team are talented bowlers, so the tail (in fact, the list of weak batsmen) is quite long.
  • A cricketer who plays as a batsman last or one of the last is most often called a Tail-ender. Automatically, this nickname means that the player is not too good at defending his wicket. Sometimes these same players are called the term Rabbits because they do not linger on the field and quickly return to the team’s locker room, which is called Hutch in slang.
  • Even though Tail-enders are usually not expected to grab stars from the sky, sometimes there are pleasant exceptions. Situations where the batsmen perform last who score more points than their teammates are called Tail Wags, or simply Wags.
  • Batsmen who are among the last to enter the field are awarded many unflattering nicknames. One of them, for example, is the Walking Wicket. This is the name of a player who does not know how to hit the bowler’s serves.
  • If successful batsmen measure their achievements with hundreds of runs during a match, then even 50 runs earned during the match is considered a good indicator for the Tail-ender.
  • To arrange the batsmen in the right order to bring the team victory is a real art. And among the players who come out in the tail in first-class matches or test cricket, there are those who are more of a Tail-ender and those who are a Nightwatchman. The difference between them is very significant. Tail-ender is a player from whom neither his team nor the fans expect much. He will be lucky not to be knocked out from the first ball, incredibly lucky – to earn fifty runs. The nightwatchman has a completely different role. This player also comes out at the end of the list, but he has a specific task: he enters the field at the end of the game day and must hit as many serves as possible to allow more experienced batsmen to play at the beginning of the next day. This game strategy allows the team to earn more runs.

What is a Batting Order, and why is it so important?

The term Tail means part of the Batting order. It consists of several parts:

  1. Top order – these are the players who stand in line at the first three positions.
  2. Middle order – players from the fourth to the eighth. There is Upper middle order (4th and 5th players) and Lower middle order (6th, 7th and 8th players).
  3. Tail – players from the 9th to the 11th, closing.

As a rule, which of the players will go at the beginning, in the middle and at the end is determined before the start of the match. This is influenced not only by the player’s performance, but also by his individual strengths and weaknesses. For example, speed is considered an important characteristic for Top order players.

As a rule, the players who enter the field last can not significantly affect the course of the match, and their task is to make a good result great or raise the team’s rating if a loss looms ahead.

However, tail-enders can be a real problem in test cricket for the bowler of the opposing team because they are unpredictable. Sometimes they can surprise, for example, such players as David Warner, Virender Sehwag and Matthew Hayden distinguished themselves in this position.

Nisha Bhavani
Author: Nisha Bhavani Position: Cricket Expert

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