The effects of bowling lines and lengths on the spatial distribution of successful power-hitting strokes in international men’s one-day and T20 cricket


This study examined 503 power-hitting strokes that resulted in the maximum of 6-runs being scored in international men’s one-day and T20 cricket. Chi-Squared analyses were conducted to determine if performance and situational variables were associated with the distribution (direction) of aerial power-hitting strokes. Results revealed that bowling length, bowling line, bowler type and powerplays were all significantly (p < 0.001) associated with ball-hitting distribution. Post-hoc analysis of the standardised residuals revealed that greater than expected 6ʹs were scored behind square and were associated with short-pitched bowling, fast bowling and the power-play. Similarly, bowling the half-volley length and the outside off line resulted in greater than expected 6ʹs on the off-side. The results suggest that bowlers should try to avoid offering width outside the off stump as well as bowling the half-volley and short-pitched lengths as these bowling lines and lengths present batters with greater opportunities to score maximum runs. Fast bowling is revealed to be more susceptible to power-hitting strokes than spin bowling. Conversely, batters may wish to target the areas behind square or on the off-side for opportunities to score maximum runs, and they should look to take full advantage of the powerplay field restrictions.

In Journal of Sports Sciences