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What is innings in cricket explained


‘Innings’, ‘overs’, ‘run rate’, and ‘the crease’ are just some of the technical lingo used in cricket. Understanding cricket lingo is the first step to deeply understanding the game of cricket. Unfortunately, not many invest much time in learning about cricket lingo. This leads many to develop a negative attitude toward the game, as they won’t understand what is being said by commentators during live games, nor do they understand the cricket news that they read online or in print magazines.

Because of the love that we have for cricket and the knowledge that cricket is a beautiful game to follow once one master the pertinent technical lingo, we decided to pen this article. The article unravels and deciphers one of the concepts that confuses many prospective cricket lovers, namely, what is an innings in cricket.

While we acknowledge the presence of a plethora of technical terms in cricket, this article solely focuses on exploring the concept of innings. This is necessitated by the desire to thoroughly explore what innings refer to in cricket. As such, spare some moments of your time to learn in depth about one of the most pertinent cricket technical terms.

An Exploration of the Concept of Innings in Cricket

Innings Cricket

At the most basic level, innings in cricket refer to the period that a team takes to the field to bat. Often, at the basic level, the term “innings” is used when referring to the runs that the batting team scores. Putting this into perspective, when India faces New Zealand and it’s bowled out for 225/5, it means India, in its innings, got 225 runs for 5.

Unfortunately, commentators, cricket writers, or avid cricket fans do not just talk about innings in the basic sense. Sometimes when they refer to innings, they will be referring to much more than just the period in which a team had the bat. At the expert level, innings is a term that may be applied to a team as a whole or an individual player. A deeper explanation of this is provided in the next section.

Differentiating Between Team and Player Innings

Team Innings

Cricket is a sport that’s played in different formats. The game may be played in the Test format where teams may bat twice. For such a format, the first time that a team bats will be counted as the first innings, and the second time they bat will count as the second innings. The total runs they record in the first innings are recorded as the 1st innings runs and the second likewise.

In limited overs formats such as the T20 and One Day Internationals (ODI), each team between the two competing teams will bat once. That one time a team gets to bat counts as the innings.

Player’s Innings

“Innings” is also a term that is used when referring to the contribution a player makes in a match. As cricket involves bowling and batting, a player’s innings refers to the number of times in which she or he plays the game. To get a better understanding of this, we are going to present two scenarios that reveal what a player’s innings are.

Scenario 1: When a player is called for the first time to the national team for a Test series but sits out on the bench for the entire series, he is said to have played 1 match, 0 innings. Moreover, in instances where a player is called up on 20 occasions but features in just 15 matches, he is counted to have played 20 matches, 15 innings.

Scenario 2: When a player is called for the first time to the national team for a Test series and ends up playing 1 match in that series, he is said to have played 1 match, 1 inning.

Essentially, what the above examples show is that innings for individuals refer to the actual contribution they make when called up. If called-up players for a match or series don’t contribute in any way, whether batting or bowling, they don’t rack up any innings.

Importance of Innings in Different Cricket Formats

Cricket Innings

Whether team or player, innings are an important aspect of any cricket team. Team innings refer to the contribution a team makes in a match or series. If a team gets an innings, it means it has participated in the game; hence, it has the chance to succeed and win the match or series.

Likewise, player innings are also equally important. For test formats, innings quantity is preferred, as the team will want every player to get the chance to bat and increase the team’s total runs. In limited-overs formats, however, what’s more important is innings quality. This is, of course, necessitated by the desire to rack up as many runs as possible from the individual players who participate with the bat while at the same time limiting the number of wickets that fall.

In limited-overs formats, cricket coaches may prefer just a few players who are good with the bat to get player innings, as their batting prowess will most likely increase the team’s run rate and, in turn, enhance the chances of winning. It’s against this background that some player innings records, such as Brian Lara’s 400 not out in Test cricket, are highly revered and honoured.

Instances that May Affect Team/Player Innings

While all teams and players prefer to get playing time in any match/series they are scheduled to participate in, it’s unfortunate that at times, their desires won’t be fulfilled. This may be caused by various factors, chief among them:

  • Weather: A change in climatic conditions, especially for Test matches that may go for several days, may inhibit a team from completing their innings. Often, when this happens, a draw result is declared.
  • Injuries: Unfortunate injuries sustained in warm-up training sessions may prevent players from racking up some innings
  • Coach Preferences: Cricket coaches, depending on the strategies they want to employ, select certain players over others. This, in turn, leaves some players sitting out on the bench.

Round Up

The concept of innings is very important in cricket. This is so because it reflects the participation and contribution of the team and players. As a result, it informs the game strategy and player selection decisions of the coaches. For cricket punters, mastering the innings concept is important as it informs their cricket betting strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1. What is an innings in cricket?

Innings in cricket refer to the time a team or players engage in batting in a cricket game.

Q2. When does an innings end?

The end of the team innings is when all wickets fall or when the overs quota is reached for limited-overs cricket formats. For individual player innings, the innings end when the player is bowled out.

Q3. What’s the main team inning’s objective?

The objective of a team’s innings is to accumulate the highest number of runs possible while limiting the number of wickets that fall. In doing so, the team will aim to set a high run rate for the opposing team or to quickly catch up with the set run rate if it’s chasing the game.


about the author

Prince Kupa

Prince Kupa is an online gambling enthusiast who likes to stay in touch with all the latest trends in the gambling industry. From sports betting to casino games, Prince is your number one plug for all things gambling

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