Cricket is a game of strategy and precision. While the modern game glamorises big hitting, there is a lot to be said for picking up singles. Some batters have made a career out of slowly racking up the runs, especially in the test game and longer formats where a win can be achieved without scoring huge amounts of boundaries.
One run hits may not need a lot of power, but they do require a great deal of skill and technique, plus some quick running. In this article, we will explore the basics of a one run hit, and the merits of taking a single.
Understanding the Basics of a One Run Hit
What is a One Run Hit?
A one run hit in cricket occurs when a batter scores one run off a single delivery. This hit requires the batter to hit the ball and run to the opposite end once, scoring a single run as long as they make it, grounding their bat or a part of their body behind the line.
The fielding team will try to prevent the run and get the batsman out by catching the ball or throwing it swiftly to the wicket-keeper’s end before they make their ground, making it necessary for the batsman to be quick on their feet.
One run hits are often overlooked in cricket, especially in T20 when batters are trying to score boundaries fast, but they are crucial to the success of a team. They may not be as glamorous as a six or a four, but they can be just as effective in terms of winning matches.
One run can also be scored as a penalty run, with a one run penalty being awarded for a wide in most types of cricket and potentially for a no ball.
The Importance of a One Run Hit in Cricket
Scoring single runs over and over can break the rhythm of the opposition team and shift the momentum in favour of the batting team. These hits can also put pressure on the bowler and cause them to lose their concentration.
One run hits can be particularly important in test cricket, where there isn’t such a pressure to score quickly. In this format of the game, every run counts, and you can bat for days and rack up a big score in singles alone.
Rotating the Strike to Maintain Momentum
To keep the momentum in favour of the batting team and to not let the opposition get settled, the batsmen should look to rotate the strike as much as possible throughout their innings, which is one of the benefits of hitting singles off a team’s bowling.
Building Partnerships with Teammates
Building partnerships with other teammates is critical in achieving a one run hit consistently, as it provides some relief to the shining batter and allows them to take a breather. By rotating the strike and giving the opportunity to other players in the team to participate in the game, not only does the team score more runs, but it also puts the opposition team under more pressure.
Different Types of One Run Hits
There are several types of one run hits that a batsman can hit, depending on the situation and the delivery. Some of these include the defensive poke, the straight drive, the leg glance, and the square drive.
A defensive poke is a shot played with a straight bat and minimal force, often used to defend against a good delivery.
The straight drive is a more attacking shot, played with a straight bat and aimed down the ground. The leg glance is a shot played to the leg side, while the square drive is a shot played through the off-side.
These are just some examples, and the runs available really depends upon the speed of the running and the field positioning. A “one run hit” can vary greatly in cricket.
Mastering the Techniques for a One Run Hit
Proper Batting Stance and Defensive Technique
The first step in mastering the technique for a one run hit is to have the right batting stance and grip, and the stance should be comfortable with the feet shoulder-width apart and the knees slightly bent. A lot of single runs come from defensive shots, where batters can sneak a single.
Timing and Footwork
Another crucial aspect to a one run hit is proper timing and footwork. The batter must be able to time the ball well and adjust their bat’s position accordingly. Proper footwork, which involves taking small steps towards the ball, can help with timing and making sure the ball is hit to the correct area of the field.
Choosing the Right Shot for a One Run Hit
Different types of one run hits suit different deliveries, and it is up to the batter to recognise the situation and play the right shot. You can get a thick edge and sneak a single, or you may play a beautiful cover drive and still only manage one run.
Practising Effective Running Between the Wickets
Running quickly between the wickets is critical to achieving a one run hit successfully. Batsmen should practise running effectively together to avoid any confusion and make sure they communicate by calling “yes” to their partner.
Analysing the Field Placement
To execute a one run hit successfully, a batsman must take a good look around and work out the placement of the fielders. A careful analysis can help identify the gaps or it can also help the batter to target the weaker fielders that are standing in positions where they won’t be able to get the ball back before they can run a single.
Once a batsman has identified the gaps in the field, it becomes essential to execute the appropriate shot to exploit those gaps. The better they get in exploiting the gaps, the easier it becomes to score those critical one run hits consistently.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Overconfidence and Underestimating the Opposition
One of the most common mistakes is overconfidence and underestimating the opposition team. This can lead to poor shot selection and can often result in the batsman being run out. Timing the runs is essential.
Poor Shot Selection
A batter must remain focused and select the appropriate shots that suits the delivery to achieve one run. Trying to play shots and not getting them away could put pressure on the batters, so the psychology of cricket works both ways.
Ineffective Communication with Batting Partner
Batsmen should communicate effectively with each other to work out whether they’re going to run or not. Ineffective communication can lead to confusion and misjudgment, which can lead to dismissal through a runout.
Neglecting Fitness and Conditioning
Fitness is critical for any sport, and cricket is no different. Batsmen should maintain proper fitness and conditioning to be able to do a lot of running and quickly get between the wickets.
By understanding the basics of a one run hit, mastering the techniques, and implementing the right strategies, a batsman can consistently score singles and keep the momentum in favour of the batting team, especially in longer formats of the game.