How to Play Cricket Like a Pro

Cricket is a sport that engages billions of people who give their hearts out on the field. It is a combination of strategy and relentless commitment. Whether you’re just a novice or a pro player, the sport offers a variety of opportunities to push yourself beyond the limits and have an exhilarating time. Like any other sport, it is a competition between two teams. It revolves around each team striving to surpass the other in a battle of skill, team synergy, and unrelenting drive. Batting, bowling and fielding are the three departments where the battle is fought and whichever team does the best, wins the match! 

Though in simple words it is a competition between two teams, there are intricacies in the game that we must all know about to master the game and become the best player wherever we play, be it in the grounds, the gullies or on turfs. 

So, gather your team, pick up your bats and balls and let’s learn - How To play Cricket?

Setting Up for a match:

11 players play on each team in a professional match, but a match of gully or turf cricket can still be enjoyed with only 5 players on each side. Prior to beginning the game, it is necessary to consider the equipment that you need to play a match.

Whether you intend to play the sport for recreational purposes or in a competitive environment, it is essential to possess the necessary equipment. ZAP can offer invaluable assistance in this regard by providing top-of-the-line gear, thereby providing you with an edge over your opponents. 

The following are the necessary items:

Cricket Bat:

ZAP Cricket Bats placed one upon each other
  • A bat is a wooden tool that is your batting partner in the game. 
  • You score runs with the bat, which is expertly crafted out in a specific shape, and is made from the willow wood that gives a bat the balance, the flexibility and keeps it lightweight. 
  • English Willow Cricket bats and Kashmir Willow bats are the two most commonly used bats for playing with a leather ball. 
  • Apart from the two above, the tennis ball cricket bat which is used to play with a tennis ball in tennis and box cricket matches. It has a different shape, and is engineered to be lighter in weight, which allows you to swing it hard and hit huge sixes. 

Check Out:

English Willow Cricket Bats | Kashmir Willow Bats | Tennis Cricket Bats

Cricket Balls:

ZAP Red, Pink and White Cricket Balls one beside each other
  • A ball used in professional matches is a red or white colour leather round ball. Two parts of hemispheres are stitched together, which is called the stitching. The stitching helps grip the ball in the right manner. 

But wait, don’t use a leather ball if you’re not playing with the proper equipment like the batting pads, a helmet and gloves whether in the nets or the field.

  • Playing with a tennis ball or a rubber ball is recommended when you’re just playing for fun but nowadays tennis cricket is getting a lot more competitive. In fact, in India, as in other sundry countries, a lot of individuals engage in games involving a rubber ball or a tennis ball.
  • However, once you feel you’re ready to take the next step and start your pro journey, it will be the right time to start playing with a leather ball. 

Check Out:

Leather Balls | Tennis Balls


Cricket Stumps breaking after the ball is thrown at them
  • Stumps are long cylindrical wooden sticks that are used as wickets in a match. 
  • The stumps are beaten into the ground at both ends on the pitch and on top of each stump lie a pair of small cute nails. 
  • The stumps used nowadays in professional matches are super technologically advanced with the use of sensors and lights, but you don’t need them to enjoy the game; just use a chair, an old tyre or three wooden sticks or bricks tower as a makeshift wicket. 

Ground and Pitch

  • Sports are meant to be played on the grounds, that’s where the real fun lies. But worry not, playing in smaller areas, the streets, on terraces is equally exciting. 
  • Usually a cricket ground is in an oval shape, but there are so many stadiums around the world with an awkward shape, some even being square, like the Trent Bridge stadium in England which almost has square boundaries. . 
  • The pitch is at the middle of the ground and is a rectangular strip which is about 20 meters long and 3 meters wide. The condition of the pitch, the quality of soil, the moisture level, all can influence the game. 

Now Let’s Get into the Real Part:

A cricket match is a contest between two teams, where one team bats and the other bowls. One very important but underrated aspect of the sport is fielding. 

A coin toss is held between the captains of the two teams where the winner choses if his team wants to bat first or second. Batting first, you have to set a high target that the opposing team cannot chase, while batting second you must give it all to chase down the target set. 

Let’s Discuss each of the three fundamentals of the sport in detail:


Player Batting with the ZAP Cricket Bat in Hand
  • Batting is about scoring runs. To score runs, you must hit the ball with bat. 
  • The objective is to score as many runs as you can while setting up a target, or while chasing you need to reach the target runs scored by the first team. 
  • At the start of the innings, two batters open the play, one at the striker's end and one at the non-striker’s end. No fan can forget the opening pair of the God - Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, one filled with elegance and the other with aggressive flair. So find a similar partner for you who complements your style of play and gets the best out from you. 
  • As one gets out, or dismissed, the other team members will follow until no one is left to bat or the overs are finished.
  • The fundamental concept is to hit the ball as far as possible while scoring runs. However, you should plan and understand which ball to hit, and which not to, or your innings will be very short lived.
  • The ways of scoring runs are many and you need to plan an innings beforehand and focus on the execution to be in complete control of a match. Virat Kohli always does this, plans a run chase whenever he’s required to chase big runs for the team, and that’s the reason he’s known as a chasemaster. 

You can read ZAP's Cricket Batting Tips and Techniques articles for an in-depth guide about batting by clicking here if you want to be a true beast on the pitch with the bat in your hand.

Here’s every way you can score runs:

Scoring method

Runs awarded




4 runs

When the ball is hit by the batsman and goes over the boundary without touching the ground or being caught by a fielder.


6 runs

When the ball is hit by the batsman and goes over the boundary without touching the ground or being caught by a fielder, after bouncing once or directly.

Running between the wickets

1 run

When the batsmen run to opposite ends of the pitch without getting out.


1 run

When a fielder throws the ball past the wicket keeper or bowler, and the batsmen take an extra run.


1-5 runs

When the fielding team commits a disciplinary offence, such as bowling a no ball or throwing the ball excessively. The number of runs awarded depends on the nature of the offence.


No ball

1 run

When the bowler delivers an illegal delivery by overstepping the crease or breaking other rules.

Wide ball

1 run

When the bowler delivers a ball that is too wide for the batsman to hit.


1 run

When the ball passes the batsman without touching the bat or the batsman's body, and the wicket keeper or fielder fails to stop it.

Leg bye

1 run

When the ball hits the batsman's body or equipment and goes to a fielder, and the batsmen run to complete a run.


5 runs

When the bowler repeatedly bowls no balls or throws the ball excessively.


Bowling and Fielding:

Player completing a bowling action

Bowling and fielding go hand in hand. Where a bowler bowls deliveries and the fielders are strategically placed to take catches and stop the shots that the batsmen play from going all the way to the boundaries. 

The bowlers and the fielders should be in complete synergy with one another, both being commanded by a leader, the captain of the team. 

Sreesanth taking a catch in the 2007 ICC T20 World Cup against Pakistan, where Misbah ul Haq scooped a ball in the air at fine leg

Credit: Sportskeeda

The best example of this is MS Dhoni, who was a mastermind at this. He knew how to perfectly set the field according to every batsman to always outsmart the batsman and get his wicket. He was so good at this that even his gambles that weren’t supposed to work, turned out to be miraculous for his team. The 2007 T20 World Cup final, where he strategically placed Sreesanth at short fine leg knowing that Joginder Sharma(the bowler who bowled the final over) doesn’t have the pace that the batsman can use to play shots behind the stumps. But Misbah-ul-Haq tried doing just that and got caught by Sreesanth. This incident is a testament to how well synchronized bowling, fielding and captaincy efforts can lead to success for the team.

    • The fielding team will bowl the overs and try to restrict the batting team from scoring. In test matches, 90 overs are usually bowled in a day in a Test Match. In an ODI match, 50 overs per innings are bowled for a one and 20 overs for a T20 match. 
    • An over is completed when a bowler bowls six legal deliveries, and if a bowler bowls a wide or no ball, it is counted as an extra and has to be re-bowled. Read more about extras in cricket here. 
    • Bowling takes an incredible amount of hardwork and dedication. And with the advent of T20s and power hitting, every wrong ball you bowl, you'll hit for a boundary. That's where you see so many legendary bowlers like Bumrah, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Mitchell Starc step up and bowl fiery spells and dominate the batsmen. 
    • You can be a bowling legend too, just read the Cricket Bowling Tips from ZAP to become a bowling legend. 
    • In smaller settings, like a 5 over match in a gully or, we usually play with an underarm bowling rule. Underarm bowling where you just bowl a ball from under the waist without rotating your arm from above your head. 
    • The purpose of bowling is to get wickets and end the batting team's innings. 

Here's how you get wickets:

Method of Dismissal



The bowler delivers the ball, and it hits the stumps directly without the batsman hitting it.


The batsman hits the ball, and a fielder catches it before it touches the ground.

LBW (Leg Before Wicket)

The ball hits the batsman's leg, and the umpire determines that it would have hit the stumps if the leg was not there.

Run Out

The batsman is running between the wickets, and a fielder hits the stumps with the ball while the batsman is out of the crease.


The batsman steps out of the crease to play a delivery, misses the ball, and the wicket-keeper collects the ball and removes the bails before the batsman can get back into the crease.

Hit Wicket

The batsman accidentally hits his own stumps with his bat or body while attempting to play a delivery.

Handled the Ball

The batsman touches the ball with their hand without the permission of the fielding team.

Obstructing the Field

The batsman intentionally obstructs a fielder from making a play on the ball.

Timed Out

The incoming batsman fails to arrive at the crease within the allotted time after the previous batsman was dismissed.

Now, after reading about the batting and bowling techniques and learning about how to play cricket, it is important for you to know about cricket rules, the very intricacies of the game that make it so exciting. Read the comprehensive guide by ZAP and understand the Game to its core. Once you’re done reading about the rules, you can be sure that you know the sport and understand how to play cricket. 

And if you feel you want to take your game to the next level, and choose it as a career, you must consider joining a cricket academy, where you’ll be given expert guidance and coaching to help you grow as a player.  

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