What is an Over in Cricket

What is an Over in Cricket? Well, this might be a stupid or silly question for the people who have been watching cricket for many years. But the people who don’t know anything about cricket or trying to learn about it will definitely want to know the answers to questions related to the term “Over”.

So, What is an Over in Cricket?

Basically, an Over is a set of six consecutive legal deliveries that a bowler balls from one end. The whole over always has to be bowled by the same bowler. But in case the bowler gets injured or discontinued by the umpire (for bowling illegal delivery), the remaining deliveries in that over are allowed to be bowled by another bowler.

When a bowler bowls a wide or no-ball, it doesn’t get counted in the tally of six balls of an over. In fact, the batting team gets an extra run and extra ball in that over.

After the six legal deliveries being bowled, the umpire calls ‘over’. With this the ‘over’ gets end and the fielding side changes their bowling end. Also, no bowler can bowl two consecutive overs. Thus, the next over will be bowled by another bowler from the opposite end prior to the first over.

Why there are only 6 balls in an over of Cricket?

Before 1979, there was no definite rule for the number of deliveries in one over. The people used to play with four or six or eight balls per over. The number of balls per over was used to be decided at the time of toss.

With four balls per over, the problem of frequent fielding changes used to cause a lot of time loss. Also, it was difficult for the batsmen to build the momentum and for bowlers also it was difficult to set up a batsman and execute a plan of taking a wicket in just 4 balls.

The play of eight balls per over used to tired the bowlers a lot. Due to this, the bowlers used to do shorter spells and it became challenging for the captain to rotate the bowlers.

Thus, the six-ball over was found to be more appropriate of all, and hence in 1979/80, a law of over (law 17.1) was amended which states, “The ball shall be bowled from each end alternately in overs of 6 balls”.

Why the ends are changed after an over in cricket?

We know that after an over, the bowling end is changed for the next over and this goes on changing for alternate overs. Thus, the wicketkeeper and the fielders also have to change their sides. But do you know why the ends are needed to change? It is just because of the following reasons.

  • The pitch will become more deteriorate if the bowling is done only from one side. And it will become difficult to bat on such a surface.
  • Neither the batsmen nor bowlers should take continuous advantage of the unequal dimensions of the ground.
  • Also to avoid the batsmen and bowler from taking continuous advantage of the breeze or wind.
  • This forces the teams to plan more tactics so that they can take more advantage of the dimensions of ground, wind, and all other factors. This makes cricket more strategic.

In short, the ends are changed just to give a fair advantage to both the batsmen and bowlers. And thus making the game more competitive.

How many over in cricket?

The game of cricket is played in three formats- Test, One Day, and T20. The game is divided into these three formats mainly on the basis of the number of overs. And the rules of these formats are also different. If you want to know more about the test cricket, check out our article on Rules of Test Cricket.

The number of overs in Test cricket: The number of overs in Test cricket is unlimited i.e the batting side can bat for as many overs they can or want. Hence, here the bowler also can bowl any number of overs depending on his stamina.

The number of overs in ODI: The number of overs a bowler can bowl in a limited-overs match is equal to 20% of the total overs of the match. In ODIs, the number of overs in one innings is 50. Hence, a bowler can 20% of 50 overs i.e 10 overs in ODI cricket.

The number of overs in T20I: The number of overs in the T20 match is 20. And hence according to the 20% rule, one bowler can bowl only 4 overs in T20 cricket.

What is an Over Rate?

Over Rate is the average of the number of overs that should be bowled in an hour. If the over rate is not maintained, mainly the captain gets fined or may get suspend also.

The overs in test matches are unlimited but by rule 90 overs should be bowled in a single day. And an average of 15 overs per hour is expected in Test matches.

In ODIs, by rule, the 50 overs need to be bowled in 3.5 hours i.e an over rate of 14.28 overs. While in T20 the expected time for bowling 20 overs is 1 hour 25 minutes i.e an over rate of 14.11 overs.

What is Death Over in Cricket?

The term death over is used in the limited format of cricket. In T20 matches, the overs 16 to 20 are called as Death Overs. While in ODIs the overs 45 to 50 are called death overs. These overs are the ending of an innings and hence called ‘Death overs’.

In the death overs, the batsmen try to score maximum runs. In the process, they take high risks, and thus the chances of getting wickets are also high.

If the batsmen are capable of playing big shots, they can thrash the bowlers. Hence, the bowling team must have bowlers capable of bowling perfect yorkers, slower balls, and effective bouncers in the death overs.

What is a Super Over in cricket?

In limited-overs format, the result of the game can never be a draw. It can be win, loss, or tie. The Super Over is a tie-breaking method which gives the winner of the game. Whenever the game is tied, both teams play an extra one over which decides the winner of the game.

The team which scores more runs in the super over becomes the winner. Again, if the super over is tied, one more super over will be played. But previously, if the super over got tied, the team having more boundaries is considered as a winner. Now, this rule has been changed due to a lot of criticism after the world cup final 2019.

What is a maiden over in cricket?

The over in which the bowler gives zero runs is called maiden over. In his over, if all the six balls are dot but he bowled one wide or no ball then that will not be called a maiden over.

And, along with the maiden over if a batsman takes one wicket then that over is called ‘Wicket Maiden’. Similarly, if he took two or three wickets, it will be called a two-wicket maiden or three-wicket maiden respectively.

1 thought on “What is an over in cricket? | Meaning of Over Rate, Death over, Super over”

  1. I would say this is among the best article I’ve read.
    You nailed it completely from beginning to end. To write this you may have worked hard for study.

    King regards,
    Thomassen Dencker

    Reply

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