One of the most commonly used phrases in cricket is line and length. The latter aspect will be discussed in another article.
Line in cricket is associated with the bowler. The area where the bowler bowls, while keeping the stumps as the reference is called the line. There are seven such lines that a bowler can bowl. These are outside the off stump, on the off stump, between the off and middle stump, on the middle stump, between the middle and leg stump, on the leg stump and outside the leg stump.
The line of the ball plays a key role in determining crucial decisions that an umpire makes. The ball should be pitched and delivered within the wide lines that are marked on either side of the stumps. If the line of the ball is outside these lines, that it will be called a wide and the bowler would have to bowl again in addition to batting side receiving an extra run.
The line of the ball also plays an important role in deciding whether the batter should be dismissed leg before wicket. If the bowl hits the pads directly without touching the bat or any part of the batter’s body, then the next thing to be checked is whether the leg was in line with the stumps. The ball tracking technology then predicts the trajectory and decides if it would have gone on to hit the stumps.
Maintaining a consistent disciplined line on the stumps is one of the most basic lessons that a budding cricketer gets. A control over the line helps the bowler gain command over the batter.