back foot



  • adjective
    (written as back-foot)
    played, or tending to play, off the back foot
    Citation ‘No great batsman is solely a back foot or a front foot player’ (Arlott 1983)
    Citation ‘Here in Bridgetown in particular he [Stewart] has found, for the first time, a pitch whose pace and bounce has made his back-foot game a less hazardous occupation’ (Mike Selvey, Guardian 12 April 1994)
    Citation ‘The score was 21 when Phillips … played a wild back-footed drive at a ball from Azeem … and was caught behind’ (Henry Blofeld, Guardian 10 December 1983)
  • noun the foot that is closer to the stumps when a batsman is standing at the crease; the right foot in the case of a right-handed batsman or the left foot in the case of a left-handed batsman. A ‘back’ stroke, in which most of the batsman’s weight rests on the foot closer to the stumps, is said to be played ‘off the back foot’. Playing off the back foot gives the batsman more time to see the ball and adjust to any movement in the air or off the pitch. Conversely, it is more difficult to put real power into a shot off the back foot.
    See also back(adv)(1) Compare front foot