• adjective (of a batting stroke or a style of batting) adapted to the protection of one’s wicket rather than to scoring runs
    Citation ‘Back and forward play may be further divided into back and forward play for defensive purposes, and back and forward play with the object of making runs’ (Warner 1934)
    Citation ‘When he [Glenn Turner] first appeared his shots were just about limited to a forward and backward defensive push’ (Jim Laker, WCM August 1984)
    Citation ‘The stonewalling R.G.Barlow was for twenty years a model Lancashire professional…. As a defensive batsman, he was the perfect complement to the stroke-making Hornby’ (Marqusee 1994)
  • adjective (of a style of bowling or fielding) adapted to preventing the batsmen from scoring freely rather than to taking wickets; accurate, medium-pace inswing bowling, and ‘pushed-through’ rather than ‘flighted’ spin – both tending to restrict strokeplay – are characteristic features of defensive outcricket
    Citation ‘Despite the defensive formations, the English pair were never quiet, save for a short period as Flintoff approached his first Test century’ (Haigh 2005)


  • adjective concentrating more on preventing an opponent from gaining an advantage than on scoring
  • adjective relating to those players who have responsibility for defence