new ball



  • adjective
    (written as new-ball)
    denoting a bowler who opens a team’s attack by ‘taking the new ball’
    Citation ‘The Indian new ball bowler Karsan Ghavri snapped up three quick wickets’ (Bhattacharya 2006)
    Citation ‘Dravid … surprised all by saying that he hadn’t seen a more consistent Indian new-ball pairing than Munaf Patel and Sreesanth in 10 years’ (Siddhartha Vaidyanathan, Cricinfo Magazine August 2006)
  • noun a completely unused ball. In all grades of cricket, ‘either captain may demand a new ball at the start of each innings’ (Law 5 § 3). In games of more than one day’s duration, there is also provision for a new ball to be taken while an innings is still in progress, once a stipulated number of overs has been bowled. For the fielding side the advantages of the new ball are that it is ‘considered to swing more, and bounce in a livelier fashion, than a more worn ball’ (Arlott 1983). But if the new ball offers the chance of early wickets, it is also true that a hard, shiny ball will come more quickly off the bat, and a dominant batting side can sometimes score freely off the new ball. The fielding captain is not obliged to take the new ball as soon as it becomes available (it may sometimes be worth persevering with an old ball that is turning well or moving about a bit), but any subsequent new ball can only be taken after the full number of prescribed overs has been bowled with the current ball, regardless of when that ball was taken.
    See also replacement ball