The good length is the best place to pitch the ball in order to both get a batsman out as well as to keep the runs down. We have all seen pitch maps in international matches where the most economical bowlers land a majority of their balls in the good length zone.
The good length zone is a square area about 3 feet by 3 feet. It is about 8 feet away from where the batsman stands. The spot changes for each batsman depending on where he stands at the crease and how good his reach his. A tall player will have a good length spot a little further down the pitch than a short batsman.
Highlights of the good length spot
The batsman is in two minds when the ball is pitched there. He cannot be entirely comfortable going back foot or front foot and as a result usually defends the ball.
Any cricket field is usually set assuming that the bowler will hit the good length spot. As a result, any shots played off this length have a good chance to going to a fielder and not for runs.
Since the batsman is usually undecided about whether to go front foot or back foot, there is a good chance off a shot being played in the air which will result in a wicket. This is especially true when the spinners are bowling.
The area is also prone to wear and tear from the bowlers running up and down the pitch repeatedly. This results in the area becoming rougher and more difficult to bat on as the game goes on. This is particularly true in the longer version of the game.
For aspiring bowlers, it is essential that they ask their coach where the good areas to bowl in are and practice landing the ball there for optimum results.
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