A nightwatchman is a lower-order batsman who bats higher up the order than typical toward the end of the day’s play in the game of cricket.
In order to prevent other, more talented batsmen from being out cheaply during what may be a period of exhaustion or in poor light at the end of the day, and then again the following morning, the nightwatchman’s responsibility is to maintain the majority of the strike until the end of play.
What is a Nightwatchman?
In cricket, a nightwatchman is a player who typically bats between numbers 8 and 11, but who is moved up the order in difficult batting conditions near the end of a day of play. The nightwatchman will go to the crease to try to bat for the remainder of the evening if a top-order batsman is dismissed.
In order to face as many of the remaining deliveries as possible, the nightwatchman is dispatched to the crease. This enables them to defend both the batsman who is scheduled to bat next and the top-order batsman at the opposite end. Although it is not their goal to score runs, any runs they do manage to do so will be viewed as a fantastic bonus by their team. The following morning, they will return to the middle to continue their innings if the nightwatchman survives the day’s play.
At this stage of the game, their objective will be to score as many runs as they can while establishing a strong partnership with the top-order batter at the opposite end. The next batsman in the top order will take their place at the crease once they are dismissed.
Who decides when to use a Nightwatchman?
The team captain, coach, or a combination of the two typically decides whether to deploy a nightwatchman. The decision will probably only be made by the coach if the team captain is out in the middle of batting at the crucial moment.
What skills are needed in a Nightwatchman?
1. Ability to handle pressure
The fielding captain will probably arrange a more aggressive field and put their best bowlers on when a nightwatchman walks out to the middle. The entire fielding team will work to intimidate them as much as they can in this setting. A nightwatchman should ideally not become overly anxious before or during their innings.
2. Strong defense
If a lower-order batsman is going to be effective as the nightwatchman, they need to be at ease playing defense. Once they get to the crease, they’ll probably have to deal with a variety of dangerous bowlers’ bombardment of risky deliveries. The nightwatchman must therefore be fairly at ease playing both pace and spin.
3. Ability to survive the session
Instead of being noted for their endurance, the bulk of lower-order batsmen are known for playing aggressive shots. Having said that, no captain wants their nightwatchman to enter the middle, play a senseless shot, and get dismissed immediately. A nightwatchman must possess the self-control to leave the ball when possible and refrain from making unnecessary, aggressive shots.