The night watchman is a cricketing term used to describe a batsman who comes in to bat at the very end of a day’s play. The purpose of the night watchman is to protect the wicket of the more established batsmen who are due to bat the next day, as well as to ensure that no wickets are lost in the final few overs of the day.
The term night watchman is derived from the old practice of employing a guard who would patrol at night to protect property. Similarly, the night watchman in cricket is employed to protect the wicket from being lost late in the day. This is especially important if the side batting second is chasing a large total, as losing wickets late in the day can put them in a very difficult position.
In order to be effective, the night watchman needs to be a batsman who can block the final few overs of the day or who can at least resist the urge to try and score runs. It is often a lower-order batsman who is chosen for the role, as they are less likely to attempt to score runs and risk getting out.
It is also important for the night watchman to be a batsman who is unlikely to get out early. If the night watchman gets out quickly, then the main batsmen of the side will have to come out to bat late in the day, risking losing a wicket in the final overs of play. Therefore, the night watchman should be a competent batsman who can block or defend the final few overs of the day.
In some cases, the night watchman may even be a specialist batsman who has been brought in specifically for the role. This is often done in Test cricket, where the side batting second is chasing a large total, and they need to ensure that they protect their wicket late in the day.
It is also important for the night watchman to be a batsman who is well-suited to the conditions. If the conditions are difficult for batting, then it is important to pick a batsman who can defend and block rather than attempt to score runs.
The night watchman can also be a useful tactic for the batting side if the conditions are favorable for batting. The night watchman can score some runs and build a platform for the main batsmen to come in and score runs the next day.
The night watchman plays an important role in cricket, as it allows the side batting second to protect their wicket late in the day and to ensure that no wickets are lost in the final few overs. It is important to pick a batsman who can block or defend the final overs, as well as someone who is well-suited to the conditions. The night watchman can also be a useful tactic if the conditions are favorable for batting, as they can score some runs and give the main batsmen a platform to come in and score runs the next day.