In the sport of cricket, batting is the act or skill of hitting the cricket ball with a cricket bat to score runs or prevent the loss of one's wicket. Any player who is currently batting is denoted as a batsman, regardless of their particular area of expertise (though see special senses in 'Terminology' below). Batsmen have to adapt to various conditions when playing on different cricket pitches, especially in different countries: therefore, as well as having outstanding physical batting skills, top-level batsmen will have lightning reflexes, excellent decision-making and be good strategists.
During an innings two members of the batting side are on the pitch at any time: the one facing the current delivery from the bowler is denoted the striker, while the other is the non-striker. When a batsman is out, he is replaced by a teammate. This continues until the end of the innings or until 10 of the team members are out, where upon the other team gets a turn to bat.
Batting tactics and strategy vary depending on the type of match being played as well as the current state of play. The main concerns for the batsmen are not to lose their wicket and to score as many runs as quickly as possible. These objectives generally conflict – to score quickly, risky shots must be played, increasing the chance that the batsman will be dismissed, while the batsman's safest choice with a careful wicket-guarding stroke may be not to attempt any runs at all. Depending on the situation, batsmen may forget attempts at run-scoring in an effort to preserve their wicket, or may attempt to score runs as quickly as possible with scant concern for the possibility of being dismissed.
As with all other cricket statistics, batting statistics and records are given much attention and provide a measure of a player's effectiveness. The main statistic for batting is a player's batting average. This is calculated by dividing the number of runs he has scored, not by the innings he has played, but by the number of times he has been dismissed.
Sir Donald Bradman set many batting records, some as far back as the 1930s and still unbeaten, and he is widely regarded as the greatest batsman of all time.