A half-tracker is a ball bowled in a way that the ball reaches half way down the wicket, or halfway between the batsman and bowler, hence the name. A half-tracker isn’t always looked on favorably especially from a slow bowler because this would mean the ball will be hit to boundary. It is considered a poor delivery.
Half-trackers and the Bowler
When half-trackers are delivered by bowlers, it is to the advantage of the batsman. The ball is pitched just close enough to the batsman to be able for him or her to drive the ball to boundary without moving too far. This is good news for a batsman, but for a bowler, it looks bad. This is because even an average batsman will be able to give a half-tracker the treatment, much more so good batsmen. The latter are able to dispatch a half-tracker for a boundary. A bowler usually delivers a half-tracker when over-pitching. This can be avoided by shortening their length a bit or aim for a Yorker-length instead.
From a batsman’s point of view, batting a half-tracker can be a way to showcase finesse. A batsman can lean into the ball comfortably and with ease. However, in most cases where batsmen want to earn points for the team, a half tracker is generally smashed out of the park for six. When this isn’t a case, a batsman can put away a half-tracker with such style and using an elegant stroke such as the case with David Gower.
Virat Kohli’s Half-Tracker
One of the more amusing instances when a bowler delivered a half-tracker was by none other than India captain, Virat Kohli. This incident happened during the warm-up match between India and Sydney. Kohli just scored a half-century in the first innings. When he bowled the 124th over for his team, he bowled a half-tracker at Harry Nielsen. Nielsen mistimed his pull shot and sent the ball high in the air and was ultimately caught by Umesh Yadav. This exchange was caught on video, with Kohli seen breaking into a chuckle after celebrating with his hands raised up in the air.