Cricket is indeed a game of skill as it requires a lot of things for a player to learn before they step their feet on the cricket ground. If someone says to you that all you need to do is hit the ball with the bat, then they have probably never played cricket in their life before or were joking around kids all the time. The truth is cricket is a competitive game, and it requires a lot of skills to even stand on that field. Today, we are talking about different kinds of cricketing shots and how effective they are when the batsman plays to hit the ball as far as possible.
In cricket, a batsman plays two significant roles, first – to score runs and second – to defend their wicket at the same time. If you are wondering, that’s easy; just imagine 140kmph+ balls coming at you with a possible swing or seam. Or a ball that will be slower, but its nature of spin can be a mystery.
Since we will talk about different kinds of cricketing shots, we must start with some basic information.
In cricket, the type of shot a batsman plays depends on the line and length of the ball. Some of the standard cricket shots include drives, pulls, hooks, cuts, sweeps, etc. Evolution is inevitable for everyone, and even in cricket, we have seen some unorthodox shots played by players in order to make runs. In this blog, we will try to talk about almost every orthodox and unorthodox shot that players can be seen playing in a cricket match. Without further ado, let us jump right on the points.
Let us start with understanding a shot that has BEAUTY written all over it. Drives are one of the most attractive shots you will ever see in cricket. It’s so amazing that even the players love to play this shot more often as compared to others. However, as mentioned this shot can only be played when a ball is pitched at a specific position on the pitch. And to play a drive a ball needs to be bowled at a good length. There are six different kinds of drives. Let us talk about them one by one.
One of the most elegant shots in cricket is a straight drive. A straight drive can be played if the delivery is good to full length and is between the middle and off stump. A batsman needs to stride forward a little and bring his front foot near the ball. The face of the bat should be straight so the ball can reach the boundary in the same direction from where the bowler came running.
As the name suggests, off-the-drive is played to make the ball go in the mid-off or long-off direction. Very much similar to a straight drive, the off drive is perfect for fuller delivery which is at the line outside the off stump.
Like off-drive, is an off-side shot, on-drive is an on-side shot. The main objective is to make the ball go in between mid-on and long-on fielding positions. Once again the ball must be fuller but this time bowled at the batsman’s leg or at the leg stump. Just like straight drive you need to lean forward but adjust the legs so you can play the shot as the bowl is bowled at them.
If you are a Virat Kohli’s fan then you know it’s his signature shot. When the ball is at fuller length outside the off stump and the batsman decides to stride forward and drive the ball through the covers region then the shot is called cover drive.
The square drive can be played against the balls directed on goof to full-length and is pitched at outside the off stump. Since it is played with hands away from the body, it is suggested to be aware as it leaves a big gap between the pads and the bat.
The back foot drive is usually played against the spinners, unlike the other drives which are played by the fast bowlers. If a ball is short of a length then a batsman can get back on his/her foot and play a shot between mid-on and covers to make runs for his team. However, footwork and bats need to be stiff in order to play it perfectly otherwise it can be a risky shot.
2. Sweep Shots
A shot which is mostly used against spinners, a sweep shot is played with a cross bat and getting on one knee as it also needs a good focus and learning where the ball is pitched in order to play it perfectly. If you have a habit of proposing to your girlfriend now and then, then you will excel at playing a sweep. Jokes apart! Let us have a look at different types of sweeps in cricket.
A sweep shot is played to make the good full-length balls lodged in the direction of the leg-side between the mid-wicket and fine leg. It’s perfect to play if a ball is pitched between middle or leg stump because it can be difficult to turn the ball from outside the off to leg side successfully. But with practice that can also be achieved.
The reverse sweep is an innovative sweep that was recently introduced in international cricket. As the name suggests, it’s the exact opposite of a sweep shot as it can be played on the offside if the fielding captain decides to block the whole leg side.
A paddle sweep is usually played on a quicker ball, the idea behind paddle sweep is to play the ball as close as the keeper so it can be finer and reach the boundary without interruption from any fielder. We suggest not trying to hit the ball, instead try to give it the direction in the same place where it is going but with some bat speed.
3. Cut Shots
Cut shots are played with a crossed bat and usually played against short deliveries bowled by fast bowlers. The batsman usually uses the pace of the ball to cut it towards the square on the off-side. There are basically two types of cut shots in Cricket.
This back-foot shot is often can be seen in a cricket match as it is suggested that it’s the perfect shot to punish the bowlers for their bad line and length. However, the deliveries that are closer to the body are not suitable for this shot. As you need sufficient space outside the off-stump to play this shot.
The uppercut is played the back of a length or short balls that are outside the line of off stump. You might have seen Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma often playing this shot. If not then we suggest you watch highlights of the 2003 World Cup as Sachin punished many bowlers with this shot at that time.
4. Pulls and Hooks
Pull shot is one of cricket’s finest shots as it shows the aggressiveness of the batsman.
Played with the cross-bat against the short-pitched delivery. The batsman needs to put all his body force on his back foot and place the ball on the leg side. It’s different from a hook shot because it’s played on or around waist high and is easier to control. However, you need to decide whether you have to hit the ball in the air or on the ground depending upon the field position.
A hook shot is played if the bounce of the ball over the shoulder. A batsman can easily target the mid-wicket and a fine leg region of the ground using a hook shot. Usually, the hook shot is played in the air so you need to be aware of the fielder on the leg side.
5. Unorthodox and Innovative Shots in Cricket
One of the most famous shots of modern cricket, Switch hit is played when a right-handed batsman changes his grip and stance and turns himself into a left-handed batsman to play a shot and vice versa. Although, it is an innovative cricket shot but very difficult to master. A batsman needs to decide to play this shot before the bowler releases the ball.
This shot was discovered recently in order to make runs in difficult situations and is played in the last few overs of the inning. It can also be played to a full toss or a yorker ball, by intercepting it before the bounce. The batsman needs to open his bat’s face and deflect the ball behind the stumps. Now it depends on the batsman whether they need to scoop the ball either on the left or right side.
Well, we must rename it to MS Dhoni’s helicopter shot as he was the one who introduced it in cricket. The bat swing in this shot resembles the rotation of the blades of a helicopter thus it is called the helicopter shot. It is played to make sure that the deadly yorker doesn’t hit the stump instead it goes in the crowd for the six.
This is the complete guide for almost every cricketing shot in a cricket diary. In order to be a successful batsman, a player needs to master all these shots along with learning defending and leaving abilities. We hope you enjoyed this detailed article on cricketing shots. Until Next Time, Goodbye!