Improve Your Cricket Shots | Cricket Batting Tips and Techniques – str8bat
Sometimes, a few cricket shots become the signature of particular batters. Like the helicopter shot, the moment anyone refers to it, we relate it to Mahendra Singh Dhoni. But it was Mohammad Azharuddin who introduced this shot first. Azharuddin was famous for his wrist work, the flexibility of hitting the ball in various directions.
In cricket, there are several types of cricket shots.
From name to hitting technique, footwork and intentions – all vary from shot to shot.
As a cricket enthusiast, a few questions were triggered in my mind.
Does hitting a cricket shot just need wrist flexibility? If not, then how is one to play cricket shots?
How can I improve my shots as a cricket enthusiast? And how does a cricket bat sensor help me improve my strokes?
This blog will answer all your queries regarding cricket shots.
At the end, don’t forget to watch a case study that highlights how a cricket bat sensor helped an international player to get a hold of his batting shots.
But, first things first –
Why does the Batter play different cricket shots?
While a batter takes striking position, the aim is to score runs and not lose one’s wicket. Deliveries vary in line and length. In addition, field placement makes batting a further challenge. Thus, to score runs, batters play different shots like defensive shots, attacking shots, and innovative or unorthodox cricket shots.
The decision to play a particular shot depends on various factors like – the length of the ball, landing spot of the delivery or its trajectory even.
Here are some chosen and popular cricket shots
What are Straight Drive Cricket Shots?
Straight Drive is one of the most commonly used classical batting shots.
This shot is a bit attacking by nature. The shot is played on good or full-length ball deliveries in the line of middle or off stumps. To be more specific, while playing the straight Drive, Batters transfer their weight on the front foot.
How to play Straight Drive?
- Judgement of the ball: This shot is played on a good or full-length ball, landing in line with the stumps.
- Foot Work: It is usually a front foot shot; the Batter moves their front foot ahead and lands it on heel – the toe points down the wicket, head and shoulder in line with the front foot.
- Backlift and Bat movement: Backlift starts from the top of the stumps and takes the bat skywards. While hitting a shot, the batter starts the downswing by shifting their body weight on to the front foot.
- Bat Face: The bat face comes straight toward the bowler while hitting the shot.
Talk about straight Drive and forget to mention Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli?
Both cricketers play fine straight drive shots. The quality of their straight drives is remarkably effortless.
Let us understand how wearable technologies can help to play straight drives flawlessly.
How can str8bat cricket bat sensor help in improving straight drive cricket shots?
The str8bat cricket bat sensor monitors and records real-time movements of the bat.
Data analytics regarding backlift, impact speed and bat swing provided by str8bat cricket bat sensor will help batters improve their straight drives.
As for a perfect straight drive, the ideal impact point should be aligned to the front foot toe, precisely below the head. Then, the timing of the shot would be perfect.
Hitting the ball before it’s near the toe will not impart enough power to the drive. And if you delay your Drive, then the chances of missing the shot will go up.
str8bat cricket sensor analytics will record data about backlift, timing index, impact speed and other vital parameters of your batting technique.
When you sync your sensor with the str8bat cricket app, you’ll be able to see exactly where you’re going wrong with your batting shots by analysing the data.
Without a doubt, batting sensor app insights can be helpful for the coach, and a batter gets matchless insights on how to train. With a smart bat sensor, you can work on your backlift and time the shot well.
Forward Defence Shot
What are forward defence cricket shots?
As the name suggests, this cricket shot aims to defend.
A forward defence shot is also known as a front foot defence. A batter must learn how to play forward defensive shots.
The forward defence shot doesn’t push in any particular direction. Instead, the Batter plays this shot to safeguard their wicket.
But does the Batter need to play forward defence shots on just about any delivery? The answer is NO.
Forward or front foot defence shots are played on a good or full-length ball that has the possibility of hitting the stumps.
How to play forward defence shots?
- Arm Work: Batter takes a stance and pushes back arms so that the shoulder comes under the chin and the Batter gets a clear vision of the ball.
- Body movement: Take your head ahead toward the ball, then take your foot ahead and bend slightly.
- Bat face: While hitting forward defence, your head, bat, and ball should be in the same line. Bodyweight transfers to the front foot, and the knee slightly bends forward. The more the Batter stretches his leg toward the point where the ball lands, the less chance the ball will get to acquire movement.
- Slight hit to the ball: As the field placement is nearby, angle your bat toward the ground while hitting the ball so that ball is smothered to the ground. This will reduce the ball speed and make it hit slower on pitch areas.
Remember, while playing front foot defence shots, do not apply force on the shot and keep your top wrist tight.
How can str8bat cricket bat sensor help in improving forward defensive cricket shots?
Visual insights can be very practical while learning to play forward defence shots. The bat’s impact speed timing will guide the Batter to understand their judgements about the hit. Multidimensional 3D data regarding the ball impact point will help the Batter better understand the ball length.
Little more on forward Defensive cricket shots
Ex Indian captain Rahul Dravid was a master of playing defensive shots. His defense had the ability to frustrate the bowler. Which resulted in loose deliveries that were used to create boundary opportunities by Rahul Dravid.
Sweep Shot and Reverse Cricket Shots
What are Sweep cricket shots?
Sweep Shots are orthodox or classical cricket shots – well calculated or pre-planned. Batters play these shots against slow deliveries.
Batter plans sweep shots while facing spin bowler or medium pacer. Deliveries that are pitched toward the leg side of the off-stump or toward the Batter’s body are ideal for hitting sweep shots.
The direction of the sweep shot hit is behind the square on the leg side and in front of square.
What are reverse cricket shots?
As the name suggests, the reverse sweep is hit in the opposite direction of the sweep shot.
This shot is applied when spin bowlers spin the ball toward the offside. Precisely, the Batter hits a shot behind square on the offside.
How to play reverse sweep shots?
Reverse sweep shots are a bit riskier. Hence, once a batter is comfortable with orthodox shots, he or she can try innovative or unorthodox shots.
- Judging the delivery: Wrong judgement of the ball can be dangerous. So play sweep shots usually only on deliveries that land on the leg or middle stump at a good length. In comparison, reverse sweep shots are played to balls pitching on or just outside the off stump. Reverse sweep shots are more challenging to play. Thus, as the Batter gets experienced with playing sweep shots, they can try reverse sweep shots too.
- Footwork: Front foot goes ahead, back foot goes down on the ground, and the Batter’s weight shifts gradually to the back knee.
- Backlift: The backlift will come from the top of the back shoulder. Elbow should be raised. This will speed up the downswing.
- Downswing and Impact: Downswing speed will make the bat impact the ball more forcefully. While impacting the ball, both arms stretch ahead of the head.
- Follow-through: This is the final step of this shot. After impact with the ball, the bat will give direction to the ball or follow through and finish the shot behind the other shoulder.
Sweep shots force the opponent captain to deploy more field placement behind the square. This opens the possibility of further playing straight Drive and other forward attacking shots.
This video on How to play sweep shot in cricket by Quick cricket skill explains this shot further.
How can str8bat cricket bat sensor help in improving sweep and reverse cricket shots?
As discussed earlier, sweep and reverse shots are difficult shots. Good technique is a must. Any mistiming in downswing speed or rolling of the wrists can put the Batter in danger. Chances of LBW and getting caught around the square can be high.
str8bat Cricket bat sensor stats like back lift, Impact pitch map will be helpful.
With a stat like the impact pitch map, the Batter will get insights about the direction they impact the ball. In the same way, the wagon wheel data provides more insight into the finish.
Being a cricket enthusiast, I even get amazed at how technology can impact the way we learn. I am not going into detail with the reverse sweep technique as that is a bit higher version of the sweep.
This will be my homework to my readers to learn and practice reverse sweep shots by keeping smart bat sensor insights in a loop.
What are Pull shots in Cricket?
The pull shot is another attacking shot that is hit between mid-wicket to the fine leg side.
Many people claim that Pull is a front foot shot, but you can play pull shot on both front and back foot. Ball deliveries short of length and in line with stumps are ideal for pull shots.
In India, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli both play pull shots impressively. But Rohit Sharma can play it off the front foot too, whereas Virat Kohli usually plays it off the Back foot.
Thus, you can try this shot on any foot as a batter. But it is always better if batters invent their own strategy and footwork concerning shots.
How to play the Pull Shot?
- Judgement: For better judgement, the batting stance should be perfect. So that head is in proper line to get a clear understanding of the delivery. The ideal ball should be rising between the waist and shoulder of the Batter.
- Extension of arms: Arms should be fully extended to pull the ball at ground level.
- Backlift: Pull shots need a high backlift. Backlift will start from the top, and the downswing will go towards the leg side.
The beauty of Rohit Sharma’s pull shot is that it’s not just about footwork. While playing pull shots, Rohit Sharma puts little weight on the front foot and twists at the waist to pull and ground the ball.
This video on Improve Your Pull Shot by KD Evolution will help you understand this shot better.
Hook Shots are also similar to pull shots.
But Hook shots are a bit more dangerous, and minor misjudgements can send the Batter back to the pavilion.
What are the differences between Hook and Pull cricket shots?
The difference Between Pull And Hook shots are:
- Height of the ball – Pull shots are played on short deliveries that rise up to around the waist or mid-riff of the Batter. In contrast, hook shots are hit on deliveries above the chest to head level.
- Type of shot – Pull shots are considered vital from securing the runs perspective. Hook shots are a bit more riskier.
- Control: In pull shots, the Batter usually controls the ball by playing it along the ground. Whereas hook shot goes tends to be hit higher, increasing the chances of getting caught.
How to improve Pull and Hook shots with the help of a str8bat cricket bat sensor?
In a good pull shot, the backlift is essential. In the same way, for the hook shot, the judgement of the Batter, impact point, and backlift are all critical.
str8bat smart bat analytics can prepare batters for non-conventional shots too. As Batters gets confident with classical shots, they can explore the opportunities of trying unconventional and riskier shots.
What is the Helicopter cricket shot?
In a helicopter shot, the bottom hand plays a dominant role.
This gives swing to the bat, and the bat takes a near 360-degree circle at the same speed and force. Mostly played on full length or yorker balls that could otherwise be hard to connect with.
Who invented the helicopter cricket shot?
It wont be wrong to say that Mohammad Azharuddin played the helicopter shot first.
But Dhoni’s helicopter shots which often cleared the ropes got even more popularity in cricket.
What makes a Dhoni helicopter shot special?
Dhoni’s technique adds more power and elevation while facing yorker length balls. He uses wrists in whipping motion. His shot starts with a high backlift, and the fast downswing ends with completing an arc after hitting the shot.
This whole process makes Dhoni’s helicopter shot more power-packed.
How do Cricket bat sensors help budding cricketers to improve their helicopter Cricket shots?
As we understood with Dhoni’s example, in driving a powerful helicopter shot – high backlift, bat swing, and impact – are critical.
Smart bat sensors are capable of giving insights into all these parameters. You can record your shots, get in-depth stat analysis reports, and work on your underperforming parameters.
As promised, here is one video that advocates how one capped player found ways to improve some of his shots.
A boon for coaches and players alike
The Batter must understand that while they play various cricket shots, some are not their natural shots. The Batters have to change their strategy according to ball length and other circumstances about the delivery. Thus, the art of hitting a particular shot in an extraordinary situation is extrinsic learning.
The stature of your skill does not depend on the team you are representing. So, work on your skills and make the best use of cricket bat sensor’s visual insights.
After all, you are playing for the love of cricket.
And learning can only become more effective with analytics.
str8bat cricket bat sensor can surely help you with that!