Top 10 Best Classic Shots in Cricket
The spectators on the ground and fans watching cricket on TV will always be eager to watch their favourite batters play classical shots. Here are 10 classical shots played by top batsmen in cricket which makes the sport worth watching.
Top 10 Classic Shots in Cricket
1. Straight Drive
The simplest and the most elegant cricket shot in cricket is the straight drive down the ground that demoralizes a bowler. Sachin Tendulkar is regarded as the best player of this shot as a right-hander, and Stephen Fleming is considered best as a left-hander. The ball hits through the line through a straight arc and high elbow in front of the wicket showing maximum bat surface to get the power and timing balance.
2. Cover Drive
The most artistic shot in the cricket coaching manual is the cover drive. The balance, wrist work, footwork, and timing all come together for the execution of this stroke. Usually, this shot is played on the front foot for a fuller length ball or a half volley through cover and extra cover fielding position on the offside. Babar Azam plays this best in the current era as a right-hander, and Saurav Ganguly is regarded as the best cover driver as a left-hander.
A flick is like a straight drive played through mid-wicket on the leg side, which needs efficient wrist work and timing. It is a precision shot played well mostly by right-handers when the bowler angles the ball towards the leg side and bowls it a bit fuller. Generally, Asian players are masters of this shot, and fast bowlers are at the receiving end. VVS Laxman and Mohammed Azharuddin were the masters of this stroke and could execute this shot even from the ball delivered from outside the off-stump.
One of the riskiest shots to play in cricket is the cut shot. The batsmen use the pace of the bowler and threads the ball to his right side, making a 180-degree angle from the straight line of the pitch. Generally, this shot is played on the shorter-length deliveries moving away from the batsman. However, Virender Sehwag played this shot with ultimate ease as he stood beside the ball and whacked it with minimum footwork and precision timing.
Only a few cricket players can play this shot as most prefer ducking under the short ball. Whenever a bowler bowls a ball at shoulder level, this horizontal shot is executed with the bat coming offside and closing the face on the leg side. The chances of getting a top edge and perishing are pretty high with the pull shot, and hence middling the ball and finding the gap is paramount. Ricky Ponting and Rohit Sharma play the pull shot superbly, and that too on the front foot.
It is a unique classic shot played over the fine leg on a short delivery bowled on the left side shoulder of the batsman. A player has to use the pace of the ball and come inside the line of the trajectory to execute this shot correctly and fetch a boundary or a six. Hashim Amla plays this shot with great success in the modern era.
As the name suggests, it is a shot that resembles someone using a broom to sweep the litter. The batsman kneels on the back foot and uses the horizontal arc to hit the ball through mid-wicket. Generally, it is played with spinners and slower bowlers bowling from off to leg. It is a high-risk shot as it played across the line, and the chances of LBW are pretty high. AB de Villiers and Andy Flower played this shot with great precision.
8. Forward Defense
Usually, run-scoring shots are considered to assess a batsman’s quality, but a forward defensive shot is the most classic and crucial shot if there is one. Whenever a bowler bowls a difficult delivery that cannot be scored of, a forward defensive shot is executed just in front of the wicket by keeping the bat and pad close together. Generally, this shot is more played in Test and ODI cricket, but it is less preferred in T20. Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid were technically the best players of the forward defensive shot.
9. Late Cut
It is a high-risk shot played through the third man region on the offside. It is played very late, just as the ball passes the batsman’s right side, and the pace is used to glide it through the third man. Both lateness and timing are crucial to execute this shot as any misjudgment can make the batsman get out in the slip region or chop the ball to the wicket of an inside edge. Gundappa Vishwanath was considered the best player of this shot.
10. Square Drive
It is a hybrid of the cover drive and the cut shot. It is a horizontal shot played from the backward point to the extra cover region. The ball should be outside the off-stump coming at a shin height for properly executing this shot. The batsmen must transfer his weight from the back foot to the front foot and give a small punch and wrist flick to place the ball in the gap. Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli are the best players of the square drive.