Top 10 Best Classic Shots in Cricket
The spectators on the ground and fans watching cricket on TV will always be excited to see their favorite batters play classic shots. Here are 10 classic shots played by cricket’s top batsmen that make the sport worth watching.
Top 10 Classic Shots in Cricket
1. Straight drive
The easiest and most elegant cricket shot in cricket is the straight ride on the ground that demoralizes a bowler. Sachin Tendulkar is considered the best player of this shot as a right handed, and Stephen Fleming is considered the best as a left handed. The ball hits through the line through a straight arc and high elbow to the wicket showing maximum bat area 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 to the front foot for a fuller length ball or half volley through cover and extra cover on offside. Babar Azam plays this best in the current era as a right-hander, and Saurav Ganguly is considered the best cover driver as a left-hander.
A flick is like a straight drive played down the middle of the wicket on the leg side, requiring efficient wrist work and timing. It’s a precision shot usually played well by right-handers when the bowler tilts the ball to the leg side and throws it a little fuller. In general, Asian players are masters of this shot, and fast bowlers are on the receiving end. VVS Laxman and Mohammed Azharuddin were masters of this trick and could even execute this shot from the ball delivered from outside the stump.
One of the riskiest shots to play in cricket is the cut shot. Using the bowler’s pace, the batsmen thread the ball to his right side, making a 180-degree angle with the straight line of the field. Generally, this shot is played on the shorter deliveries moving away from the batsman. Virender Sehwag, however, played this shot with ultimate ease while standing next to the ball, hitting it with minimal footwork and precise timing.
Only a few cricketers can play this shot as most prefer to duck under the short ball. Whenever a bowler throws a ball at shoulder height, this horizontal shot is executed with the bat coming offside and closing the face on the leg side. The odds of getting a top edge and getting killed are pretty high with the pull shot, which is why centering the ball and finding the opening is paramount. Ricky Ponting and Rohit Sharma play the pull shot superbly, and that too on the forefoot.
It is a unique classic shot that is played over the fine leg on a short ball bowled over the batter’s left shoulder. A player must use the tempo of the ball and come within the line of trajectory to execute this shot correctly and reach a boundary or a six. Hashim Amla plays this shot with great success in modern times.
As the name suggests, it is a shot that resembles someone using a broom to sweep the trash. The batsman kneels on the back foot and uses the horizontal arc to drive the ball through the center of the wicket. It is generally played with spinners and slower bowlers who bowl from off to leg. It is a high risk shot because it is played over the line and the probability of LBW is quite high. AB de Villiers and Andy Flower played this shot with great precision.
8. Forward Defense
Usually, run-scoring shots are considered to judge a batsman’s quality, but a forward defensive shot is the most classic and crucial shot out there. Whenever a bowler bowls a difficult ball that cannot be scored, a forward defensive shot is executed just before the wicket by holding the bat and pad close together. In general, 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 forward defensive shot players.
9. Late Cut
It is a high risk shot that is offside by the third man region. It is played very late, just as the ball is going past the batsman’s right side, and the tempo is used to slide the ball through the third man. Both running late and timing are crucial to execute this shot, as any misjudgment could cause the batsman to slip out of the slip area or chop the ball to the wicket from an inside edge. Gundappa Vishwanath was considered the best player of this shot.
10. Square Disc
It is a hybrid of the cover drive and the cutshot. It is a horizontal shot that is played from the back point to the extra cover area. The ball must be outside the off-stump and at shin level for this shot to be executed correctly. The batsmen must shift his weight from the back foot to the front foot and give a small punch and flick of the wrist to place the ball in the gap. Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli are the best players of the square drive.