Developed as early as the 16th century, the game of cricket has become an icon in the world of games. It was first played in England and with the passage of time it became an integral part of the British culture. It is played on an oval field and the bowling pitch is about 22 yards. It is mainly about a bowler delivering a ball to the batsman and the batsman chooses one of the many offensive or defensive strokes. In cricket the main objective is in directing the ball to the specific parts of the field.
1.) Basic batting stance
A cricket batsman should position his body in such a way so that all his power transferred to the ball. This strategy should be applied no matter which stroke the batsman takes. While batting there is a certain position that one must follow. The position must be a slightly crouched athletic position. This position resembles one that of a baseball player. The feet should be spread to shoulder width apart and knees should be slightly bent. The batsman’s weight should be shifted toward the balls of his feet. Head level of the batsman should be above the bat. The bat should point downward. The bat handle should be held with the left hand and the opposite should be done with a left hander batsman.
2.) Defensive vs. offensive stance
The reaction of a batsman depends largely on his abilities and the stance that he will take depends on the type of bowler. The batsman defends or hits a ball depending upon the type of ball that is given to him. In case of a fast bowler, the batsman usually takes to defending the ball. He stands between the ball and the wicket so that the wicket is blocked and hits the ball in such a manner so that it falls on the ground and any chance of being caught is nullified. During his defensive shot, the body weight is balanced on the rear foot during the swing. This position offers more reaction time.
If the batsman has a confidence against certain bowler or certain type of balls or incase of quick need for runs, the batsman tries to hit the ball. This brings in runs for the team. In this position, the batsman has to turn his body slightly towards the bowler. It is good to note that the cricket swing is vertical unlike that of baseball where it is horizontal. The difference between defending the ball and hitting the score lies in force. When defending a ball, it is hit to the ground with less force. Whereas, while hitting a score, the batsman applies more force and directs the ball to a certain specific location so that it can fetch some runs.
3.) Basic strokes
There are many styles of cricket batting strokes. The three most common amongst them are the block, the cut and the drive. The block is generally a defensive stance stroke. It is mainly used to protect the wicket stumps and is usually used in fast balls. This shot does not come handy when the idea is to score runs. The main objective of a block shot is to nullify the pitch of the ball and this in turn keeps the ball from hitting the wickets.
In case of drive shots, the batsman hits the ball with greater force. It does not pay heed to the location of the ball. While talking of a basic drive, the main idea is to hit in a vertical swung and moderate follow-through that travels through the line of the bat. A skillful batsman has the ability of driving the ball to a desired location. These kinds of drives are known as cover drives and on and off drives, too.
A cut shot is more like a baseball swing. In this stroke, the ball is hit with much greater speed. The ground speed is much faster than the drive. In this stroke, the bat is held horizontal to the ground instead of vertical.
4.) Advanced strokes
The most aggressive shot of the batsman are hook shot. When the ball has bounced on the pitch and reaches the head level of the head of the batsman, hook shot is hit. The batsman has to step inside the line of the ball’s path, much like the cut shot. The bat is swung in the horizontal arc to the ground. In this shot, the ball whips around the head of the batsman and is directed towards the batsman’s onside deep. This shot can fetch six runs if the execution is correct. While talking of leg glance, it is more of a strategic stroke.
The sweep stroke directs the ball toward the batsman’s onside.
5.) Other batting tips
Tips on cricket batting strokes include that a batsman should keep on planning which stroke to hit according to the ball that is offered to him. A batsman should not start using advanced strokes in the initial stage of the game. Deep perception of the bowler’s balling style goes a long way in winning a match.