How to Hit Big Shots in Cricket
Hitting the ball out of the ground is one of most enjoyable aspects of playing cricket. The big shots are a series of shots used with the specific intention of hitting the ball in the air. The pull shot, the hook shot, the cut and the lofted straight drive are all examples of batsman trying to hit the ball out of the ground. Each of these shots requires a different technical approach, as well as plenty of practice.
Put on the protective leg guards, batting gloves and helmet. Practicing high-risk shots is unpredictable, safety must be a priority.
Place the three stumps into the ground. Allow the bowler to measure out the run up.
Visualize the shots you want to play before you practice them.
Ask the bowler to bowl short. This allows you to focus on your footwork and execution, rather than the unpredictability of the bowling.
Move the back foot sideways toward the middle stump -- if you're a right-handed batsman -- when the bowler is about to deliver the ball.
Point the back foot toward mid-off and open up your stance to pivot on the front foot. Place the front foot outside leg stump pointing toward mid-on.
Do a high backswing as you're opening up your stance. A pull shot requires a large amount of power. When the ball hits the pitch, the bat should be entering the downswing.
Hit the ball in front of your eyes, keeping your arms straight for maximum power. The natural direction for the pull shot is between square leg and mid wicket.
Roll your wrists as you hit the ball -- if you want to keep the ball on the ground -- and aim to score four runs instead of six.
Ask the bowler to bowl a bouncer. The hook shot can only be played when the ball approaches the batsman above the chest.
Step across your stumps as the ball hits the pitch, and place the back foot just outside the imaginary line of the ball.
Point the back foot toward mid-off. Move the front foot alongside your back foot, but place the majority of your weight on the back foot.
Make contact with the ball in front of your eyes. Keep your arms straight as your chest pivots around.
Ask the bowler to bowl a full length.
Place your front foot inside the line of the ball. Keep the back foot still with the heal slightly raised.
Point your toes on your front foot in the direction you want the ball to go.
Keep the bat on the downswing as the ball approaches. A lofted drive requires a high backswing.
Use the right hand to hit through the line of the ball in a swinging, not punching, motion. A normal straight drive uses the left hand to keep the ball on the floor; a lofted straight drive requires more use of the bottom or right hand on the bat.
If you're new to cricket, use a tennis ball before moving on to a real cricket ball. This enables you to develop the technique but reduces the risk of injury.
Always wear safety equipment when practicing the big shots in cricket. Hooking is the most dangerous shot in cricket. Because the ball is aimed at your head, concentrate and always keep your eye on the ball. The moment you take your eyes off the ball, you're at risk of being hit on the head or the back of the net.
Based in North Wales, U.K., Daniel Rhodes has been writing since 2006. He has worked in education, using extreme/outdoor sports to treat behavioral difficulties in young people, and his articles have appeared in "Tudno Sport" and "Inside Welsh Sport." Rhodes has a Bachelor of Arts in politics from Bangor University.