Friday, May 4, 2012

The Guide


Stretch far forward to try & meet the ball on the half volley length

Watch the ball carefully in travel

Ensure you use the bat or get outside the line if stuck on the pad & play as straight as possible, adjusting with the hands if the ball turns

Front Foot Drive

It is an extension of the forward defence but you push through the line, transfer the weight & follow through with the stroke:-

Get behind the line

Cover the movement

Present the full straight flat face of the blade

Strong forward stride to get near the ball

Use soft hands to keep it down on to the turf

Head on top of the ball

Bent knees to hold the position & smooth stance to be able to locate the ball

Forward Defence

Controlled edge guided & steered away:-

Don’t chase after the line

Watch the ball carefully on to the blade

Play it late, not really committing to the stroke

Soft hands to dab it down, don’t push with hard hands away from the body

Try to make contact with as much of the bat as possible so it will travel quicker & try to make contact with the lower part of the bat so it be coming down on to the ground instead of going up in the air for nicking off in the slip cordon or gully region

Back Foot Tap

Get into position early, decisive foot work required so you don’t get caught on the crease

Use the depth in the crease to give yourself more time

Play it under your eyes/nose as close as to the body as possible instead of hanging the bat

High elbow to ensure it goes down on to the turf after hitting the bat

Wait for it to come & hold the position afterwards giving the bowler the impression that you are in total command upsetting his mind-set, almost as if to say ‘nothing is getting past me’


It is an important underrated skill. The ability to identify deliveries that will not be dismissing or dislodging you ensures you do not or cannot get out on them at all. It is a battle of patience with the bowler & whoever can be consistent & boring for the longer period will come out on top in this battle. For a top order batsmen knowing where you’re off stump is cannot be stressed enough. You need to be able to control a limited range & ensure you are not flirting with risk & danger which you do not actually need to be committing at which will keep the bowler, captain & slip cordon licking their lips.

Ensure the ball is pitched outside the off stump channel & will not be hitting the stumps so you can watch it shoot by through to the wicket keeper

Usually the delivery will have to be going straight on or moving away from a typical right hander

If it happens to be jagging back in to the right hander it has to start from a long way outside the off stump in the initial line to be a safe leave or has to be only doing marginally in the air or off the pitch so you can correctly predict the leave & have a strong idea of how much the ball will be doing

If the ball swings from the hand the leave can be executed more confidently as you can see it all the way through & it will only be going further and further

If the ball swings in the last third of travel then you need to watch out & think twice before leaving the ball, however this takes exceptional skill to do so & therefore one will not encounter such bowlers on a regular basis

You can also trust the bounce of the surface if you are reading the pitch well

If the ball is banged in short then it is hardly ever something you need to play at all unless there are demons in the track with the ball keeping low

If you are ducking you must sway out of the line & drop the hands to ensure the ball does not not take the gloves on the way through

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