KP has the switch-hit, Dilshan has the Dil-scoop and Dhoni has the Helicopter shot. As club cricketers we can't use any of these high risk shots without looking foolish.
Our success rate is minimal.
But this doesn’t mean us mere mortals can’t play any innovative shots to aid run rates.
While some of the more extreme shots are beyond us, we can all play shots outside the batting manual to implement lower risk shots that are still innovative.
Because as we know, with risk comes reward.
Use your crease
Backing away or walking across your stumps is the most common use of the crease.
Backing away opens up the off side but can also push the ball out of reach.
That is why I prefer to walk across my stumps to open the leg side; the chance of the ball being out of reach down the leg side is slimmer.
The key is to position yourself correctly.
Whether you are more comfortable moving back foot across first or front foot and then back is your preference, but the best way to execute this shot is to play it off the front foot.
If the ball is short, you should already be inside the line which will make it easier to play.
But don’t limit yourself to sideways movement.
We all know the importance of using your feet to get down the wicket, but think of using the depth of your crease by going backwards.
This will allow you to pay quicker bowler easier but also assist you in your ability to hit sixes.
Use the pace of the ball
One of my favourite aggressive shots against pace bowling is the reverse paddle sweep.
But I know my ‘alternative’ technique isn’t great but I understand the rewards of playing reverse shots into a gap in the field at the death.
To combat my lack of reverse technique I keep my usual stance and still use my front foot conventionally.
You can find out how to play the orthodox version here.
I do it differently though.
I place my top hand on the back of the bat just above the height of the middle and use the pace of the ball to ‘nudge’ the ball through the 45 degree angle.
This technique can also be used to angle through the leg side.
Placing your hand on the blade allows greater control and better hand-eye co-ordination.
So forget extravagant blazing shots and adopt some common sense to help you open up specific scoring areas.
by David Hinchliffe, PitchVision Academy
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