As a viewer, there are very few things more enjoyable than seeing a batsman smash the bowler for sixes that send the ball flying across the stadium and beyond. While it makes for an exciting experience, the batsman doing it has to put in a lot of effort and practice to hit big shots like these. Some of the best examples of Indian batsmen who hit big shots are Yusuf Pathan and Robin Uthappa. Both of them have successful IPL careers because their shot selection and power hitting helps them to get runs through sixes and fours.
Here, we have broken down the process of hitting big shots in cricket:
1) The back-lift
The height of the back-lift is directly proportional to the impact of bat on the ball. This is the secret behind power hitting of players like Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh who seem to do it effortlessly. It is important to get the bat to come down at the right time and to make that happen, either the downswing has to start early or the speed of the bat has to increase.
Australian batsmen like Ricky Ponting cock their wrists at the highest point of the back-lift to get the bat higher and then unwind at the point of impact, which increases the back-lift and the bat speed both.
If you are playing a fast bowler, you can use the pace of the ball to hit a powerful shot. But hitting them down the ground is almost like playing against spinners so you will need to generate some pace of your own. In other words, you have to figure out a way to achieve momentum.
3) Using the feet
This is a technique more preferred to adjusting the back-lifts. The objective of using the feet is to throw the weight of the body behind the shot at the point of impact. It’s common to step out of the crease against the spinners but these days many batsmen successfully do it against fast bowlers as well.
Sachin Tendulkar is gifted with this skill. Players with a good timing do not need high back-lifts to send the ball across the stadium. What you have to do is to meet the ball at the right point of the downswing and then transfer the weight from one foot to another at the point of impact. It is more of an inherent skill and that’s why is rare to find. Less accomplished batsmen, despite high back-lifts and powerful arms, rarely manage to clear the fence because they don’t have a good timing.
5) Free the arms
To be able to swing your arms freely, you must have sufficient space. Bowlers try to eliminate this space by pitching the ball straight and the batsmen respond by clearing the front leg to create the necessary room. Suresh Raina is one batsman who does it to hit the ball in the midwicket area, or by going deep inside the crease to get under balls that are pitched up.
Hitting big is a skill that comes in handy for the batsmen to help put big scores on the board without having to run between the wickets. A lot of training goes into mastering these shots and making sure it is backed by fitness and strength.
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