The hook shot is a horizontal shot played to a ball aimed at the chest and head of a batsman. It’s one of the most difficult shots and most beneficial for batsmen since it enables them to tackle bouncers (delivery by fast bowlers). The hook shot is a critical shot and needs a lot of practice. The batsman is at risk of getting hit in the eye or his face while playing this shot. If the shot is hit correctly, the batsman gets a boundary. However, if the batsman plays it early and is closer to the stumps then there are chances of being caught. This shot depends on the footwork (how quick they can be) of the batsman while facing bouncers. Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar excelled at this shot!
It’s always advisable to wear a helmet while practising this shot. Your entire concentration should be on the ball while playing this shot. This shot is played to a short delivery and involves rolling your wrist. Or you may hit the ball in the air for a six. In addition to this, you need to know where the fielders are because, given variable bounce, it is not always feasible to play this shot down. It’s advisable to duck or sway out of the way except that you are hopeful that you can dodge any fielders positioned to catch a thoughtless hooker. Here’s a stepwise description on how to play the hook shot:
As the backswings start, your head, shoulders and back foot also move backwards. You got to measure the distance and figure out the correct position in order to play this shot. Balance is the key to success here.
After the backswing, move your front leg back towards the leg side with your head slightly forward to form the base for the hook shot. After that raise your hands high and make a judgement whether to play the shot based on the bounce and line of the ball.
If you’re positive to hit the shot then stretch your arms in the air and swing them through before hitting the ball. Aim the bat across your body in front of your eyes and help the ball towards the boundary between square leg and fine leg.
This will be followed by both your legs facing in the direction the shot is being played. Or, your front leg will be raised above the ground with your body weight on the centre of your back foot. While trying this, make sure that you bring your head inside the line so that if you miss the ball it will pass safely over your front shoulder.
You may practise this shot using an imaginary ball with your trainer or an experienced teammate watching or in front of a mirror. Try to hook six balls. For the first two imaginary balls, try dodging by ducking down or swaying back. Try to balance yourself and move around as you hit the ball or you may have a feeder or make your friend deliver tennis balls towards your head. Try increasing the speed of the balls gradually and outfielders in position to catch so that you can calculate the accurate position.
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