The Art of Batting - I
- By Polly Umrigar
[ A ] GENERAL
This man always appears
to have plenty of time
to play his strokes
Batsmanship is an art that consists of timing,
judgment, temperament and concentration.
One hallmark of good batting is that the player
appears to have plenty of time in which to play his
shots. Some players are marvellous in the nets, but
cannot reproduce their form in matches. Others are
poor net players, but succeed in matches because
they possess the so-called big match temperament.
Hand in hand with temperament must go
concentration, which has to be cultivated by anyone
who wishes to rise to international standard. Also,
he should get into the habit of watching the
bowler's hand when the latter is in the act of
delivering the ball, and follow the ball in the
air, from the pitch till it touches the bat. A
batsman should be able to see the ball turning in
the air as it comes down the pitch towards him when
the bowler is a slow spinner.
Batting at the nets is the first method of
improving one's efficiency in batting.
Throughout his career, a batsman, even though he
may have achieved fame, must practice at the nets.
It is always a good idea to try and obtain net
practice against the type of bowlers who worry you
the most or whom you expect to play in forthcoming
Coaching is necessary for every budding cricketer.
However, coaches should always build upon and
improve the existing talent. It is seldom wise to
completely alter a player's style or try to mould
every player into precisely the same type. Coaches
should devote more of their time to things where
there should be basic soundness, irrespective of
grip, stance, stroke production etc. Footwork is
one of the keys to great batsmanship.
[ B ] TAKING GUARD
Every batsman upon arriving at the crease must take
There are three common positions
I. Middle stump
II. Leg stump
III. Middle and leg or two legs.
The sole purpose of taking guard is to enable the
batsman to judge the direction of the ball relative
to his wicket. The batsman marks a line from the
[ C ] THE GRIP
How to grip a bat depends on the batsman's method.
Some batsmen have a low grip, in that they hold the
bat low down the handle. Others hold the bat in the
middle of the handle, and there are some who have a
very high grip. Whatever be the grip, the two hands
should be very close to one another - in fact just
about touching when the batting gloves are on. If
the right hand is kept far down the handle, then
the batsman is likely to have good defensive
control and will be able to play strokes behind the
wicket splendidly, but his driving will not bew up
to the mark. If the two hands are kept very high up
on the handle, then the batsman will have a high
back lift and will be able to drive the ball with
power. However, he will always be prone to snick
the ball in the slips. It is therefore, always
advisable to keep the two hands in the 'medium'
position for maximum power and control.
[ D ] THE STANCE
Once again, we cannot lay down any hard and fast
rules because test players have been successful
with quite different stances. However, the initial
position when awaiting delivery of the ball should
be one wherein the batsman is comfortably relaxed
and well balanced, so that he is able to go forward
or backwards, or attack or defend with equal
readiness. One should not crouch right over or
stand completely erect.
John wright, coach of the indian team, works on
yuvraj singh's stance
1: keep a gap of about 6" apart.
2: keep their feet together The
rear foot should be atleast a couple of inches
behind the batting crease.
This is to allow for a slight drag when playing
forward. Remember, the foot must be behind the
crease to avoid a stumping. On the line is out.
A stance is of three types. The type varies with
the direction in which the front toe points:
1: Towards Gully
2: Towards Cover point
3: Towards Extra cover
To be continued...
The Art Of batting -