Horizontal Bat Strokes - Part II
THE HOOK AND PULL
The execution of both strokes begins in a similar
manner, but the final few movements are different.
Keep three things in mind when you play these
A. Always get inside the line of the short ball.
B. If you want to hit the ball along the ground, ensure that
you roll your wrists at the point of impact.
C. Remember that the pace of the ball might force you to
'hurry up', thereby increasing the chances of your
making a mistake. Hence, attempt these strokes only
after you have practised them and feel reasonably
confident of executing them well.
HOW TO PLAY THE HOOK
Michael Vaughan hooks
Raise the bat straight behind you, keeping your
knees and elbows flexed. When facing fast bowlers,
lift the bat a little earlier than usual.
(B) Keep your head still and focus on the ball.
2(A) Move the right foot backwards (for 'righties')
and across the line of the ball, so that your head
is inside the line of the ball and the body is
facing the bowler.
(B) Start stretching your arms outwards at full length as you swing the
bat across the path of the ball.
(C) Transfer your weight onto the back foot.
3. Swing the bat horizontally across the path of
the ball with the arms fully extended.
Your body should rotate, pivoting on the right
foot. A hook can either be played high in the air,
or along the ground. To keep the ball on the
ground, the batsman should roll his wrists at the
point of impact.
A word of caution - Be prepared to duck if you do
not hit the ball. The hook can be a risky shot. You
can get a top-edge and give a catch on in the
fine-leg / long-leg region, or you can even get hit
on the upper part of the body if you miss it. Some
batsmen have managed to play the ball onto their
face or head and sustain serious injuries!
This stroke should be attempted only if you are an
experienced batsman and 'hooker'
The left-handed version - Brian Lara pulls
is easier to play than the hook. As in the hook,
the bat is swung horizontally across the path of
the ball with the arms extended and the right foot
acting as a pivot. Your body should not rotate as
much as it does while playing the hook. The ball is
'pulled' squarely along the ground or over the
infield, on the leg side. Normally, the pull is
played in front of square. At the end of the shot,
the body-weight is transferred onto the left foot.
At the completion of the pull shot, the body-weight
should be transferred onto the right leg (for
right-handers) in the follow-through.
Among the great pullers in today's times are Ricky
Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. Sir Don
Bradman. The 'best of them all', was a master of
this stroke. He must have scored nearly 40% of his
first-class runs with the pull!
THE HOOK AND THE PULL -
The main difference between the pull and the hook
is that a pull is generally played off a delivery
that is chest-high or even slightly lower, whereas
the hook is played to a ball above shoulder-height.
While executing the pull, your footwork should get
you across the line of the delivery, while on the
other hand, you need to be just inside the line or
within the line of the delivery while playing the
The range of the pull is between mid-on and
square-leg, whilst the range of the hook is between
square-leg and fine-leg.