Radical shots that have evolved cricket

Cricket is evolving and more so in the batting department. A few strokes – unorthodox at one time - now form a part of the modern cricketer’s repertoire.

Cricket is always known to be a gentleman’s game – a sport which is played in the right spirit and also with good technique. However, with the advent of technology, we can see plenty of different shots being played which tests the captaincy and also the skill of the bowlers from the opposition. Let us have a look at some:

Reverse Sweep

WILLIAM WEST / AFP

The infamous Mike Gatting dismissal during the 1987 World Cup final comes to mind, which resulted in Australia winning the coveted trophy for the first time. However, a few players went on to perfect this shot – Andy Flower, Jonty Rhodes, Eoin Morgan and recently Glenn Maxwell. It is highly productive as it sees the ball which has been usually pitched outside leg stump travel over point and third man.

Switch Hit

DAN HIMBRECHTS / AFP

Invented and used mostly by one man – Kevin Pietersen - this shot came into a lot of controversy as it completely changed the stance of the batsman. Say if he is a right-hander, then this shot turned him into the opposite as the bottom hand switches to the top one in this shot. Australia’s David Warner started to perfect this shot but then stopped using it regularly owing to the controversy involved.

Paddle Scoop

IAN KINGTON / AFP

This shot came into the eyes of everyone when Zimbabwe’s Douglas Marillier used it repeatedly against Zaheer Khan and Anil Kumble in an ODI in India. He had used it previously against Australia as well but the former saw him take his team home in a dead run chase. Tillakaratne Dilshan is a fine example of someone who plays this shot effectively. Highly irritating for the bowler, this shot sees the batsman take the ball from outside off stump and scoop it over the keeper.

Upper Cut

MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP

A high-risk shot, but extremely productive as well. In this case, the batsman arches back and guides a short ball over the slip cordon to the third man fence. The famous India-Pakistan clash in the 2003 World Cup saw Sachin Tendulkar use this shot plenty of times and has now become a productive shot for many batsmen.

Helicopter Shot

INDRANIL MUKHERJEE / AFP

This shot from MS Dhoni left everyone in awe when he used it in ODI. Getting his bat down from a high angle and then swinging it in a typical helicopter fashion over long on/mid-wicket. Not many have tried it and only Mohammad Shahzad from Afghanistan was able to recreate Dhoni’s magic once.

Short-arm Jab

PUNIT PARANJPE / AFP

This shot involves a lot of skill from the batsman. It is low on power and depends more on timing. It is a shot which sees the batsman get his bat down to play a shot but only in half motion. The rest is completed by the pace of the bowler. Virender Sehwag and MS Dhoni are fine exponents of the short arm jab and play a lot of half pulls, half flicks by this technique.

Flamingo Flick

MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP

Highly artistic shot. The batsman looks to flick the ball but in the process, his back leg rises in the air, almost 45 degrees horizontally, making it look like the way a flamingo stands. Hence the name. Kevin Pietersen and Yuvraj Singh are two of the batsmen who come to mind when talking about this shot.

Reverse scoop

ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP

The mirror image of the paddle scoop. Not too different from the reverse sweep, just that this one goes more finer, intentionally either over short third man or over the slip cordon. High-risk shot and needs lot of skill and timing.

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