The gentleman’s game which used to attract cricket lovers to the stadiums to watch their stars play elegant cover drives and wristy leg glances at one point of time has now changed big time. Today’s fast forward platform doesn’t allow players to stick to text book shots. The massive run chases at skyscraper like run-rates urge the batsmen to move out of their shells and try things out of the box to get the ball past the fielders and send it to the stands. T20s have taken a leaf out of the street cricket where one has to sneak runs out of tricky situations. Here is a list of a few innovative shots that batsmen have managed to come up with, in order to break the shackles and express sovereignty over the bowlers.
1. The Upper Cut – Sachin Tendulkar:
When you hear the name of the “God of Cricket” its a tad surprising to watch him playing a shot which is not one of his forte. But he does have a number of shots which leave the opponent bowlers jarred. One of them is “The Upper Cut”. Upper Cut is a shot which is adapted by the batsmen to tackle the bouncers at speedy wickets. Tendulkar showcased this shot against Shoaib Akhtar in WC 2003 and Brett Lee in the Tour Down-Under 2003-04.
2. The Marillier Shot – Douglas Marillier:
Douglas Marillier of Zimbabwe used this shot to devastating effect against the leading bowlers of the adversaries. The batsmen who could have this shot in his arsenal could really cheek in valuable runs in the death overs. The batsman angles the bat in a manner which makes the ball fly over the shoulders. After he took the bowlers like Glenn Mcgrath and Zaheer Khan on in the slog overs, the state of the bowlers was termed to be “Marilliered” . This shot is more renowned today as the “Dilscoop” as an exclusive of the Sri Lanakan batsman T. M. Dilshan.
3. The Helicopter Shot – M S Dhoni:
This shot requires a wristy whip with a lot more bottom hand. ‘Helicopter shot” is named due to the way it is played. The bat swings like the blades of a helicopter in the follow through of the shot. The team-mates of M S Dhoni have acknowledged it as Dhoni’s exclusive. Helicopter Shot is one lethal weapon to use against the yorkers. The whole weight is transferred on the back of the batsman to swing the bat at a delivery of around 140 kmh. This shot was even advertised by Pepsi Co during a campaign for a T20 World Cup.
4. The Switch Hit – Kevin Pietersen:
Kevin Pietersen executed this shot for the first time in a match against New Zealand. To switch hit a batsman needs to change from right handed to left handed or vice-versa before the bowler delivers. This shot generated a few allegations that Switch-hit is unfair on the opposition bowler and the Captain as the field is set on the initial batting stance of the batsman. KP has managed to master this shot over the time and play it to good extent in the IPL also.
5. The Eoin Morgan Reverse Sweep
Eoin Morgan is that extreme T20 player who has the power to bludgeon and slap the ball of any length to any corner of the field. But his armoury has an unique shot which is the Reverse Sweep or The Rampaul Shot viz. got its name because Ravi Rampaul was the bowler under attack. The Rampaul Shot is somewhat similar to the flashy reverse sweeps we are accustomed to watch from the likes of A B De Villiers. Morgan explains that this shot can be played effectively when the fine-leg and the third man are inside the ring. To play this, grip on the handle is changed latest till the time when the bowler’s arm reaches the highest point of delivery and the bottom hand is very light.