4 most creative batsmen of the modern game
Budding cricketers are always taught to hit the ball with a straight bat, to get the body behind the ball and to maintain right balance and body posture. These are the pillars of batting on which many successful careers were built.
The time when fast bowling has been injected with heavy doses of variations and spinners have become a mystery to solve for the batsmen, creativity in batting becomes imperative in order to make the bowlers think.
Gone are the days when respecting good deliveries was a part of batting rulebook. Those were the days when a score of 200 in ODIs was considered just par. But the game has changed drastically over last decade or two and scores of 200 are sometimes not enough, even in T20Is. Achieving such scores at such a rapid rate require batsmen to be creative in order to hit even the good balls for runs.
As a result of this need for creativity in batting, many interesting shots have been developed, which makes the game of cricket even more entertaining and exhilarating. After crawling through my mental database I have come up with 4 such cricketers who have impressed one and all with their innovative batting style.
#4 Jos Buttler - England
The innovative and explosive wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler has become one of the most crucial members of the England batting lineup in limited overs cricket. Buttler has an innate sense of angles and uses it to perfection while batting. Carving out the ball pitched on leg stump line and hitting it over covers using his ultra-flexible and steel-like strong wrists is a trait rarely seen in English players. Buttler has mastered the modern-day shots - switch hit, reverse sweep and the ramp shot.
Confidently dancing down the wicket to spinners and the ability to play them with ease and grace makes him a very dangerous player. Buttler waltzed into the international scene during England's Champion's trophy campaign 2013 where he played a crucial role in finishing the innings with his hard-hitting and creative thinking.
He scored his maiden ODI century against Sri Lanka at home, off just 61 deliveries characterized by power hitting. Since then Buttler has never looked back and has become a vital member in England's limited overs setup. He has also had an extremely successful IPL career with over 1000 runs in 37 matches.
It is Buttler's steep growth in batting skillset after playing the IPL that prompted the English Cricket Board to send more English players to play in IPL.