Cricket is one of those games which has always given birth to innovation and new ideas. It has helped in the enhancement of the game. Inventing new shots to tackle the bowlers has always been the key motive of the batsmen. The batsmen have and are inventing new shots which have helped them in developing and bettering their own games.
There have been many in line who had started reinventing themselves and brought out their top shots with some imaginative names.
Long before England cricket hero Kevin Pietersen or ‘KP’ invented the much innovative ‘Switch Hit’ in international cricket, there were others in line too who had started reinventing themselves. Here’s a look back at the finest innovators in cricket and their signature shots that took the world of cricket by storm.
#1 MS Dhoni- Helicopter Shot
Not just here in India but internationally as well, MS Dhoni’s ‘helicopter shot’ won over many fans due to its unique style of hitting the ball. Especially the bowlers at the death feared MSD a lot since the former knew that the then-Indian skipper would launch them out of the park. He has developed this unique way of digging out the yorkers and sending the balls over the boundary lines.
#2 Sachin Tendulkar- Straight Drive
One can watch Sachin's straight drive for a hundred times and ask for more. That was the beauty of the master's incompatible stature. It wouldn't matter to him which bowler of the world was bowling to him. In a fraction of second, the ball would be seen running towards the fence. Even his paddle swipe, upper-cut, cover drives were sublime but the straight drive was special and a treat to watch.
#3 Kevin Pietersen- Switch Hit
Even though many veteran cricketers criticized the shot offered from Kevin Pietersen, his ‘switch hit’ went down well with the younger lot. Most of the younger generations called it a ‘way forward’ whereas the ex-cricketers called it a distraction to the bowlers. It was a shot which proved to be quite effective against the spinners. The new generation has adapted to this shot quite well and is frequently seen using this shot to good effect.
#4 Ricky Ponting- Pull Shot
Ponting, probably one of the best captains in cricket history, had mastered the art of pulling and hooking the ball. Anything above his waist area would be dispatched over the mid wicket area. He was a classy batsman and had other glamorous shots like cover drive and on-drive, but he was the best puller in the world for a reason. His pull shots hardly got him into trouble because he played the shot with finesse and ease.
#5 AB de Villiers- Lap Shot
AB de Villiers has rightly been called the 360-degree player. He has the ability to hit any kind of ball to any part of the ground. A blend of orthodox shots and unorthodox shots- this is how you define this man. Playing cricketing is tough but hitting a 145+ kmph delivery for a lap shot is not a child's play, and only ABD can do that. He did this with such grace that even cricketing greats would bow down before this great player.
#6 Tillakaratne Dilshan – Dilscoop
In his career, Sri Lankan opener Tillakaratne Dilshan never tried a creative shot like pulling the ball over the head but the former created a craze once the ‘dilscoop’ came into being. Dilshan tried this shot especially in the T20 internationals but has used it in the 50-over format as well. This shot seemed to be crazy but it proved to be quite effective once it was played.