How do power hitters clear the rope at will?
Throughout the twelve seasons of the IPL, we have seen many brutal examples of power hitting. Be it the brute strength of Andre Russell and MS Dhoni, or the way the diminutive Hardik Pandya gets so much power behind his shots; there has been no shortage of power hitters throughout the IPL. It's been a treat to watch so many power hitters who are all different in so many ways, yet effective in their own ways.
Here are the techniques of how they manage to clear the boundary with such ease as well as how they generate their brute strength.
It is a common misconception that the arms are where all the power comes from. But, it has to be noted that the most significant source of power is the core and the quads.
If you look at this picture of Andre Russell, you can see his powerful core muscles along with his arm muscles. The core is one of the biggest reasons behind his powerful striking. He has a high bat speed which results in his shots going a long way. The same applies to players like MS Dhoni who depend on an exceptional core and bat speed. In order to show to you that arms aren't everything, look at this picture of Hardik Pandya.
Do you see his arms compared to Russell's? Then how is his biggest six this season 104 meters while Russell's is 95?
"Hardik is a small guy but hits the ball a long way. And once he continues to practice well and evolve as a cricketer, you can see him doing great things not only for mumbai indians but by extension Indian cricket." - Kieron Pollard
This quote sums up what Hardik can do. Now how does he manage this? If you look at him when he is batting and in the field, you can see that he is a swift runner. While he isn't a Usain Bolt, he is without a doubt a quick runner. Due to his strong leg muscles, he is able to clear the boundary at will. This applies to Dhoni as well who generates most of his power through his legs.
What should be noted though is something that applies to most Indians. The helicopter shot is a shot that uses the wrists for power. If you look at the leading players who use that shot, MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, and Hardik Pandya come to mind. These players have powerful wrists which is why they are able to play the helicopter shot. Now coming to Hardik Pandya; his bat speed is not as high as some other players like Andre Russell. But what comes into play at the end of the shot is his remarkable wrist work. His strong wrists come into play at the end of the shot and add extra power to the shot. These wrists also help in playing uncomfortable shots as we saw him play multiple times. This is one area of cricket ruled by Indians. Be it VVS Laxman or MS Dhoni and now Hardik Pandya, the Indian players have been known for their exceptional wristwork, just like Carribean players are known for their brute strength.
So what is the reason behind the power of these players? Be it their wrists, their arms, their core or their legs, they all have multiple sources of power. In addition to this, there are factors of timing and technique as well. We know that Virat Kohli is probably stronger than the likes of Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya or even MS Dhoni. But, the reason behind his sixes not going too far is actually his orthodox technique. His technique allows him to strike fours at will but doesn't give him too much power behind his shots. Instead, it provides him placement. Furthermore, while he does have excellent timing, there are players with better timing such as Rohit Sharma who can hit the ball further despite not being as strong as Kohli. Hardik Pandya is an example of a player who uses his technique to hit all these sixes.
No ground is big enough for me I guess, I just trust my strength and trust my power. I have good bat speed. I trust that as well,"
"Hand-eye coordination is the key (for low full tosses) as they aren't easy to hit. I try short arm jabs as extending the arms can put you in trouble. Can't explain much, rather show that on the field." - Andre Russell
So what are the ingredients of power hitting? First comes the strength aspect, then there is also the hand-eye coordination and timing, and then finally the technique. No batsman is complete without bits of all of these ingredients. Because if power was all, why aren't the 150 kmph bowlers hitting the most sixes? There are some players who have a combination of these, and these players are the most prolific six hitters. The few players in this breed include Andre Russell, MS Dhoni, and Hardik Pandya.
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