The game of cricket is filled with numerous thrilling bits and pieces. One such exciting aspect of the game is the innovation that the batsmen have introduced in the game. Cricket is no more a game of orthodox grounded strokes.
With the advent of T20s, batsmen have come up with several new ways of scoring runs. Dil scoop, Reverse Sweep, Switch hit and Reverse flick etc have been the advancements in the batsmen’s armoury.
Out of all the enhancements in batting, the shot that thrills the most is the helicopter shot. Deadly yorker been hit brutally to the boundary rope is indeed a jaw-dropping stuff. It derives its name from the manner that it is played. The swing of the bat resembles the rotation of the wings of a helicopter.
Whenever someone talks about the helicopter shot, the first thing that flashes into our minds is the name of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The canny Indian wicket keeper proudly owns the shot. He has an unmatched style of playing the shot which is highly unorthodox in the game of cricket.
Even though Dhoni is a prime exponent of the shot, he was not the first one to showcase it at international level. The Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar first played this shot in an ODI against England at Chester-le-Street in Durham in 2002. His shot played towards deep mid wicket earned him a boundary. He again tried it a few balls later and collected only a single.
Since then, this shot was extinct from the game till Dhoni brought it to the cricketing world in 2006 against England in an ODI at Goa. He hammered a full-length delivery from James Anderson in such a manner that the bowler, the crowd and the commentators were all perplexed by his actions.
He brought his bat down at a fearsome speed, spanked the ball over long on and his body moved in the opposite direction of the shot as if the momentum of the ball was transferred in a reverse way. His bat made a full 360 degrees rotation. This is where the name helicopter was given to the shot.
It is fair to say that Tendulkar introduced the shot, but it was Dhoni who perfected it and used it in a hugely effective mannerism. Where Tendulkar extracted one off boundaries by the shot, Dhoni has sent the ball out of the stadiums on plenty of occasions.
There have been instances that a few other batsmen have used this shot like Ben Cutting, Mohammed Shehzad etc. But Dhoni well and truly is the proprietor the chopper.
The reason why it is appealing to the viewers so much is that it is played off the most difficult delivery in cricket which is the yorker. Most batsmen find it extremely tough to dig the yorker out and at the most they manage to hit it away for singles.
A boundary off a yorker is very much unimaginable unless the batman does something extraordinary like a helicopter shot. The crowd goes absolutely berserk when the batsman uses this shot to send the ball packing.
MS Dhoni is a hugely bottom hand dominated batsman. He possesses amazingly strong wrists and forearms. He stays deep into the crease to counter the yorkers, maintains a high back lift, plays the ball right underneath his eyes and uses the power of his bottom hand to lift the ball in the air.
With immense power that he generates from the bat, the ball goes sailing over the fence.
His shot against a Lasith Malinga’s yorker to the deep mid wicket in the IPL and the shot against James Faulkner at Bangalore in an ODI that went out of the park are the two most watchable shots of his career. The shear awestruck that he leaves the crowd into with his strokes is the most astonishing aspect of his batting.