There is a little friend of mine who dreams of playing for team India, which I would guess 8 out of 10 Indian boys have, including me. In pursuit of his dreams, he recently joined a renowned cricket coaching centre. Yesterday, when I visited his house to play FIFA12 with him, I found him practising the classic cover drives and defensive strokes repeatedly with a willow in his hand in front of a mirror. When I asked him the reason behind it he replied ,”My coach told me to practice these shots for at least an hour everyday which will help to enhance my batting skills”. So its seems to be quite obvious that all the cricketing coaches stress on these basic cricketing shots which is the stepping stone for all the aspiring Sachins and Souravs.
But now with the evolution of this beautiful game, batting seems to have become more demanding and challenging. With the bowlers repeatedly bowling those slower ones and yorkers the batsmen now have to up their ante. Their armoury needs to be packed with all the unorthodox cricketing shots that could make the bowlers go dumbstruck.
And it looks like the batsmen have responded quite well to this situation. They have been able to bring into play some of the most amazing and mind boggling cricketing shots that the bowlers could not have dreamt in their worst nightmares. Here I am going to tell you guys about those three shots that revolutionised cricket and stroke play in particular.
So lets start with the countdown:
3 - Switch Hit
Inventor- Kevin PietersenYear- 2008Opposition- New Zealand
“Pff..! the spinner is again bowling a nagging middle stump line with a dominant leg side field. Trying to cut him can prove to be risky. Then what should I do to score runs at a faster pace?” This thought might have kept pricking KP’s mind until he finally came up with The Switch Hit or The Alti Palti Shot as he refers to it in the Pepsi Change the Game commercial. The inspiration of this shot may have come from the traditional reverse sweep. But by transferring the grip from one hand to another the batsman is able to generate much greater amount of brutal force behind the shot that would help them clear the ropes by a comfortable margin. Australia’s David Warner is also another very prolific and profound executor of the switch hit. There were many questions raised about whether the shot was a legitimate one when it was introduced. Some argued that it gives the batsman an unfair advantage over the bowler because the field is set based on the batsman’s initial stance while the others heralded it as a display of pure skill. Finally in June 2012, International Cricket Council legalised the shot and decided not to to make any changes in the current regulations.
2 - The ScoopInventor- Douglas MarillierYear- 2002Opposition- India
Wait a minute! Did you think the shot’s name was Dilscoop? and the inventor of this shot was Tillakaratne Dilshan? Then think again my friends. I don’t know whether to consider myself lucky or not because I was tuned into Doordarshan and watching this match live at that time when this tail ender named Douglas Marillier tamed Zaheer khan with his scoop shots and steered zimbabwe to a historic win. This shot involves using the bat as a ramp to flick the ball backwards over the batman’s shoulder in the fine leg region. It is indeed a very risky and unorthodox shot but if successfully connected, can result in devastating the oppositions mindset and field placings. This shot seemed to have faded away soon after that fateful day until Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan brought it back at a larger stage in the ICC 2009 World T20 and this became the highlight of his success in the tournament. He also used this weapon efficiently and effectively in the IPL which earned his shot the nick of Dilscoop. India’s Robin Uthappa and kiwi wicketkeeper Brendon Mccullum are also amongst the prominent scoopers of the white cherry. Another name we cant afford to miss is Abraham Benjamin De Villiers who made his mark with the Vilscoop (a similar version of the scoop shot) in the last season of IPL by smashing his colleague Dale Steyn for 23 runs in an over.
1 - The Helicopter ShotInventor- Mahendra Singh Dhoni Year - 2008Opposition - England
The most toughest ball to hit for a sixer is undoubtedly a full pitched toe crusher but MSD made that possible. It was the death overs of the match and as expected, James Anderson bowled a yorker to Dhoni and the next thing that happened is termed as The Helicopter Shot. Dhoni just revolved his back hand like the blades of a helicopter and smoked Anderson out of the park over long on. Although there have been many videos on the net showing that its was the Master Blaster and not Dhoni who invented the shot, but after viewing the video I found that the shots Sachin hit were not the helicopter shot. He just used his wrist to flick the ball towards mid-wicket region and a helicopter shot is always meant to be dead straight over the bowler’s head. Some may say that I am a huge fan of Dhoni so I have given him the no.1 spot but that is totally incorrect. My prime reason for giving him the top spot is that he is the solitary executor of this shot and he converted the most lethal delivery into a piece of cake to be hit into the crowd. Thus, I think he deserves the numero uno spot.
These shots of the new cricketing era seemed to have redefined cricket and are taunting the bowlers to think out of the box. Some of you might disagree with my choices, so please comment with your choices.