Being an international-calibre cricket batter entails much more than simply whacking a leather-bound ball of cork and twine with a broad wooden bat. Successful international cricket players practice a series of time-honoured techniques that allow them to play to the best of their abilities. These techniques include mastering the fundamentals of batting and possessing a full arsenal of shots to employ during match play.
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Few cricket players make it to the international level of play without practicing the fundamentals of batting. The most basic fundamentals of batting are the way in which a batter holds the bat and footwork. To grip a cricket bat, place your writing hand below your non-writing hand; if you're right handed, your right hand sits below your left hand when gripping the bat. Rest your non-writing hand on the thigh of the same leg -- left hand on left thigh -- and form a "V" with the thumb and forefinger of that hand when gripping the handle. Curl your writing hand under the handle of the bat as though you're lifting a weight. Improper grip impedes wrist and arm movement.
Mastering the proper stances and movements of cricket footwork impacts the ability of a batter. Footwork impacts all aspects of batting, from shots to mindset to running ability.
Successful international cricket batters exercise mental fortitude. Batters must possess the ability to have a number of mindsets, and must practice aggression simultaneously with defence. Remember when you're batting that the role of the batter entails protecting the wicket as much as it entails scoring points. Your approach to batting at a given point during a match affects the manner in which you bat.
If you assume a defensive mindset, your feet adjust to assume a defensive position. You block and propel the ball as much with your body as you do the bat. If you assume an aggressive mindset, your body should automatically adjust to put all of its weight and strength into smashing the ball with the bat. An important technique for any international cricket batter entails aligning mentality, footwork, stance and body positioning.
Strategy weights heavily on the art of cricket batting. More than a dozen types of shots exist for the batter to chose from. Each shot suits not only different game situations, but also the strengths and weaknesses of a batter. A batter who runs slowly must place the ball differently than a quick batter. Types of shots in cricket include sweep, reverse sweep, hook, square cut, square drive, lofted drive, straight drive, cover drive and pull. Proper footwork proves key in mastering shots, as the direction of your feet impact the direction in which the ball moves.
A sure technique for international cricket batting success is practicing these shots as often as possible in match-like situations and understanding which shots best suit your strengths as a player. To measure your strengths and weaknesses as a player, assess your quickness, mental adaptability, decision-making skills and quickness and speed.
Every successful international cricket player knows that successful batting entails more than batting successfully. Hitting the ball is the first step in successful batting, but not the only step. Once you've hit the ball, run between the wickets as quickly as possible to rack up as many points as you can for your team. A great hit means nothing if you fail to garner a substantial number of points from it.
An important technique for any international cricket batter is successful running. Practice transitioning from the batting stance to a running stance such that your stroke leads directly to running, and turning on the wicket to run back. However, be wary of exposing too much of the wicket when preparing to run.
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