There is a true word saying that Practice makes a man perfect. If you are trying to be good on anything you need to keep on practicing very hard and efficiently. Every professional cricketer in the world keeps up their tempo of practicing regularly to play better shots, to bowl better lengths and also to field better. However, practicing without a proper guidance and without knowing what is right and what is wrong will never help you out. If you need to be a good batsman, you also need to know the basics and then practice accordingly. Here is a guide on How to Be a Good Batsman!
Observing and Deciding the Ball
Step 1: Watch The ball
Before you play your strokes, the first thing which you need to think about is concentration. To be a good batsman, having a concentration and keeping a focus on the ball is necessary. If the ball pitches wide, it is better to leave the ball avoiding an attempted drive. If you attempt to drive it, you might be caught by the slip fielder or even the wicketkeeper. You need to adjust your position just as the ball approaches to play the shot better. You can use the front foot as well as the back foot to get into a better position to play the shot. To determine the ball, you can easily check out three things:
- Watch out for the bowler’s hand as well as the seam position of the ball.
- Closely observe the ball from the hand to adjust the swing or the turn of the ball.
- Check the pitch of the ball and then use your feet accordingly.
Step 2: Decide what shot to Play
To decide what shot you must play; you need to first focus on the ball which is coming. Move your front foot slightly towards the ball as the ball approaches you. Now you might decide to play the shot if the bat is full. If the ball is dropped short, then move your back foot backward to retain the body weight on your waist. This will help you in picking the short ball perfectly. To adjust the shots perfectly, you need to keep on practicing and the short balls and the good length balls individually to get used to the drive. Try to play the ball late as it will help you to observe the late swing of the ball and also for the corrected pull shot. Playing late will generally give you the advantage to check your strokes if you are not confident enough!
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Step 1: Swing of the Bat
With the help of the new dimensions of bats that have come, it is much easier for every batsman to let the bat swing. Playing through the line of the ball is something evident and gives it a powerful texture. If you feel confident enough to go for a cross batted shot, you may, but it will indeed be risky. Playing a cross batted shot will always require more practice and also more eye setting. Try to avoid holding the bat tightly as it might decline the stroke of the bat. Remember one thing that playing through the line of the ball will give a fair advantage because of the power generated from the bat.
Step 2: Timing
If you consider most of the idols from international cricket, the concept of timing has achieved success for many cricketers all around the world. Timing is all about concept and how much you observe the ball. To find the gaps between the fielders, you need to have a proper timing with the ball so that you can play the strokes. If you just bag on power without any timing, the ball is likely to travel less than 10 meters. Thus, it is necessary that you aim for a well timed shot by increasing your focus on the game. If you watch the ball closely and get an idea of the swing or the turn, you can always time the ball late.
Step 3: Straight and Steady
One of the key things which you must always require is to hold the balance of the body while you are playing the shot. Always try to keep a minimum distance between your bat and the wickets and yourself as well. If you keep a minimum distance between yourself as well as the bat, it will reduce the chances of getting out if you certainly lose the balance. If you cannot keep your balance properly and suddenly a god length delivery comes which takes you to a surprise with the height, you might end up in hitting the wickets. The bat follows on also determines how long shot will go and it is more efficient if you have a proper balance maintained.
Step 4: Weight Transformation
Though this is a very technical concept, the Weight Transformation of the body is something which you cannot leave out so easily. To drive a ball, you need to use the front foot just as the body weight transforms into the front foot as well. Placing the foot in the corrected position will transform the weight quickly which will result in a much better shot. However, if you are deciding yourself to play with your back foot, you can lean a little backward. Once you lean backward, the weight transforms into the waist and the lower end to the hip to the hamstring. Technically, it helps you to stay balanced and not fall off. Thus, always try to get your works done the best way in order to be a good batsman.
Step 5: Observing the Field
If you need to become a good batsman the first thing that you need to know is the field placements and what shot should you play. But before that, almost every good batsman can guess what next ball is going to come according to the field setting. Usually, with nine fielders on the ground, the fielding team makes it a combination of 5 fielders on the off side and four fielders on the on-side. If you can observe a fielder extra on the off side, and the bowler is a seamer/spinner, you can easily guess that he is trying to bowl an out swing/ leg spin delivery.
However, if you see that the bowler is an off spinner or even a swinger, but he has kept four fielders on the on-side, you can easily guess that he will attack the stump line. Another way to guess the delivery is by looking at the position of the keeper. If the wicketkeeper is leaning more towards wider than the off stump, the bowler will bowl wider than the wickets and will try to swing it. If you see the keeper moving up and closer to the stumps, the bowler is likely to reduce the pace of the ball or even hold the line much straighter.
Step 6: Picking the Ball
Another major factor which you must always put in your mind is the length of the ball which is just about to come. It is evident that every bowler will try to change his deliveries to make it tougher for the batsman to guess. However, a good batsman is always able to pick the better balls and play the shots in the loose balls. So, to read the ball and what shot to play you need to understand the pitch of the ball. Generally, from a bowler’s perspective, there are three lengths t deliver the ball- the short pitch, the good length and the full balls.
To understand what length the ball will be, you need to understand the release point of the ball from the bowler’s hand. If the bowler releases the ball with the arms straight and upright, the ball might just be full. Constantly as the bowler’s arm decreases the angle of the ball, the length of the ball comes to be shorter. For a good length delivery, he might bring his arms down just a little than full to deliver perfectly. However, if the ball is pitched shorter to you, you might always have the option to pull it or even to duck under it. Thus, understanding the release point of the ball is very important to pick the ball properly.
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Step 7: Understand the condition of the ball
A Good batsman never underestimates a bowler. But to play his shots better, he tries to understand the condition of the ball. It is evident that if you are opening the innings, the ball will be new and fresh. There are chances of more swing and the ball kidding on the surface. Playing the drives will be good but also risky at the same time. However, just as the game progresses, the ball ill loose it’s shine and will start on to become softer. This allows the ball to turn more and to stick to the surface. At this point of time, the speed of the ball will start to decrease, and thus you need to use more of the feet in order to reach to the pitch of the ball. So to play the shots better, you need to understand the condition of the ball. Even a fast bowler might not meet your expected pace when the ball is soft.
Step 8: Understanding the Pitch
One of the major things which should always play to your mind is the condition of the pitch. Have a close look the pitch of the ground and observe it closely. Use your finder to find how hard the surface is. If the surface is hard, the ball will bounce more. In such conditions, even a good length delivery might be hitting your cheeks. However, if you see a touch of greenery within the pitch, you can expect the ball to skid through. The ball might just be increasing the pace after it pitches and keeping low.
However, if you find the pitch to be a little wet, you can expect more turn to come after there is a hard sun. There are also many pitches formed where the top surface is dry and the under that the pitch is still wet. It is known to be a double paced wicket. On such a pitch, the ball might both skid through and also turn. Using your feet while batting on such a pitch is just a must!
Step 9: Play the Shots Late
If you are looking forward to concentrating more on timing and placing the ball in the gaps, then playing late is just a key thing you would always require. If you hit the ball early just after it is released from the fingers of the bowler, you might just get out by giving a catch. After observing the pitch, if you see the ball till late, you can even take your bat away from that ball which has a very late swing. Such balls can be very dangerous for you, and if there is a late swing of the ball, you might be caught behind. Thus, playing the ball late and opting for the timing is indeed a necessary thing to consider.
Step 10: Position Yourself
Just as the body positioning is important to play your shots, it is also important to prepare an eye set on the ball. Often many batsmen face problems with timings if they do not set the eyes. If you are willing to get the best results, then you must set your eyes with the ball and keep all the factors in your mind. Watch every moment till the ball is released from the hands of the bowler and how much of flight it has. Now adjust your front foot according to the pitch of the ball determining the length on which it will drop. Once you understand this quickly, you can now allow the swing of the bat to the direction where the fielder is not present. Try to middle the ball for the maximum power generated in order to fetch more runs.
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Cricket is a funny game where sledding is done regularly to play with the temper of the batsman. A Fielder tries to sledge the batsman in order to get him angry and play shots which will get him out. It is essential to keep calm while batting and focus more on the game than being frustrated. If you lose your calm, you will automatically lose your timing as well. Thus to get the best results, a batsman must think of where the field positions are and what timing should he connect the ball with. Middling the ball with the blade of the bat is very important to score runs.
Though these tips might just help you a lot in order to find success with your batting skills, it is evident that you must require regular practice in order to get all your needs fulfilled. The simple concept of playing better cricket and being a good batsman is just with more practice. With more and more practice you can make it far better for your timing as well as shot selection. Follow this guide on How to Be a Good Batsman in order to get better results of the game. Remember one this that Along with practice, you also need the experience to play better cricket!