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9 Must Haves For IPL 9


Number_one_Best_Greatest_cricketTwenty20 cricket has brought about a lot of changes in the game but none more than how the format has redefined the coaching manual. What weren’t even considered cricketing strokes or deliveries then are a must have now if a player wants to have an upper hand on the opposition. This being the ninth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) let’s look at nine new innovations that are must have to be successful in this format.

1. Upper Cut: Sachin Tendulkar started playing this stroke on the 2001-02 tour of South Africa. It is a shot played towards third-man region, usually attempted when the ball is pitched outside the off stump on a track with extra bounce. The key to playing this stroke is keeping the head still and showing the full face of the bat. If not executed well it can result in an edge to the keeper, slips or deep third man.

Advantage: Timed well, the ball has every chance of flying over the boundary for the maximum.

2. Ramp Shot: Former Zimbabwe batsman Douglas Marillie first played this against Australia in an ODI in 2002. Also used against medium pacers this is a back foot shot. The batsman plays it with his feet pointing down the pitch and when he is in a square-on position to the bowler. He can flick the ball over the top of short-fine leg fielder, with that same angled horizontal bat. If not timed well it could result in a leg before wicket. Conversely, the reverse ramp is when it is executed behind square on the off side.

Advantage: This will also result in atleast four runs because with a short fine leg or short third man in place not many have a fielder in the same direction in the deep.

3. Reverse Sweep: Though it was first played by former Pakistan batsmen Mushtaq Mohammad, and his brother Hanif Mohammad in the 1970s, in the modern game Zimbabwe’s Andy Flower played in the subcontinent to tackle spinners. This shot is played in the opposite direction to the standard sweep, thus instead of sweeping the ball to the leg side, it is swept to the off side, towards backward point or third man.

Advantage: It effectively reverses the fielding positions and thus is very difficult to set a field to tackle it.

4. Helicopter Shot: Made famous by Indian captain MS Dhoni (still not many can play it) when he began his international career in 2004. This shot is not a slog. Like playing it, explaining it is also difficult -- it is in essence a wristy whip shot, but requires a lot more bottom hand and has more pronounced bat swing after it is executed. If not implemented properly it can result in a toe injury, as the bat-speed is very high while playing it.

Advantage: In the death overs when the bowlers look to bowl full length balls, playing it well can result even the yorkers going for boundaries in the long on or deep mid-wicket region

5. Switch Hit: Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen is the one who first played it in 2008 against New Zealand. While executing this, a batsman changes his grip and posture to adopt a stance which is the mirror image of his traditional grip while the bowler is running in to bowl. It is a risky stroke because a batsman is less proficient by the other hand and chances of executing this shot can go haywire lobbing the ball up inside the circle.

Advantage: As a fielding team cannot maneuver fielders while the bowler is in his run-up, they effectively are wrong-footed with the fielders out of position.

6. Dilscoop: It is named after Sri Lankan batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan who for the first time used it to great effect in 2009 World T20. Often used against medium pacers, the batsman’s aim is to scoop the ball over the top of the wicketkeeper’s head, when he is standing up to the stumps. It is a front foot shot, where the bat is held in a more vertical position. The key to playing this stroke is playing it late and then ducking under, to avoid the ball hitting their helmet.

Advantage: With no fielders behind the wicketkeeper, if timed well the stroke will fetch atleast four runs.

7. Carrom Ball: This ball is released by flicking it between the thumb and a bent middle finger in order to impart spin. Though the delivery is known to date from at least the 1940s by Australia’s Jack Iverson, it was re-introduced into mainstream international cricket in the late 2008 by Sri Lanka spinner Ajantha Mendis. When the middle finger grips the ball towards the leg side, it spins from leg to off; when it is gripped towards the off side, it spins off to leg. Depending on the degree the ball is gripped towards the leg side, it could also travel straight.

Advantage: This is a very effective tool to keep the batsmen guessing about the direction the ball will spin.

8. Wide Yorker: This is not associated with any one particular bowler, infact, quite a few of them use it now. Unlike the traditional yorker which is aimed at the batsman’s toes this is aimed to land a bit wider from the stumps towards the off-side. The intention behind this is to reduce scoring as getting a wicket from this type of delivery is a little difficult. This is also something to consider if the batsman is shuffling before the ball is being delivered.

Advantage: With a packed off-side field this is a very effective weapon to reduce contain the batsmen.

9. Slow Bouncer: While bowling this delivery not only the run-up and action must have the same vigour but also it should also be delivered with a similar follow through. The only difference will be in the grip – bowlers either spread their fingers on release so that more of the energy in the wrist-action is dispersed, or cut their fingers across the ball as if bowling a fast spinner. The key is to ensure that the ball still rises up like a fast bouncer, but arrives around 15mph slower.

Advantage: Attempting a hook or pull to quick bouncer is instinctive, so if the ball arrives unexpectedly slower the batsman is already through with most of the shot, invariably missing it or mistiming it.

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