Video: Signature shot of 10 batsman over the years

Sudipta / 29 June 2015

Sourav Ganguly – off drive

Dada’s off drive is one of the prolific shots cricket has ever seen. He used to score runs from his signature off drive, it was elegant to watch Sourav Ganguly sending the ball through the square for four. But, he accomplished the most difficult shot -six from off drive- with ease. The elegant south paw, at his prime, played the shot with grace. David Gower another southpaw played the shot to perfection, but it was Ganguly who made the shot – a nostalgia.


Brian Lara – cover drive

There is something about the left hander that can make them appear more graceful than their right handed counterpart. Brian Lara’s cover drive was a dream. The bat came down, and the ball went scorching away through the covers. His predecessor Garry Sobers, another southpaw accomplished the shot to perfection.  


Adam Gilchrist – Pull

Cricket has seen great pullers and hookers over the years. One of them is Alvin Kallicharran who without helmet or cap – smashed Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson to the leg side boundary at The Oval during the first World Cup in 1975. But arguably the most consistent puller of the recent years was Adam Gilchrist. In 2014, during the Lord’s bicentenary match Gilchrist showed his glimpse of his magnificent pull. 

Virender Sehwag – Upper cut

Virender Sehwag, along with master blaster Sachin Tendulkar showed how to counter the bouncers during the 2003 cricket world cup. Both adopted cut shot that went over the player’s head through the point or third man for six. However, it is Virender Sehwag who played the shot with perfection particularly in Test cricket. His 309 against Pakistan at Multan was comprised of many upper cut.


Sachin Tendulkar – straight drive 

Sachin Tendulkar’s batting was, like the man himself, perfect. The shot I adore of Sachin is the straight drive off a ball pitching middle of the stump: Tendulkar used his front foot, and keep the balance on back foot before driving the ball straight to the long on boundary.


Don Bradman – Push to Leg

I have never seen live this icon of primitive era of cricket. But, I have seen a few video of his batting prowess from some films, thanks to internet.  He’s clearly a master of all the shots, but arguably the most telling of them was his forward press, bat and pad locked together, to clip the ball somewhere between square leg and midwicket. He would often do this early on – he liked to get off the mark first ball if possible – before unrolling the rest of the repertoire. The action in those old black-and-white films sometimes looks a little dated, but the Don’s defence is very modern indeed.

Tillakaratne Dilshan – scoop

The “Dilscoop”, the over-the-shoulder ramp shot named after the audacious Sri Lankan opener Tillakaratne Dilshan, is one of cricket’s most thrilling strokes – and one of the most dangerous, since a miscalculation might mean the ball thudding into the batsman’s helmet rather than the boundary. That’s why some of Dilshan’s team-mates apparently called it the Starfish shot, “because you wouldn’t play it if you had a brain”. Even though his name is now attached to it, the shot wasn’t really invented by Dilshan. Zimbabwe’s Dougie Marillier  produced it a couple of times against a sullen Glenn McGrath in an one-dayer in Perth in February 2001, while about 80 years before that the Australian wicketkeeper Hanson Carter used something that sounds rather similar – a “shovel” shot, supposedly perfected during his time as a Sydney gravedigger. 

Viv Richards – Flick to midwicket

Viv Richards’ driving was brutal – remember Bob Willis’ Test career coming to a close in 1984, as Viv smashed him down the ground – but perhaps he adopted his signature shot from Don Bradman: a big stride forward to a ball pitched on good length, then the bat whipped across and powered the ball towards midwicket. There were several, against handy bowlers like Ian Botham and Derek Pringle, in that amazing 189 not out in a one-day international at Old Trafford in 1984. I suppose he must occasionally have missed it, but I don’t remember very many. 

Kevin Peterson –Switch hit

Love him or hate him, Kevin Pietersen made (and is still making) quite a splash. The one-legged “flamingo” on-drive was an early trademark, but he made more headlines later with his switch hit, changing from a right-hander to a leftie and smacking the ball away behind him. The stroke even provoked discussion at Lord’s about its legality; thankfully the lawmakers recognised the excitement it generated.

MS Dhoni- Helicopter shot

Who can forget that helicopter shot of MS Dhoni off Nuwan Kulasekara in the final of 2011 World Cup. Captain MS Dhoni won world cup for India with huge six over the long on. The shot is typical Dhoni shot. He uses his back foot and lifts the yorker ball with huge muscle power for six. He first showed this innovative shot in 2004/2005 during the Pakistan’s tour of India. His 148 off 123 balls was comprised of couple of helicopter shot, Pakistani bowling attack comprised of Naved-ul-Hasan Rana, Mohammed Sami, Abdul Razzaq and Shahid Afridi at Visakhapatnam against Pakistan had to face his wrath. 

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