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Cricket is a batsman's game. The rules are certainly tilted in the batsman's favour and the crowds prefer to watch a batsman destroying an attack far more than the reverse scenario.

Much of batting, like any other aspect of the game, is played out in the mind. Apart from basic technique, the ability to plan an innings and adapt to the different conditions and situations that may be confronted in the middle are paramount.

The basic elements of batting are the grip, the stance and the back lift. Once these are got out of the way, an aspiring batsman can learn the wide range of strokes which makes batting such a pleasing spectacle.

The art of executing elegant drives, delicate cuts and ruthless pulls are all described in detail but batting is not just about offensive strokes. As the old saw goes, defence can sometimes be the best form of attack and the forward and backward defences are just as important weapons in every batsman's armoury. Classic examples of these shots by some of the best batsmen in the game today are on view here.

Desmond Haynes
"Viv Richards taught me that "when you go to the crease, you are in total control of the situation, everything that's around you is secondary" Watch Desmond Haynes imitate the inimitable Viv Richards swagger [More]

David Gower
David Gower
"He subordinated that talent in the name of making runs, in getting the percentages right in his favour " David Gower paints character sketches of Geoff Boycott & other England colleagues [More]
Greg Chappell
Greg Chappell
"I've seen some great players.But to think that the next best player after Bradman averages 40 runs a game less is hard to imagine." Greg Chappell on the Don and the Australian high road to success [More]

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