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The text below has been compiled for right handers. For Left-handers
interchange left for right.
[ Description of the grip - Video ]
[ Description of the stance - Video ]
The grip on the bat should be such that they work together with
flexibility to either play powerful strokes like drives, pulls and
cuts or to play delicate shots like the glance, late cut etc.
The hands should be close together towards the top of the bat
handle. The 'V' formed by the thumb and index finger of the top hand
must be in line with 'V' of the bottom hand and this should be in a
line between the edge of the bat and the splice.
This assists in playing on both sides of the wicket as well as of the
back or front foot.
A slight shift in the position of either hand is acceptable, so long
as the batsman is comfortable and it does not hinder his shots.
[ Description of the backlift - Video ]
The most important aspect of a stance is that it must be easy and relaxed.
The feet must be parallel to the crease with the right foot inside the
crease and the left foot outside. The legs must be spread apart
comfortably, about shoulder's width.
The front foot may be opened out slightly but care must be taken to ensure that the body is always in the side-on position to the bowler with the weight equally distributed between the feet.
The knee should be slightly bent and the batsman's weight must be on
the balls of the feet.
The toe of the bat rests behind the last toe of the back foot and the
left glove rests lightly on the thigh of the front foot.
The left shoulder points down the pitch and the head is turned fully
to face the bowler with the eyes level. Too upright or too crouched a
stance should be avoided.
The stance should be such that the batsman is ready to move quickly
either on to the front or back foot and be able to transfer his weight
from one leg to other comfortably.
Here too, individual variations are allowed so long as the body
position remains mostly sideways while playing the ball.
[ How to take guard - Video ]
Taking the stance described above the most natural lift of the bat
would be from the direction of the slips.
Like others things, the back lift also is dependent on the individual
styles of batsmen. The most important point to be remembered is that
whatever one's way of lifting the bat, at the point of contact the
ball must be played with the full face of the bat. This is true for
all the strokes in the game.
To play straight, at the top of the back lift, loop the bat and bring
it down over the line of the stumps, close to your pad.
Some prefer to keep the bat behind the right foot and lift it up
straighter and bring it down. Here again, the batsman must adopt what
is most comfortable for him.
A batsman takes guard from the umpire to know where he is standing on
the crease in relation to the stumps.
The bat may be placed on the crease either with the face in front or
the edges in front. The common guards asked for are leg stump, middle
stump and leg & middle. This is then marked with the boot on a turf
wicket or with a piece of chalk on other surfaces.
The stance must be taken with the toe of the shoe at the edge of this
For best judgement of line and length the head should be in a line
above the off stump, with the pads and bat covering the view of the
stumps from the umpire's position.
Ideally your guard, stance and general position on the crease must be
such that you are a bundle of coiled energy waiting to be