Cricket is a game known for its various ways to hit the ball. There are different shots, both usual and unusual, that players use to score runs. In cricket, batsmen have specific shots for various types of deliveries.

The main shots include drives, cuts, glances, pulls, hooks, and sweeps. In modern cricket, there are also newer shots like the switch hit, scoops, and reverse sweeps that players use to surprise opponents.

Knowing these shots and when to use them is crucial for a batsman. The type of shot used depends on how the ball is delivered.

This article aims to explain all these cricket shots, both the standard ones and the innovative ones played by skilled players. We have collected the Top 20 Different Types Of Shots In Cricket here. Let’s look at them in detail.

Below is the list of Top 20 Different Types Of Shots In Cricket:

Sr. NoShot NamePlayers Who Play this shots
1Defensive Shots
2Cover DriveVirat Kohli, Joe Root, Kane Williamson
3Straight DriveSachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Kumar Sangakkara
4Backfoot DriveRahul Dravid, Steve Smith, Alastair Cook
5On DriveMahendra Singh Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, David Warner
6Off DriveKumar Sangakkara, Ricky Ponting, Hashim Amla
7Square DriveAB de Villiers, Ricky Ponting, Steve Smith
8Sweep ShotSachin Tendulkar, Kumar Sangakkara, Ricky Ponting
9Reverse SweepEoin Morgan, Glenn Maxwell, Jos Buttler
10Cut ShotVirender Sehwag, David Warner, Gordon Greenidge
11Square CutBrian Lara, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers
12UppercutMS Dhoni, AB de Villiers, David Warner
13Leg GlanceJoe Root, Kane Williamson, Cheteshwar Pujara
14Flick ShotVVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli
15Hook ShotViv Richards, Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara
16Switch HitKevin Pietersen, David Warner, AB de Villiers
17Helicopter ShotMS Dhoni
18Scoop ShotAB de Villiers, Jos Buttler, Tillakaratne Dilshan
19Ramp ShotAB de Villiers, Steve Smith, Soumya Sarkar
20Pull ShotBrian Lara, Virender Sehwag, Sir Vivian Richards

1. Defensive shots 

Defensive types of shots in cricket help protect the wicket from the ball. There are two types: front foot and back foot defence.

Front foot defence is used when the ball is near the stumps. To play it, move your front foot forward, keep the bat close to the ground, and block the ball without swinging the bat too much.

Back foot defence is for balls a bit shorter. Shift your weight to the back foot, keep the bat angled down, and block the ball without hitting it hard.

Both defences are crucial to protect the wicket in cricket, especially in Test matches, and they’re used when a player wants to ensure their safety without trying to score runs. These shots don’t make the ball travel far on the field.

2. Cover Drive

The cover drive types of shots in cricket are stylish shots. where the batter hits the ball towards the cover region using a straight bat.

It’s played by stepping forward onto the front foot and driving the ball between the straight and square areas on the off-side.

Players love to use this shot for good-length deliveries outside the off-stump. When done well, it looks beautiful, especially when lofted over the cover fielders. Virat Kohli, an Indian cricketer, excels in playing this shot. Similar to a straight drive but aimed towards the cover area, this shot requires timing and skill to execute properly.

3. Straight Drive 

The straight drive, types of shots in cricket that is a graceful shot where the batter hits the ball straight down the ground using a straight bat.

It’s played when the ball is around the stumps and of good length. To do this, step forward, bend your front leg slightly, keep your head over your knee, and hit the ball with the bat facing straight towards the bowler.

When done well, the ball goes past the umpire towards the sight screen. Players like Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli are known for their skill in this shot.

4.  Backfoot Drive

The backfoot drive is a classy types of shots in cricket. When the bowler bowls a good length or back of a length, batters shift their weight to their back foot and hit the ball towards the cover or cover-point region, which looks beautiful.

It’s a traditional shot played by batsmen on their back foot in front of the wicket on the off-side. The backfoot drive helps score runs between mid-on and cover from a delivery just short of a length, either on the stumps or outside the off stump.

To play it, move back towards the stumps, stand tall, keep your feet closer, and swing the bat through the line of the ball with a high front elbow.

You can hit towards mid-on for balls on the body or leg stump, straight down for middle or off stump deliveries, and through mid-off for balls just outside the off stump.

5. On Drive

The on-drive is a types of shots in cricket where the batter aims the bat face towards the long-on region while playing the ball. It’s typically used for full or good-length deliveries on the stumps.

Batsmen often use this shot to get singles against spinners, mostly on their front foot. There’s also a lofted version called the lofted on-drive, triggered when the ball is pitched in front of the batter’s feet, especially in a fuller length.

Usually, the on-drive becomes a preferred aggressive shot for batsmen. The on-drive is directed towards mid-on and long-on fielding positions and is offered for full-length deliveries aimed at the leg stump.

It’s similar to a straight drive but aimed towards mid-on. Batsmen play this shot on the front foot by bringing the bat down towards the ball’s pitch.

6. Off Drive

The off-drive is a types of shots in cricket where the batter directs the bat face towards the long-off region while playing the ball.

It’s also a front-foot shot, usually played for fuller or good-length deliveries, especially outside the off stump.

There’s a lofted version called the lofted off-drive, which requires good skill and timing to execute. Batsmen aim to clear the boundary by lofting the ball over the infield.

It’s considered an elegant cricket shot. Similar to the straight drive, the off-drive is aimed towards mid-off and long-off fielding positions.

It’s played against fuller deliveries directed at or slightly outside the off stump. Proper timing, a forward stride towards the ball, and a follow-through towards the target area are crucial. Mistiming this shot can lead to trouble.

7. Square Drive

The square drive is types of shots in cricket played by showing the bat’s face towards the cover-point region.

It’s used against good to full-length deliveries wide outside the off stump and can be risky, especially for beginners, as it requires the hands to be away from the body.

To execute the square drive, move your front foot towards the pitch and align it with the ball’s line. Keep your front leg bent and maintain balance.

Perfect timing is crucial for this shot. Similar to other drives, the square drive involves leaning onto the front foot to play fuller deliveries.

The difference lies in the ball’s line – it’s played when the ball’s line is off the stump. There’s a lofted version called the lofted square drive, used to propel the ball over the cover point or point fielder, but it’s a challenging shot to execute.

8. Sweep Shot 

The sweep types of shots in cricket are used to hit the ball on the leg side between mid-wicket and fine leg. It’s played against good to full-length deliveries, especially those pitched at the middle or leg stump.

Usually played on the front foot against spin bowlers, the batsman kneels on one knee and sweeps the ball towards the square leg when facing a full-length delivery.

This shot helps face spinners on turning tracks and is now also used against fast bowlers. Batsmen decide whether to keep the shot grounded or hit it in the air.

The sweep types of shots in cricket a dependable shots against spinners. It involves the batter kneeling on one knee and using a horizontal bat to hit the ball pitched on or outside the leg stump towards the square leg. A player like AB de Villiers is a master of this technique.

9. Reverse Sweep:

The reverse sweep is a unique shot where the batsman uses a reversed bat to hit the ball. It’s gained popularity in modern cricket, especially when the field is set to counter regular sweep shots, leaving gaps on the off-side.

This types of shots in cricket involves dispatching the ball behind square on the off-side, opposite to the regular sweep shot.

It’s considered unorthodox but widely used, played with the opposite hand aiming the bat face towards the third man. Batsmen often use the reverse sweep as a counter-attack when the bowlers have an advantage in the game.

10. Cut Shot:

This types of shots in cricket is played from point to third man region. Batsmen rock back on their back foot and hit the ball hard. It’s chosen for balls moving away from the off-stump, mostly back of length or short deliveries.

11. Square Cut:

This types of shots in cricket is played square of the wicket on the off-side. Batsmen use it against the back of length or short deliveries wide outside the off stump.

Move onto the back foot, free your arms, and strike the ball horizontally. Make sure there’s enough room to play this shot, avoiding balls too close to the body. Stay tall to prevent hitting the ball in the air.

12. Uppercut:

The uppercut types of shots in cricket is played against the back of length or short balls outside the off-stump.

It’s used to hit the ball over the slip region or behind square on the off-side. Get underneath the ball, extend your arms, and slice it. Maintain balance while playing the shot.

13. Leg Glance:

The leg glance is a types of shots in cricket which is played when the bowler bowls towards the batsman’s pads. It’s a low-risk shot aimed at redirecting the ball towards fine leg. Batsmen decide to play it on the front or back foot based on the ball’s length.

  • Front Foot Leg Glance:

Played against deliveries between good and full length on the middle or leg stump line. Lean towards the ball, bend the front leg, bring the bat straight down, and use wrist movement to guide the ball in front of the front pad towards the leg side.

  • Back Foot Leg Glance:

Executed on the back foot against short or back-of-length deliveries that are in line with the stumps or moving down the leg side.

Move back in the crease, keep the head forward and body aligned with the ball, bring the bat straight down, and guide the ball in front of the body towards the leg side.

14. Flick Shot

The flick shot is similar to the leg glance but has a broader range. Batsmen play this shot on the front foot when the ball comes straight towards the stumps.

They choose fuller or good-length balls directed at their pads to execute the flick shot towards the leg side.

Also called the flick of the wrist, this shot’s range depends on the batsman’s wrist action. It can be played from mid-wicket to fine leg, covering a wide area on the leg side.

A variation of the flick shot is the pickup shot, which involves less foot movement but still uses the batsman’s wrist effectively. Overall, the flick shot is considered an effortless cricket shot mainly relying on the batsman’s wrist work.

15. Hook Shot

The hook types of shots in cricket is a high-risk, high-reward shot in cricket, used mainly against head-height bouncers. It’s played on the back foot with a horizontal bat aimed towards the fine leg.

However, it’s considered one of the most dangerous shots in cricket, as exemplified by the tragic incident involving Australia’s Phillip Hughes.

The hook shot is played when the ball bounces around shoulder height, ideally on a short length and in line with the stumps or towards the leg side.

It targets the area between mid-wicket and fine leg. The shot involves rotating the torso and swinging the bat for power generation.

If the ball is directed more towards the leg side, less power is needed as you can use the ball’s pace to deflect it easily. For balls on the off stump, more power is required, and the ball will travel squarely on the leg side.

The hook shot is often played in the air, so it’s important to be cautious of field placements on the leg side while attempting this shot against short-pitched deliveries.

16. Switch Hit 

The switch-hit types of shot in cricket is an innovative shot mostly used by players like Kevin Pietersen and David Warner. It involves the batter changing their stance and grip mid-delivery, turning into a left-hander if they’re originally a right-hander, and vice versa.

This shot is unpredictable and tests the bowler’s and fielder’s expectations. It’s not an easy shot and requires pre-meditated movements just before the bowler releases the ball. The batter changes their stance and grip to surprise the bowler.

This shot can be played against any type of delivery, and depending on the batsman’s skill, the ball can be hit anywhere in the field. However, mastering this shot requires a lot of practice to execute it confidently during a match.

17. Helicopter shot:

The helicopter shot, made famous by MS Dhoni, is a unique and powerful stroke resembling the rotation of helicopter blades.

It’s played on the leg side and involves a strong bottom-hand flick to send the ball soaring into the stands.

Dhoni mastered this shot, especially hitting yorker-length deliveries. When facing yorkers, he extended his arms and swung the bat almost from ground level, maintaining the bat’s line throughout the shot.

Overall, these are the main cricket shots played worldwide, but some batsmen use innovative shots to score uniquely in specific situations.

18. Scoop Shot:

This types of shot in cricket Involves hitting fuller or good-length balls over the wicketkeeper’s head. Variations include the paddle scoop (used by Jos Buttler), Dilscoop (played from a kneeling position over the wicketkeeper’s head), and reverse scoop (similar to a reverse sweep but beside the wicketkeeper).

  • Periscope Shot: Bangladeshi batsman Soumya Sarkar introduced the periscope shot to counter bouncers. He holds his bat up and clips the ball towards short fine leg.
  • Paddle Scoop: It’s also known as the Marillier shot or ramp shot. It’s played behind square on both sides of the wicket to good or full-length deliveries, full tosses, or yorkers. The bat is extended face-up to deflect the ball behind, allowing players to aim left or right.
  • Dilscoop: Introduced by Tillakaratne Dilshan, it involves scooping the ball straight over the wicketkeeper’s head.
  • Reverse Scoop: Similar to the reverse sweep, it’s played beside the wicketkeeper. AB de Villiers often uses this shot by moving before the bowler delivers the ball and positioning himself to hit over the wicketkeeper’s head.

19. Ramp Shot:

The ramp types of shot in cricket is played by batsmen to deflect a chest-height short ball or full toss behind the square on the off-side, resembling a ramp.

It relies on the ball’s pace and can result in boundaries or sixes. It’s a back-foot shot played against short deliveries rising above chest height.

Batsmen use the ball’s pace to send it behind the square on the off-side by softly touching the ball with the bat’s face pointed skyward. They rock onto their back foot to handle short-of-length deliveries on the off-stump line.

There’s another variation where batsmen pick full-length off-side balls and kneel to hit them over square or fine leg. AB de Villiers often plays these unorthodox shots, also termed as ramp shots. Both types involve deflecting the ball behind the square on either side of the wicket.

20. Pull Shot

The pull types of shot in cricket is usually played when the bowler delivers short-of-length balls. This shot covers a wide range from mid-wicket to fine-leg, adapting to the batsman’s choice and bowler’s speed. There are variations like the short-arm pull and the Nataraja pull where the shot is played on one leg.

Sometimes, it’s hit over the bowler’s head like a tennis ball shot. To execute a pull shot, shift your weight onto the back foot, rotate your body, and swing the bat horizontally to hit the rising ball between mid-wicket and fine leg. This shot works well for balls around waist to shoulder height.

Depending on the field, you can choose to hit the ball in the air or keep it grounded by rotating your top hand over the bottom one at the point of contact.

Conclusion:

Hope this guide covers all the types of shot in cricket with precise detail. Any batsman who wants to become a great player must work and master all the cricketing shots.

However, there may be a situation where we can only play certain shots. In this scenario work on these shots to master them properly rather than focussing on learning all the shots.

Many great players have a history of playing cricketing shots with utmost perfection and they have developed new cricketing shots.  

Also, check out Top 10 Batsmen with the Most Fifties in ODI Cricket [2023]

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