Playing short balls can be a scary experience. Short balls can be even more intimidating for subcontinental players who aren’t used to fast and bouncy pitches. In this ultimate cricket guide, we will discuss short balls and how to handle them like a pro.
Bowlers mainly use short balls to surprise and test the batsman’s technique. Short balls are the most lethal weapons in a fast bowler’s arsenal which they can use at any point in a game.
To play a quick short ball, the batsmen need to have a quick foot movement. They must know when to duck and when to pull a bouncer. More about how to tackle a bouncer is mentioned below in this cricket guide.
How to Play a Short Pitch Ball: A Guide
To effectively counter a short ball, you need an extra training session. Throwdowns are the best way to practice playing the short balls. Apart from that, these are various factors that help tackle the short-pitch balls in a better way.
A Decent Technique
To play a short ball, you must have good foot and head movements. You can only develop this attribute when you have a decent batting technique. Always remember that even the greats of the game had an issue with facing short balls at some point in their career.
Batting legends like Kevin Pietersen and Rahul Dravid were very good at playing short balls. It is because they had the required trigger movements, where they can quickly move from front foot to back foot and play the pull or hook shot.
Eyes on the Ball
Good concentration is one of the vital aspects of batting. In addition, playing a short ball requires more focus and vision. When you keep your eyes on the ball, you make a better judgment on whether to play or leave it. You will also be able to make better contact with the bat.
All the good batters around the world have great concentration. Get your head close to the ball and use your wrists to allow a better connection with the ball.
Climb on Top of the Bounce
In any format of the game, pull shots are vital for every batsman to play. Not only it helps in breaking the confidence of a fast bowler, it ultimately provides you plenty of self-confidence. While playing a hook or pull shot, remember to get on top of the bounce first.
If you don’t, the ball will fly off the top edge and might land in the hands of a fielder. To climb on top of the bounce, you must stand tall and roll your wrists while playing the shot. By rolling the wrists, you make sure that the ball does not go in the air.
‘Back and across’ is the trigger movement a batter makes before he hits his shot. A batsman often does this to unsettle a bowler before he delivers the ball. Feet movement is something one must learn at the early stages of their batting career.
The trigger movements help your feet move and create a stable base where you can play your shots. Great batsmen like West Indies legend Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Australian talisman Steve Smith have excellent trigger movements that allow them to get in position early to play a shot.
Even though it is not an absolute necessity, there are other batsmen as well who have succeeded without any trigger movement. Players like Rohit Sharma and Joe Root play with limited or no trigger movement but are quick with their hands.
Learn the Art of Leaving the Short Ball
In Test Cricket, the pitch would sometimes offer nothing to fast bowlers other than bounce. In that case, the opposition team could pack the leg side boundary with bouncers and target your forehead or ribs to use the bounce.
You just cannot leave every ball that is hurled at you, as you need to keep the scoreboard ticking as well. But, with a packed leg-side boundary, leaving the ball more often is a wise decision.
So, learn to have patience while batting. Ducking underneath the ball or swaying away from the line of the ball will be a sensible thing to do. Also, remember to move your hands away from the ball whenever you sway away from the ball or duck under it.
To sum up, we can conclude that short-pitch balls are always tough to maneuver. It requires skill, determination, and a lot of patience to learn the art of playing short balls. So, we hope that our ultimate cricket guide helps you counter the short balls effectively.