As a batsman and cricketer you primary aim is to score as many runs as possible to help your team set a high target for the opposition, or in order to beat the score which the opposition has set for you.
A great cover drive is the hallmark of a refined cricketer...
To help you do this, this article will identify some common problems and teachyou how to play better cover drive. Hopefully you’ll find these tips useful and they will help you improve your cover drive and score more runs.
The cover drive is an aggressive and attacking shot which is played to a delivery which is pitched up or just a bit full of a good length, you are aiming to hit the ball along the ground between mid off and cover.
To play the shot, watch the ball out of the hand and correctly judge that the ball is going to be slightly full of a good length. From your stance, lead with your front shoulder in towards the line of the ball and into the shot. If you lead with your shoulder first and get it inline it will help the rest of your body come into line naturally and more fluently.
Step with your front foot out to the pitch of the delivery and bring your bat down and through the line of the delivery, ensuring that you keep your front elbow high and bat straight (not a crossed batted shot). Aim to place the ball between mid of and cover, maintaining a firm base and follow through the shot in a relaxed manner.
- Watch the ball out of the hand all the way onto the bat
- Lead with your front shoulder into the shot
- Get your foot to the pitch of the ball
- Keep you elbow high and bat straight
- Hit the ball along the ground
- Keep a solid base of support
- Follow through naturally
Are you getting caught at mid-off or cover when you play the off/cover drive, is it caused by the follow through?
Getting caught at mid-off or cover is a very common problem and is not usually caused by an exaggerated follow through, but more likely to be with the timing of the shot or because the batsman is playing with too much bottom hand.
To solve this try loosening your grip with your bottom hand and practise just griping the bat with your thumb and first two fingers on your bottom hand. This should help you stop driving it in the air and getting caught.
Another technique is to try waiting a fraction of a second longer as if you’re playing the ball too early it will go in the air, if you are struggling getting the timing right this is the solution for you.
Also if you’re trying to drive a ball that is pitched short of a length you’ll hit it up in the air. If so try to judge the length better and drive the balls that are pitched fuller of a good length, you should also take into account the pace and condition of the wicket as this will affect the timing of the shot. For example on slow wickets you will have to wait longer and play the ball later to keep the ball in the ground.
In conclusion remember to accentuate your leading elbow, keeping it high, don’t use to much bottom hand as this will cause you to drop the elbow and hit the ball in the air. Practise in front of a mirror at home to watch and analyse your body position and always remember good footwork is the most essential part of any shot, so get your foot to the pitch of the ball.