The square cut is another shot which you should try to add to your batting ‘armoury’, as it will allow you to play aggressively to balls delivered shot outside your off stump which you wouldn’t be able to drive.
Can you play the square cut?
It is an aggressive/attacking shot played off the back foot to a ball which has been pitched short of a good length (a short delivery) and is passing wide of off stump. You should aim to hit the ball square of the wicket ideally between point and gully, always aim to hit the ball between the fielders and into the gaps.
- To play the square cut start from your normal batting stance, stay nice and relaxed, with your head still and your eyes as level as possible.
- As the bowler is about to bowl take your backswing, and as you see the delivery is going to be suitable for a square cut move your back foot, back and across towards the off stump.
- Move your weight onto your back foot and establish your base of support over it. Bring your bat down and across the line of the ball towards the off side, increasing your bat speed into contact, from a high position to lower one. As you hit the ball ‘roll your wrists’ over the ball to keep it down.
- Follow through the shot naturally and stay relaxed and balanced.
- The most common problem is getting caught out at point or gully by not rolling the wrists or not playing from high to low. Like most shots, you need to isolate it in the nets and practice with throw downs hitting the ball down (low) and along the ground.
- Another problem is lacking the ability to hit the ball in the gaps and instead hitting it to fielders, the best way to improve your shot placement is to use targets in practice to hit the ball between.
Try playing a ‘late’ cut. To do this you need excellent timing, as you need to wait a fraction of a second longer before hitting the ball. You should aim to hit the ball behind gully towards third man (be careful if there are slips in place).