HomeSportsCricketWhat is Batting Stance in Cricket? Know Different Ways Batters Use to...
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What is Batting Stance in Cricket? Know Different Ways Batters Use to Intimidate the Bowlers

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Image Source- ESPNcricinfo

For a batsman to excel in cricket, he should master a variety of things, such as batting position, hand-eye coordination, foot movement, awareness of his surroundings, proper grip on the cricket bat, and has a sturdy and stable base. And to have a stable base, he/she should possess a good and proper batting stance.

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A batting stance is a position a batsman takes while the bowler takes his run up and is about to deliver the ball. Ideally, a batsman should have a batting stance that is comfortable and balanced, which would allow him to play a variety of shots and navigate the ball in the direction he intends to hit. The majority of the batsmen adopt an orthodox batting stance, while others possess a batting stance that is deemed rather unorthodox, but often turns pretty advantageous for them. In reality, different types of stances work for different types of players. Moreover, certain situations and circumstances may also call for some extraordinary stances. But it all comes to the basics, such as the backlift of the bat, feet movement, hand positions, and other such things.

Let us go through the various aspects of the batting stances. But first, we should get an idea of what is considered to be the best or the most ideal & perfect batting stance.

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Types of Batting Stance in Cricket

Ideal Batting Stance

image source-cricketershub

The best batting stance is considered as the one in which the batsman has aligned himself in a side-on position, with their front shoulder pointing towards the bowler. The feet of the batsman should be just about shoulder-width apart, and his knees should be slightly bent. The back should also be slightly bent. The batsman’s chin should be positioned over his front shoulder, with eyes forward towards the pitch, watching the bowler. The hands should be quite close to the body, at about hip height. The toe of the bat (or the end of the bat) should be pointing backward, towards the wicket keeper, or the position of the first slip. This is normally referred to as the orthodox batting stance.

Reasons why this is considered the ideal stance:

  1. This stance is quite simple and very easy to teach and replicate. Since there are minimal complications to it, doing it wrong is quite rare.
  2. Since it is a comfortable position, it gives the batsman the freedom to shift his weight around easily.
  3. The side-on alignment of the body as well as the angle of the bat allows for the bat to swing through in a straight line, thereby perfecting the strokeplay.
  4.  Since the weight will be balanced nicely across both legs, it will allow the batsmen the ability to make the shot more easily.

Though considered an ‘ideal stance’, many players opt to make alterations to it or adopt different stances altogether. However, using these rather, unorthodox techniques, the batsmen have not ceased making runs, rather they seem to have benefitted from it.

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A More Open Stance

chanderpaul batiing
Image source-Indian times

A more open stance is one where the batsman positions his body in such a way that shows his chest more to the bowler. In this position, the batsman has a more front-on approach rather than the side-on approach mentioned earlier. The positioning of the feet also undergoes a few changes. Unlike the orthodox stance, where both the front foot as well as the back foot is pretty much in line with each other, in this stance, the batsman is required to move his front foot towards the leg side a bit. A prime example of a batsman who has this stance is West Indies’s Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

Why Are Open Stances Used?

Some batsmen prefer to adopt this stance simply because they find it comfortable.

However, many times several batsmen use this technique to overcome some other faults or to improve their batting. Some of them may be as follows:

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More Control

Having this stance is believed to give the batsman more control over his stroke play and the control over where he wishes to hit the ball. With the front-on approach rather than the side-on, the batsman has relatively more ease while guiding the direction of the ball with his bat. This becomes more effective when hitting towards the leg side, flicking the ball, sweeping, or scooping becomes relatively easier.

Fewer Chances of Getting Out LBW:
image source-India today

Getting out Leg Before Wicket is a major problem for a lot of batsmen. With the ball hitting the pads before they can bring forth the bat to hit the ball, many batsmen have fallen victim to this. A simple way to tackle this is to slightly open up the stance.

Often the batsmen will cover the stumps with the front foot placed too far across the offside, thereby making the cricket pads an easy target for the bowlers. As the ball comes on to hit the pad, the pad comes in between, thereby obstructing the flow of the bat. This may lead to the ball hitting the pads, resulting in LBW.

So by opening the stance, the front foot is slightly moved towards the leg side, which makes bringing the bat forward to hit the ball more convenient.

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Facing A Difficult Bowling Angle

Sometimes, the angle made by the bowler proves to be quite detrimental. For instance, a right-handed batsman facing a left-hand fast bowler over the wicket or a left-handed batsman facing a right-hand fast bowler around the wicket, the ball tends to move into the batsman. And if missed, the ball might directly go for the stumps or hit the pads. To eliminate this, an open stance is taken which allows the batsman to face the incoming delivery more easily and make appropriate shots.

The disadvantage to an Open Stance

While it sure has its benefits, an open stance also has some limitations and drawbacks. A major one is that having this stance usually decreases the ability to hit the ball towards the offside.

Changes To The Width Of The Stance

Image source-wikiwand

An orthodox stance requires one to have their feet about shoulder-width apart. But it is often seen that certain batsmen widen their stance or bring their feet too close. Eoin Morgan is an example of a batsman with a wider stance. While some may argue that having wider foot placement may bring in more stability and control over the batting, playing a short ball in this stance becomes a difficulty.

It is rare to see a batsman with feet closed in since this will likely decrease the stability and balance of the batsman, which is not at all desired.

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