Reverse sweep, switch hit, ramp – these are some of the recent revolutions added to a batsman’s arsenal. It has changed the way players and coaches approach batting technique and has certainly changed the way the game is played.
But where to next? Are there more shots that have yet to be tried and tested? Will the evolution of Twenty20 cricket provide further innovations in future years? (Here’s hoping to a French cut.)
There is one possible revolution that may start to emerge, that of the dual-hander, or ambidextrous hitters.
Can you imagine the impact that a dual-hander would make, constantly changing from facing up left-handed and then right-handed? It would provoke constant field changes and bowlers would have to adjust their lines. It would also provide great flexibility for the batting order.
During the week, we saw some videos posted up on social media of David Warner and Aaron Finch striking the ball nicely with the opposite hand. It sparked a fascinating conversation about whether a player can develop skills on both sides of the bat.
All it would take is a creative coach, a patient player and supportive parents. Traditional coaches would find it too difficult and would encourage them to ‘play in the v’ and avoid experimentation – or some other out-dated coaching cliché.
But modern coaches could find the challenge exciting. Imagine working with a kid and developing his or her ability to bat left and right-handed? The possibilities are endless.
As a cricketing community, we never thought we’d see a switch hit played, or a ramp from a pace bowler, but we have and it’s becoming more and more common. Maybe there’s a talented player who can bowl with both arms too.
Unfortunately, Ian Harvey’s ambidextrous throwing ability never rubbed off, but perhaps it was down to a lack of imaginative junior coaches.
We are taught in football that you must be able to kick on both legs. This enables us to have more options on the field. Why is cricket limiting this aspect?
Yes, you would certainly need to work harder and have extra motivation and passion to stick with it, but as with the original shots mentioned, we are witnessing this great game evolving faster than ever before.
Experiment, encourage and support (plus buy gloves with both thumbs protected), as it would revolutionise this game in ten years to have an ambidextrous international.
The decision by the ECB to abandon their tour of Pakistan this week, on top of India’s decision to abandon the fifth Test of their series against India two weeks ago, along with New Zealand’s decision to abandon their tour of Pakistan last week has left the cricket world in a state of flux.