Becoming a Champion Batsman: Cricket Batting Drills

Batting in cricket is an art, it’s always the elegance of a batter that adds volumes to this craft. It is a combination of swiftness and power that perfectly times a ball. The transfer of body weight, the impact right in front of the eyes and under the nose, the extension of arms, all these are the dimensions that create a perfect shot

Any shot in cricket, be it a cross batted shot or a straight bat shot, requires a lot of skill set. It doesn’t come all at once, but takes hours and hours of practice to develop muscle memory. 

Batsman doing the front foot defence against a spin delivery

As mentioned above, shots in cricket can be divided into horizontal bat shots like cut shot, pull shot, etc. and straight bat shots like cover drive,  straight drive, etc. The technique for playing each of these shots is different. Straight batted shots are played with the top hand as the dominant hand, while cross batted strokes are played with the bottom hand as the dominant hand. Both these kinds of shots can be implemented according to the pitch of the ball, that is, its line and length. The more the batter practices, the better the shot selection gets. A lot of drills can be included in daily practice sessions, which can ultimately help in enhancing the skils. 

So, in this article by ZAP, let’s look at some important cricket batting drills that will help a batter become a run scoring machine.

The basics of playing a perfect cricket shot:

Cricketer playing a pull and hook shot

To play a shot well with the sweet spot of the bat, you first need to watch the ball properly at the time of delivery, which is when the bowler is releasing the ball. This helps in improving judgement of the pitch of the ball. Then, the body weight is transferred either to the front foot or the back foot, depending on the line and the length of the ball. Then, while playing the shot, the ball should be right in front of your eyes, and once the impact is made, you need to follow through with the shot by extending your arms in that direction. Here are some cricket batting drills that can help sharpen the basics and improve the judgement of each delivery. 

Cricket Batting Drills for Beginners:

Shadow Practice:

Sachin Tendulkar doing showing batting practice before a match
Credit: The daily Star Archive

The most important drill for beginners is shadow practice and underarm knocking. These two drills can help create muscle memory in the early stages of their careers. Shadow practice is basically imitating playing a ball in front of the mirror. This helps in creating the perfect body alignment. Underarm knocking is when some other person feeds the ball to the batter. It helps in developing their knowledge of which ball to hit in what direction. In case a player is not comfortable with underarm knocking initially, their coach can also drop balls to them. 

Batting Cones:

Apart from these drills, batters can also use batting cones and hit the ball while keeping a ball on them. Batting cones keep the ball stationary, giving more time to the batter.

Hanging Ball Drills:

Beginners can use a hanging ball as well. This will be beneficial in improving head alignment and bat flow. It also strengthens the top hand, which ultimately improves the vertical bat. Special care shall be taken at this stage as the player is raw in the initial years and the technique developed now will become the basis for future years. 

Drills for Advanced Cricket Players:

Advanced players can improvise their knocking by adding variety to it. Rather than sticking to basic shots, they can practice improvised shots as well. Cricket is evolving now and such innovation can help them score more runs. 

They can start practicing on a variety of pitches like turf, astro turf, cement, and soil. All this will increase their adaptability, as they will have to adjust and alter their shot according to the nature of the pitch.

For example, batting more of turf wicket or on soil will improve their game against spin, but batting more on cement or Astro turf will  benefit them against pace.

Players can also indulge themselves in side arm or bowing machine sessions. Not every bowler bowls with 130+ kmph speed, but batting with a side arm thrower or with a bowling machine can help an individual improve their batting against pace.

Nowadays, players are also seen batting with a middling bat or a stump. The blades of these equipment are small, and once the batter uses the bat again, he/she is able to hit maximum balls with the middle of the bat. 

Targeted Practice to overcome shortcomings: 

If a player is getting out in a similar fashion, then they need to give extra hours in practice sessions to refining that cricket shot and technique. This can be done by planning specific sessions. For example, if you are having trouble with playing cover drives and are edging the balls in matches, then you should find the reason behind it, whether you're playing the shot early, or chsong behind the ball and throwing your bat, or he is picking the line wrong, or any other reason. Based on his understanding, he can practice the correct way of playing the same shot. 

Batting drills for preparing for different formats:

Yuvraj Singh hits a ball out of the park while batting

Credit: Mid Day

Cricket has 3 official formats: Tests, ODIs, and T20s, and preparation for all the formats will be different.

Since the test cricket format is a slow game and is played with a red or pink ball, its preparation will involve playing more shots along the ground. The red leather ball spins and swings more compared to other balls; hence, your focus should be on . 

ODI format requires a different batting style and the gear changes as the game progresses; hence, its preparation would involve those drills. The white leather ball carries more pace and swings less. Hence, preparation is different for that.

T20 format is fast and requires power hitting. Hence, to be a good T20 batter, one has to involve a lot of range-hitting in their daily routines. A batter intends to hit almost all the balls in this format; hence, the practice will only be constructive if this is kept in mind. 

It shall be noted that players should prepare consciously for incoming balls and outgoing balls. Incoming balls are played with a different technique and outgoing balls with a different technique and hence their preparation shall be done accordingly. 

Batting is not just hitting the ball!

A lot of things are involved behind the scenes to be a good batter. It’s not just the skill set but also mental toughness and physical fitness that make one a complete batter. A batter requires good stamina to sustain itself for longer hours on the ground. They should be quick between the wickets. They should have good strength, particularly in the core. The stronger the core, the better the base. Apart from this, they need to be agile to play pace bowling. Their foot movement should be quick, as one needs good footwork to play spin effectively. 

Mentally, one has to be alert and should have good concentration levels. They should be aware of the changing environment. The faster they realise the conditions of the ground, weather, pitch, etc., the better decisions they can make while batting. No two match situations are exactly alike, so, one has to realise how and in which areas they can score runs on a particular day and then modify their game accordingly. It’s the adjustment to the situation that makes a player a complete batter.


Improvement in batting happens with continuous dedication and practice. So continue working hard, working on your shortcomings until they become your strengths. This way, you'll soon be a future batting legend!

Now that you have read and learn about the different cricket batting drills, here are some more articles we recommend you to read:

Cricket Batting Stance | Cricket Batting Strike Rate | Cricket Batting Average

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