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Former English top-order batsman Ian Bell explains why Sachin Tendulkar named as the King of Straight Drive shot in cricket.
Rated as one of the greatest to have ever held a bat, Sachin Tendulkar holds most of the cricketing records like most runs and centuries in the international arena.
Ian Bell Praises Sachin Tendulkar
“Sachin Tendulkar (for straight drive), the best I saw on the field growing up. A pleasure to watch sometimes, hard to watch when you are on the field and chasing the leather,” Bell said in an ESPNCricinfo video.
Bell was also asked to pick the best cover driver between Babar Azam and Virat Kohli. The former English cricketer played it smart as he felt he had a better cover-drive compared to the two modern greats.
“Babar Azam like Kohli, has got a lot of time but I’d give it to myself,” he said.
He was also asked about the biggest battle when England take on India in the upcoming five-match Test series. Bell reckoned it would be Jofra Archer vs Rohit Sharma.
“Watching him (Rohit) against Jofra Archer’s pace this winter. I know you could say it’s a pull shot or hook shot. But I have faced Archer before, that’s not an easy shot,” he said.
Best of Sachin Tendulkar Straight Drive
What is Straight Drive in Cricket?
A straight drive is a deliberate shot in cricket that aims to hit the ball along the ground to prevent being caught out.
How to Play Straight Drive in Cricket?
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and parallel to the batting crease. Remember, Stance is the position of your leg before playing the ball.
The better your stance is, the better you will hit the shot. That’s why always remember to have a perfect stance. Stance is the basic factor of playing any shot. That’s why if your stance is bad, you can’t hit shots perfectly.
Body and Bat Position
Slightly flex knees and keep weight evenly distributed. Don’t stretch your leg too much or too close, otherwise, you will lose your balance. The distance between your feet in batting stance should be equal to the width of your shoulder.
Your head should always be still before playing the shot. Your head should not drop otherwise you may not be able to play the shot.
Rest the hand and top of the bat gently against the inside thigh of your front leg with the bat resting on the floor at a 45° angle.
Hitting the Ball
You have to take your leg out and play the straight drive shot in the front foot. A straight drive is a front foot short. That is why you have to take your leg out.
When playing straight drive your weight should be transferred from back foot to front foot. This will help you to hit the ball with more power.
As the bowler approaches, the bat should remain close to the body but brought upward, bending both elbows, until the bat is parallel to the shoulders.
As the ball is released, move the front foot behind the front knee and chest and keep the back leg straight and foot planted.
Who Plays the best Straight Drive in Cricket?
Though many players play the straight drive in cricket following are considered as the best straight drive hitters in cricket:
- Sachin Tendulkar(India) – Sachin remains as the King of the Straight Drive
- Virat Kohli (India)
- Ricky Ponting (Australia)
- Babar Azam (Pakistan)
- Michael Clarke (Australia)
- Jacques Kallis (South Africa)
- Rahul Dravid (India)