Cover drive | Batting lessons

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All save the clearest technician must rein themself in when essaying a cover drive, lest they founder betwixt active and passive. Wise words and worth remembering when attemping this shot for this is almost entirely wrong.

Should a delivery pitch six inches short of overfull and a similar distance wide of an outwardly curved line drawn at 2 o’clock, starting from the off stump, then by all means play a cover drive.

Bring the bat down with pace, remembering that strength does not equate to power, which in turn does not equate to bat speed. Watch not the ball, but your upper elbow thanks to which you should already have calibrated the ball’s trajectory.

Strike straight and without, bethwart an imagined line drawn between your feet if they were midway through describing an oblate spheroid of which the tip would be the midpoint of the popping crease and the countertip would be the equivalent in reflection.



Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. A bestial roar should suffice.

    Alternatively: “You can’t bowl there to [insert own full name here],” a la Carlisle Best.

  2. I always scream “fetch this you mother” every time a bowler is about enter their delivery stride. I averaged 6 with the bat last year (village cricket).

  3. Was the above written by E.W.’Jim’ Swanton, The ECB Coaching gurus or Harry Enfield (or all of them in a committee)?

    Maybe the cerebral nature of the words explains why only top Oxbridge players could grasp the concept. Ramon Subba Row would have understood.

    Bethwart? Do we go to our GP for this condition?

    And all the above to take place in .4 of a second.

    KC, if you wrote it, love the bit about the elbow – its the quintessence.

  4. Unfortunately, as is true for every one of KC’s lessons, this is only for the mathematically gifted. For understanding the exact geometry necessary to construct the oblate spheroid mentally in order to execute the stroke, one has to have had at least a basic education in eccentricities.

  5. I liked “repeat” best too, KC.

    It’s a shame you had to emphasise the point.

    Pearls bethwart swine.

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