Shots in cricket - how many are there?

The sport of cricket entails a high degree of precision and strategic planning, particularly in the domain of batting. A fundamental aspect of cricket’s batting entails the assortment of strokes that a batsman can opt for based on the type of deliveries encountered. Based on the attributes of the pitch such as its line, length and pace of delivery, the batsman is required to make instantaneous judgments with regard to selecting the appropriate shot that would maximise the potential of scoring. According to prevailing consensus among cricketing authorities, the quantity of shots that a batsman can execute may fluctuate depending on individual skill level and the manner in which an approach is adopted, however, it is commonly acknowledged that there exists an approximate total of 12 conventional shots that can be played by a batsman, alternating between either side of the wicket.

The Twelve Essential Shots in Cricket

The skillset exhibited by a cricket batsman in terms of the range of shots executed encompasses both defensive and aggressive strokes, intentionally designed to cater to distinct kinds of deliveries. The aforementioned strokes are commonly utilized in the sport of cricket and comprise the Cut, the Drive (encompassing the cover drive, off drive, straight drive, and on drive), the Pull, the Hook, the Sweep (encompassing both the conventional and slog sweep), the Glance, and the Reverse Sweep. Each individual shot in cricket demands precise footwork and body positioning, and a thorough comprehension of the shot’s suitability against diverse deliveries can often determine the outcome of scoring runs or losing wickets.

The importance of making the right impact and positioning

The strategic and judicious selection of shots is paramount to the achievement of a batsman. The variability of delivery time is influenced by a range of factors, which encompass the nature, velocity, route, and distance of the delivery. A proficient cricket batsman employs a combination of discernment, expertise, and instinct to ascertain the most suitable stroke to play for every delivery. The mastery of appropriate footwork, whether in a forward or backward motion, assumes paramount importance in attaining an optimal position to effectively execute the selected shot. This particular movement facilitates the ability to accurately meet the ball at an ideal placement and moment, thereby augmenting the likelihood of constructing a successful innings.

The Evolving Batting Techniques

The sport of cricket, akin to other athletic disciplines, has undergone significant developments throughout the course of its history, which have accordingly expanded the repertoire of shots at a batsman’s disposal. The advent of limited-overs cricket has engendered a gamut of idiosyncratic or ’non-traditional’ strokes, such as the ‘Dil-scoop’, ‘Upper Cut’, ‘Switch Hit’ and ‘Helicopter Shot’. Although not originally included in the conventional 12-shot inventory, these techniques have experienced a surge in employment in modern-day cricket, thus broadening the batsman’s range of options.


In summary, despite the conventional set of twelve shots in cricket, the sport’s development and incorporation of innovative formats have given rise to unconventional shots. The effective execution of batting is largely dependent on the strategic and prudent selection of shots, predicated upon the nature of the delivery, as well as the application of suitable footwork and positioning. Cricket is a sport that is in a constant state of evolution. As such, the skills and tactics employed by batsmen will continue to evolve, thereby adding to the captivating nature of this pastime.

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