Front foot and back foot movement is key when performing cricket batting drills
Cricket batting drills are designed to work on improving shot selection and technique when at the crease. Consistent and well-focussed cricket batting drills will provide players with the confidence and technical skills to face all types of deliveries and know how to play each shot.
There are a variety of shots available to a batsman when playing cricket. Each of these shots will be played either as a defensive or attacking stroke depending on the nature of the bowling delivery and the ability of a batsman to play a certain type of shot. Batting drills should work on improving players’ ability to play defensive or attacking strokes and provide them with skills to comfortably play any shot.
All cricket strokes will require the batsman to be able to move their feet quickly forwards or backwards to get into position to effectively play each shot. It is crucial that batsmen work on improving footwork speed during batting drills and this should always be a key aspect of any batsman’s cricket training.
Good footwork will help players to execute shots effectively when playing front foot or back foot strokes. The main front foot strokes are:
- Straight drive
- On drive
- Sweep shot
- Forward defence
The main back foot strokes are:
- Hook shot
- Pull shot
- Square cut
- Back defence
All cricket batting drills should focus on improving the technical skills that will allow players to play each of these shots during a match. However, it is important that the basic footwork movements are learned as this will form the basis for playing every kind of shot. Good footwork is part of good batting. Below are two simple batting drills that will practice moving forwards and backwards onto the ball.
These batting drills are ideal to use with young players and those new to cricket. They will work on getting the body moving forward onto the ball and backing up to play shots that are coming in around waist height.
Front foot drill
This drill can be set up indoors or outdoors. Depending on size of area and numbers, two or three playing areas can be set up. There is one batter, wicketkeeper and bowler with two or three fielders.
The aim of the drill is for the batter to strike the ball between two cones on either side of the pitch. This will practice stepping forward to play shots on the off-side and leg-side. After every six balls the players rotate so that each one gets to bat. To increase difficulty the cones can be moved further back and closer together making the target more difficult to achieve.
Back foot drill
Back foot shots in cricket can be both defensive and attacking. They are played when the ball is coming in at waist height or above. There are many cricket batting drills that can be used to work on this but this drill has the same basic set up as the above front foot exercise.
The difference is that the bowler delivers the ball forcing the batter to back up towards the stumps. The batter aims to play the ball through cones set up around the pitch. Rotate players after every six deliveries.