Jason Roy ()Jason Roy () © Copyright

The six machine

England’s big-hitting T20 opening batsman Jason Roy breaks down a couple of shots and explains where and when you should play them.

Drive over the bowler

This shot requires a combination of power, timing and hand speed. Your weight needs to be on the front foot, and you need to drive through the ball. Make a solid connection on the sweet spot of the bat, and the ball will fly. 

This shot looks spectacular, but is highly technical – where’s the right point to make contact with the ball?

You want to collect the ball right at the top of its bounce. It can be difficult when it’s right under you – but if you can hit the ball upwards at its highest point, it goes the furthest.  

What’s the footwork like for this?

My weight for pretty much all of my shots is going forward. Even on the short balls or when I’m pulling the ball, I find myself going back down the wicket after I’ve played my shot. 

It’s more about timing than brute strength, but are there any conditioning exercises that someone can do to help with big hitting?

Being strong in your core is the main thing. It’s like a golfer’s swing, or even baseball – you’ve got to be strong all the way through your core to generate the momentum. Other than that, it’s mainly hand speed. 

(Try PT Terry Longmore’s stabilising core workout to maximise the distance on your shots)

Which big hitters do you admire?

Chris Gayle stands out immediately. The way he hits the ball is ridiculous – he just stands there, hardly moves, swings his huge bat and it goes absolutely miles. 

Chris Gayle ()

 

Scoop Shot

Play this on a fuller delivery, and make sure you reach the ball before it pitches – ensure you stay balanced as you lean to the side and flick the ball over the top towards the boundary. This shot can be risky but it feels great when it comes off. 

When’s a good time to play it? 

I feel that any time is a good time to play it. As long as you’re in a good frame of mind and you’ve practised it enough, then go for it!

What kind of delivery are you looking to play this shot off?

Generally it’s when a bowler is trying to nail his yorkers in and you’ll try to get to the ball before it pitches. However, don’t try to premeditate too much – this way you’ll be able to play it off all types of deliveries. 

It feels like there are so many more exciting shots in cricket than ever before – how do you keep up? 

Just go into the nets, have a bit of fun, test your limits and see what you can do! It’s always exciting hitting the ball into different areas in different ways, so it’s trial and error I guess. 

Who do you look to for new shots?

There’s not one person in particular but with the amount of cricket I play and see, you kind of just pick things up along the way. It’s important to adapt – you’ll find yourself in the nets one day practising a new shot and all of a sudden, you’ll be pretty good at it. 

When do you practise new things?

To be honest I don’t do much practie on the scoop – it’s just a shot I play! It’s pretty strange, but it’s a shot I feel more comfortable with on the field. 

How much improvising do you get to do in training?

As much as I want! Training’s a chance to do whatever it is you feel you need to do. If you want to practise your pull shot for half an hour, then do it!

Jason Roy Nets ()

 

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Photos: Getty Images

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