Wanderers Cricket Club
Sweep Shot

The sweep has become the favoured shot against spinners, especially by Matthew Hayden.

Although it's not the easiest shot in the world to perfect, it is very effective if it's played with the correct technique.

However, this is easier said than done.

There's an element of risk when you play the shot, so read on to make sure you don't give your wicket away needlessly.

The sweep is a cross-batted shot played to a delivery on or around leg stump behind square on the leg side.

The front foot ideally should be as close to the pitch of the ball as possible.

To keep balance, the batsman usually goes down on one knee on the back leg.

The idea is to get as low as possible and roll the wrists when the bat makes contact with the ball.

However, the sweep is often a premeditated shot, which means the batsman has decided to play the shot before the ball has been bowled.

It's important the batsman gets their front foot to protect the wicket, so if the ball misses the pad, there's little chance of getting bowled.

But it's also important to sweep a ball on the right line - if the ball's on middle stump and you miss, there's a very good chance of an LBW dismissal.

Another point to remember is playing the sweep to a spinner who's turning the ball considerably.

Often bowlers, especially leg spinners, go around the wicket and aim for the rough created by the fast bowlers outside the batsman's leg stump.

This gives them a better chance of bowling a batsman around their legs, especially if they decide to play the sweep.

There are variations on the shot, especially in one-day cricket. There's the paddle, which is almost like a half-hearted sweep shot which relies on placement rather than power.

And then there's the "slog sweep", which is usually a huge swing aimed towards deep mid-wicket.

Step One

Lead towards the line of the ball with head and front shoulder, putting the front pad into the line of the ball and then bending the front leg and collapsing the back leg.

Step Two

With your head over the front knee, bring the bat down and across from a high backswing, striking the ball in front of the pad with arms outstretched and both shoulders facing directly down the pitch.

Roll the wrists upon contact to keep the ball down.

Step Three

Follow through so that the bat finishes in a high position with the hands close to the front shoulder.