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What is the Cover Drive?
The Cover Drive is a vertical bat shot that is played to an over pitched ball (half volley), outside the off stump. The batsman strides forward and drives the full ball through covers and extra covers with a nice up and down swing.
How to play the Cover Drive and its Technique?
Get ready with your backlift while facing the bowler. Once you pick the line and length to play the cover drive, take your frontfoot (stretch it just enough) to get close to the pitch of the ball. Then swing your bat down in the direction of covers with your head looking down towards the ball.
Make sure that your body weight is on the frontfoot while executing the shot. Lean towards the ball with the head looking down towards the ball with the leading (left for a right handed batsman) shoulder going through in the direction of the shot. The frontknee has to be in a bent position. It should not be overstretched or too little stretched. An optimum forward stride is important to keep the body balance intact, ensure that the ball is played along the ground and the weight goes behind the shot.
One of the most important points in playing this shot is to make sure that the top hand is firmly controlling the handle and the bottom hand is loose. By doing so, the ball will go through the intended direction i.e. through covers and will not be dragged to the onside in the case of a tight bottom hand.
(With inputs from Narsingh, Coach, Sarojini Cricket Academy, Hyderabad)