The shovel never became as well-established a T20 weapon as expected:
English gives his strokes its own note. His ramp looks more like a drag-flick in hockey. While his paddle is very different from AB de Villiers and Tillakaratne Dilshan, two of his best defenders. Both De Villiers and Dilshan knelt earlier to deflect the ball over the goalkeeper‘s head.
Dilshan always went into the sweeping position: standing on the ball, crouching down. Hitting the ball to its full height, and simply stroked his own head and the goalkeepers. The South African used to turn his body to cover the angle of the shot. And would often lie on the ground after shooting.
The shot requires a certain amount of intention. Or at least a quick recognition of length and line, preferably one foot off the stump, to play it. Moving and not getting off one knee like Dilshan gives Buttler more freedom. And a wider arch in the inverted “V.”
Despite the movement, his head is still, his eyes are on the ball and his balance is intact.
He explains, in a Batting Masterclass with Sky Sports:
“I’m looking to get square-on and trying to get my bat face straight. So the ball has more of a target on my bat. I just want to have the bat straight in front of me. And I’m trying to land the ball on the bat.”
“If I try to flick it, there’s more that can go wrong. Whereas if I just keep it still, I’m almost deflecting it. I don’t want to hit the ball as much – there’s a lot that can go wrong then,” Buttler says.
It’s like turning a pancake. Before a set, practice shooting by having someone bowling under the arm and simply practicing the movements so that they are anchored in muscle memory.
In the middle, he says that he will wait for the ball to hit the ground to rip off his head before he hits the ball.
“You’ll wait for the sound of the ball hitting the ground before you take your head away. Because light travels faster than sound, if you’re still waiting for the sound before you take your head away you’ve probably watched it long enough to hit it,” Buttler explains.
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