The main idea of cricket is to score more runs than the opposition. But, that may be impossible if you are not good enough with your footwork.
It is important that a batsman’s game is built around a solid defense and technical proficiency because in cricket, batting successfully is from a technical viewpoint, with the odd rare exception, really about one vital thing – and that is footwork.
Batting, however, is about moving the body in reaction to a moving ball. Once in the right position, it is only then that relevance to hitting the ball applies, to stroke the ball into a gap in the field. The emphasis is to focus on what is required to execute the proper movement to a moving ball. To move athletically, you must use your feet and to get the best out of your feet, the weight must be on the ball of each foot, for that is where the energy, the springy muscle is and not the arch or the heel. Often the toes are referred to, yet it is, in fact, the ball of the foot, the round, sinewy area at the base of the big toe, that is the most vital part of the body when it comes to batting.
One thing is that good batting does not require immense power. Indeed, most of history’s greatest batsmen have been small of stature but balls are being hit most effectively with exquisite timing based around good footwork, and It is the ball of the foot, the round, sinewy area at the base of the big toe which is the most vital part of the body when it comes to batting
How do you improve your footwork?
- In conventional batting, you do not step to the leg-side. The on-drive, leg glance, and straight drive are played with a shorter step than the off or cover drives.
- The back foot should always move back and across towards off-stump, with the toes pointing as appropriate in a 90-degree arc for the square cut through to the pull or leg glance.
- And now for the most important part, the actual footwork needed to scoring run is staying long periods at the crease. Remember, the stance is set to know where the off stump is and to be poised to move. Then the ball is released, and the eyesight picks up the movement of the ball. As it does, the brain sends a signal to the feet and body to move, and both feet becomes the key here.
With all the best players, both feet are moving in some way even subtly, to every ball they face. Even when they leave the ball, the best players will use both feet to ensure that they know fully where the ball is about the stumps.
If the shot felt good, and the result is satisfactory, it is more than likely down to good footwork, but if you lose balance when playing the stroke, it will almost certainly be the result of poor footwork.
That is why at practice, you should check the position of your feet after all strokes. In this way, you can be the best batsman around and become your coach.