The perfect cover drive isn't that important. The techniques are poured over by well meaning coaches striving for the edge. In reality perfecting your technique is not as important as you think.
Any batsman at any level would love to have a cover drive and pull shot as technically perfect as Michael Vaughan. Technique is just a means to an end though. Shiv Chanderpaul got far more runs in the English summer with a much less classical method.
For me there is no such thing as perfect technique, there are just methods which are as individual to you as that crab-like stance is to Shiv. Tall batsmen are going to use their body and balance in different ways to shorter players. Wide shouldered people will need a different method to someone slim.
The days of the MCC copybook are over.
After all, does it really matter how you hit a four, or whether you are hitting them at all?
The real route to technical perfection
If you really want to have a perfect technique you have to work out what that means for you. Some people need more coaching than others to get there, but eventually it's down to you to establish what works.
How do you do that?
- Be an athlete first. Good technique stems from a number of skills: strength, balance, visual perception and posture. If you work on these your ability to play shots will naturally increase. Think of these elements as the base of a pyramid that peaks with good technique at the top. Hit the gym and train hard.
- Practice with an outcome in mind. Focus your practice on hitting targets rather than thinking about what your foot or elbow is doing. You will naturally do the right thing with good drills performed regularly.
- Do what feels right for you. Try different methods when doing your drills. Some things will feel right, some wont. Experiment until you find something that is comfortable for your brain and body type.
Working with yourself in this way means your own version of perfection can be achieved far more easily than trying to copy someone else. We are all different. We all need to play cricket differently and that means each having a different technique.