This is part of a series on How to exploit batsman's weaknesses. To see the other weaknesses click here.
The position of the hands on the handle of a cricket bat makes a big difference to the way a batsman plays.
If you are a bowler or captain who can spot this small technical error you can come up with a plan to restrict a batsman's scoring and get a wicket.
How to spot the weakness
As the batsman takes guard, take a quick look at how he holds the bat. A low grip looks like this:
And a high grip like this:
Look in particular tall and short batsmen. The taller guys will have a higher grip, while shorter players tend to have a lower grip.
Why is it a weakness?
Whether too high or too low, the hands on the handle reveal the style of a player.
- A low grip is good for pulling and cutting but makes it difficult to drive.
- A high grip encourages straight bat shots but makes it hard to control the ball, especially cutting and pulling.
With some batsman it can take a while to work out their best and worst shots and adapt your plan to them. It's much easier with a grip weakness because the batsmen is showing you how to bowl to him and set a field without even facing a ball.
How to bowl to a high or low grip batsman
You main plan is to cut off the batsman's best shots and force him or her to play into their weaker areas. Do this right and you will force a wicket through frustration.
The low grip batsman will struggle with the ball pitched up and, because the grip makes him wristy, will tend to be happy flicking the ball off his legs.
To counter this, bowl a fuller length outside off stump like this:
Wickets can come from close catchers on the off side both behind (slips, gulley) and in front (short extra cover).
Set your field a little squarer as any drives will go wider. For example have mid on at wide mid on and midwicket close to square leg like in this sample field:
In this situation a medium pacer is on, and the low grip batter has just come in. Wickets are the priority so 2 slips, a gulley and a short extra cover are in place. To switch to defence a slip can go to third man and gulley can go to deep point.
The high grip batsman is the opposite.
He will be looking to get forward, and play very straight.
Push your length back a little and don't worry too much about line.
Set the field straighter: mid on/mid off and third man/fine leg get much tighter together. Catches come from close in square fielders (short leg, silly point, and gulley).
He will also have trouble controlling the hook, cut and pull meaning your square leg, midwicket and point are key positions for catches in the ring.
Here is a sample field for a high grip batter who has just come in against a medium pace bowler:
Again, it's an attacking field but the close fielders are set square and the defensive fielders are set straight. Keep that principle in mind if you need a more defensive field.
Want to improve your skills so you can bowl to these tactics or iron out your batting weaknesses? PitchVision Academy has an online coaching course to help you from the world's finest coaches.
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