More Sweep than Slog: The Slog Sweep | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

More Sweep than Slog: The Slog Sweep

The slog sweep is a legitimate boundary option. It’s hit in the air over the inner ring fielders and with the huge bats of today, often over the fence!

The slog sweep is an excellent option when the match situation dictates the need for a boundary (and the slog sweep is a practiced strength).
It can also be used when you have width between yourself and the ball (the ball generally pitching outside the line of the off stump), the field setting of the opposition captain blocks out straight batted boundary options or you need to move a boundary fielder to open up an easier boundary scoring option/area

Can any of these consideration points help you to make better decisions regarding your deployment of the Slog Sweep?

Slog Sweep Key Technical Points

  • Weight distribution: Many players look to deliberately keep their weight back whilst executing the shot and keep their head very central (in contrast with the forward head position of the hard sweep and run sweep) as they use their weight distribution to propel the ball up over mid wicket.
  • Stability: This often coincides with the back knee being placed on the ground. This back knee on the ground helps to keep the weight central in the shot. The back knee also creates a solid base from which to swing.
  • Creating a hitting space: The front leg is often pulled more to the leg-side to create space for the bat to swing. Watch players such as Kevin Pietersen, Yuvraj Singh and Shane Watson create this hitting space when looking to sweep the ball high and far over the heads of both the inner ring and outer ring fielders.
  • The bat swing path: The swing of the bat differs in the slog sweep from the hard sweep as hands stay low whilst the body forward so that the swing of the bat goes from "low to high" and through the bounce of the ball. The trajectory of the shot is determined by the bat path and therefore, if you have a player who is hitting his/her Slog Sweep too flat then have a look at the Bat path from the start of the swing through to the end of the shot. It is likely that the player would benefit from a lower starting position with the hands which will enable the player to hit from "low to high".

Variations of the Slog Sweep

Recently, we have seen a few players hitting a slog-sweep over mid on and straight over the bowlers head rather than over midwicket. Shane Watson (Australia and the Rajasthan Royals) is the best example of this.

  • The Shane Watson special: Shane opens up his front side of his body to create a vacant hitting area for the bat to move into (often the line of his front foot is on or outside the line of legs stump). Shane hits up and through the ball as normal, yet the line of the bat path goes directly over mid-on rather than over mid wicket. The shot is hit with excellent balance and control and as a result, Shane has been able to hit balls off of the line of the stumps for 6 on a regular basis against spinners in all formats of the game. Usually, players will hit from outside off stump as this width provides the leverage for the player to make good contact and a full swing. Shane is creating that leverage himself with that initial front foot movement towards the leg-side. This makes Shane very difficult to bowl at and puts the pressure well and truly back on the bowler.
  • The switch hit: The off side variation of the Slog Sweep. I was merely the guy who threw 1000's of balls at the creator of the shot so I suggest you hear it straight from the horse’s mouth and join KP for a lesson in switch hitting by clicking here

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I'm coaching this in a few weeks and I have heard various different approaches. Would it be fair to characterise the difference between the various sweeps as:

orthodox sweep 1: played to a length ball outside leg stump and spinning back, the pad is used to cover the line of the stumps and the bat hits the ball along the ground behind square.

orthodox sweep 2: played to a length ball outside off stump and spinning in. again, the pad covers the line of the stumps and this time the ball is struck forward of square leg.

paddle sweep: played to a full delivery, the bat is extended forward and the ball is intercepted on the full toss if possible and guided to fine leg. Works best for legside balls, but can be played to a straighter delivery or even one outside off stump, but the difficulty and level of risk is increased.

slog sweep: played to a ball that is not on line to hit the stumps. Front leg clears so pad offers no protection and the ball is hit hard over midwicket. Again, can be played to a ball on the stumps but its a low percentage shot if you miss it.