Back to the Basics: Playing in the ‘V’

I am sure that many of you have heard of this term.

I remember first hearing about it while I was trying to develop a solid defence. It identifies with probably one of the most important components of batting, footwork.

For those of you who do not know, the ‘V’ basically outlines the movements that you should make when batting. It is so simple but I find even the best international players sometimes forget this. In any one game, you could almost certainly find an instance of terrible footwork which caused the batsman to make a mistake or to even get out. Then why don’t we spend more time being conscious about it?

Until you know that your footwork is impeccable, your going to to have to consciously make the effort. It’s not a bad thing though, by practicing enough it will become a habit.

Okay, so what is it and what does it involve. The next few images should help you with understanding this concept.

Ultimate-Cricketer-Front-Foot-V

The above graphic defines the range of movement you should make when playing a shot on the front foot. It can be seen by looking at the V formed from the placement/movement of your front foot.

Ultimate-Cricketer-Back-Foot-V

The image above shows the movements you should be making with your back foot, however I do disagree with this slightly. If you look at the image below you will understand the difference. Basically, you shouldn’t be moving back and towards the leg side at the same time (in most cases, unless you are trying to invent a shot and play in a ratherĀ unconventionalĀ manner).

Ultimate-Cricketer-Back-Foot-V-2

So when playing on the back front, you should only ever be moving back, or back and across (as shown in the image above. It is bad technique to back away from the ball and move towards the leg side.

It is important to understand how crucial foot movement is. You should be able to understand the positioning of you feet for each shot you want to play. Playing in the ‘V’ will improve you technique considerably as the footwork is the foundation for a good technique.

Ultimate-Cricketer-Foot-Movement

I have found that this way works well for me and is a simple reminder that:

  1. I need to move my feet.
  2. I need to have the correct movement and positioning of my feet to execute the shot properly.

You may have some other methods of reminding yourself of this, or you may never have heard of this before. In either case, just think about your foot movement and the positions you are able to get into when batting.

The more times you practice this and focus on the movement, the more efficient you will become and you will find that you are able to get into position a lot quicker than usual. This is very important, especially if you are starting to face quicker bowlers.

Foot movement for spinners varies slightly as it requires that you move down the pitch in a lot of the cases, as being dictated by the spin can cause more trouble for you as a batsman. That is basically a whole other discussion though.

In any case, just think about your movement when batting and try to consciously make the effort to move your feet, see how it affects your game.

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