While the shots like the straight drive, the cover drive and the on-drive are often compared to the works of art when played perfectly, the late cut shot, in particular, exhibits the pristine shrewdness of a batter when played correctly.
Normally, it is a cricket shot that is often played to fetch gaps for rotating strike or to yield a boundary especially when fielders are inside the ring. While the shot can be mainly mastered and used regularly in the white-ball format, but to execute it perfectly, a batter must possess a strong supple wrist.
Players like Mahela Jayawardene and Gautam Gambhir were the immaculate masters of this touch play stroke and over the years, most batters have now developed the skill. All in all, the shot is a dear requirement in today’s white ball game and to cherish it, here’s our list of 10 best batters who are the current sublime players of the late-cut shot.
10. Shikhar Dhawan
For Shikhar Dhawan, the entire area from covers till the third man region is all a vital locus whether against seam or spin. Because of facing a wide range of right-arm quicks, both the late cut and the normal cut towards the point region are both on the merit shots for Shikhar Dhawan which he immaculately nails with ease. Regardless of facing a heavy cladding of fielders, Dhawan still looks to obtain gaps and keeps his run tally ticking.
Again while facing any kind of spin, the late cut precisely becomes his boundary fetching shot, whereby using his meaty bat face, he knocks them with simplicity. To further play with and disrupt any bowler’s length, the southpaw also has a handsome uppercut shot to additionally capitalize on any patchy bowling.
All in all, just like all the prolific top-order batters, even Dhawan broadly upholds a cluster of late cut options to keep his batting moving in right motion.
9. Ross Taylor
While Ross Taylor might be known for his lofty romance in the leg-side region, the Kiwi batsman is an ingenious collector of runs on the backward square of the wicket. Especially the cut shot is a husky weapon in Taylor’s batting arsenal, where even the slightest of width is dispatched for runs.
Because of the leeway in the field restrictions in ODIs, the late cut against spinners is also a crafty way in which Taylor prefers to go with his batting especially in the sub-continent conditions where the turn excessively helps him to easily find the gaps. Over the years, while batting with Kane Williamson, often both of them enormously use the late cut guide to keep the constant strike rotation going.
Despite carrying a massive reputation for his leg side firepower play, his strong bottom hand also yields him some crucial runs in the empty areas of the off-side region.
8. Ravindra Jadeja
Because of the high proportion of the right-hand bowlers in the game, normally the late cut guide towards the third man or a gentle slice in the backward square region is a kickstarting stroke for Ravindra Jadeja to get early off the mark. In a true sense, the entire region from deep backward point till the third man area is a business spot for Jadeja to combat the lines bowled by a right-hand bowler to a left -hand batsman.
The above-mentioned areas are also his boundary scoring opportunities especially at the back end of the innings where normally bowlers prefer bowling away from the batsman’s arc. However, against spinners, since Ravindra Jadeja is an astute runner between the wickets, often the above areas are in operation to raise handy runs. In general, with Jadeja also being a functional batter who highly scores on both sides of the wicket, even the off stump line bouncers are easily uppercut by him.
The late cut options played by Ravindra Jadeja is a run making shot for the left-hander regardless of him batting in any of the situations.
7. Joe Root
While Joe Root’s overall batting has all been developed and fostered around the textbook coaching manuals of English cricket, his late cut shot in particular also exhibits a similar style when executed properly. With Root being technically very well blessed, the cricketer plays a very classical late cut which often is seen as an escort towards the third-man region.
Particularly, against the spinners by using the depth of the crease, Root is well known to fetch boundaries towards the deep third-man area especially in ODIs when there are only four fielders allowed outside the ring. His subtle guide towards the gully region against pacers has always been his capitulating shot to fetch easy singles despite facing any variations.
Thanks to his profound technique, most of the time Root’s cut shots are mainly produced in control and that’s the reason why his overall batting looks extraordinarily balanced.
6. Shoaib Malik
Although Shoaib Malik might be facing an ordeal when it comes to his current selection in the national team, the cricketer, in his vastly prolong career, was merrily known for his high-class horizontal bat shots. With his batting position always facing a juggle, the late cut shot or any kind of slice in the square region has always been a scoring source for the veteran batsman.
Whether it was facing spin or seam, even as an opener or a middle-order player, the late cut was Shoaib Malik’s productive way to get his strike rotation going. Even while extensively playing in the BBL, where the pitches might churn out steep bounce, the cut shot was always Shoaib Malik’s reliable stroke which eventually allowed to amuse plenty of boundaries.
All in all, many cricket pundits have hailed his tall batting stance as a key reason for successfully playing some sumptuous horizontal shots. With the late cut shot demanding the use of subtle hands along with the transfer of weight on the back foot, Malik’s comprehensive posture at the crease seems to be the right way to comfortably play the witty stroke.
5. KL Rahul
While KL Rahul might be a fully 360-degree player, who also plays some vigorous unorthodox strokes, the cut shot or the late cut has always remained a strong point of scoring runs in his batting. It’s his still head and tidy balance that seamlessly allows Rahul to pick the length up early and play his feisty cut stroke against bowlers.
The late cut against spinners is normally vouched by KL Rahul when the third-man and point fielders are inside the ring thus effectively allowing him to use his wrists to grab boundaries. With Rahul’s batting also being all about playing on merit, a clever guide towards the third-man against pacers is also his practical source of strike rotation in middle overs.
Just like his peers in the Indian team, KL Rahul is effectively known to use the late cut options to explore the areas of the third-man region.
4. Rohit Sharma
Just like his other shots which are highly elegant, even Rohit Sharma’s late guide towards third-man to fetch a mere single look resplendent. The cut shot against seamers has always been Rohit Sharma’s heavy scoring area when provided with width. Similarly, the late cut is also Rohit’s go-to stroke especially against spinners which often makes him grab nifty runs.
With his pendulum-like bat swing, Rohit always plays the late cut with his sheer timing rather than doing something extraordinary. It normally becomes his feature stroke, once the power play gets finished which often helps him to get indulged in strike rotation. Also, mainly against the leg-spinners, Rohit often picks the length early and late cuts the ball between the point and short third man fielder when placed in the ring.
Scoring behind the square of the wicket towards the offside is a high business area for Rohit Sharma and the late cut shot has always been a functional stroke for the right-hander.
3. Virat Kohli
Although Virat Kohli is surely not an exuberant cutter of the cricket ball, the cricketer actually because of his sturdy wrists is more of a fine slicer which eventually allows him to play a quality late cut shot. The late cut has always been Virat’s high yielding shot especially in the middle passage of play in the ODIs.
While executing the shot, Kohli mainly plays the late cut on merit especially when the line of the bowler allows him to fine touch the stroke. Also, to distinctly collect the ones or twos against spinners, often Virat is seen guiding the ball late towards the fine third-man region. Sometimes with the help of his shrewd wrist work, Virat has also sliced the wide outside off-stump line yorkers for boundaries.
All in all, with Virat Kohli being strenuously known to build his innings in white-ball cricket, the late cut shot, despite being only played on sheer merit, has been a scoring aid for him.
2. Babar Azam
While Babar Azam is already highly cherished for exhibiting his mesmerizing cover drives, the cricketer was recently seen playing a late cut to a stump line yorker. Yes! the shot looked highly alien and unbelievable, but in the end, it sums up the extreme supple wrists which Babar Azam owns.
Right from his initial years till today, Babar has always been a heavy scorer in the off-side region especially with the cut shot or the late guide towards the third man routinely yielding him useful runs and strike rotation. His nimble bottom hand is the key attribute that effortlessly allows him to collect runs with ease, whether it’s against the spinners or seamers.
Especially in ODIs, where the middle passage of play is all about earning singles, Babar is extensively seen depositing the ball in gaps by bringing his late cut into play. Playing the late cut shot is an integral feature of Babar’s overall batting and now with his added ability to even late cut the stump line yorkers, Babar Azam is surely rewriting the evolution of this cricket shot in history books.
1. Kane Williamson
There’s absolutely no doubt that Kane Williamson is currently the best non-Asian batsman who has the best exquisite mastery of this cricket shot regardless of whether it’s spin or seam. The Kiwi cricketer is already known for playing the best back-foot punch in business and probably upholds the finest senses when it comes to playing the ball as late as possible.
Now both the back-foot punch and the late cut shot do clearly exemplify Williamson’s acrobatic wrists that have eventually also yielded him runs even on craggy wickets, but the late cut shot, in particular, is something which Williamson smartly uses against spinners to fetch useful runs and boundaries. Williamson’s innate ability to cut the ball late was best visible in the 2019 World Cup semi-final against India, where on an abrupt Old Trafford wicket, the Kiwi skipper had played a match-winning inning of 67 from 95 deliveries.
Overall, Kane Williamson is surely one of the rare non-Asian batters, who plays this witty shot with extreme ease and probably will find himself as the best envoy to coach this ingenious stroke.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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