The game of cricket was once known to be a sport based on protocols and conventional methods, however, ever since the inception of new formats like T20 cricket and introduction of new rules and regulations, a vastly different mentality has replaced all these textbook techniques. The game has now witnessed multiple experiments, with the batsman adopting new ways of scoring runs. One of the main reasons behind the high popularity of the batting greats like Sir Don Bradman, Sir Viv Richards, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli is the fact that all of them are quite elegant and value ethics and traditions.
However, at the same time, there have been players who have adopted unconventional modi operandi of batting. Some of them have had strange ways of holding the bat, whilst some others used very bizarre stances. The stance is the base of batting as it helps the batsman to face a delivery. Nevertheless, there have been instances when the batters have tried to experiment with it and have even proved out to be successful.
Here, we’ll have a look at such batsmen, who have had very unusual batting deportments.
1. Shivnarine Chanderpaul
Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s stance. (Photo Source: Getty Images)
Shivnarine Chanderpaul‘s comportment while batting was way different from the ordinary course of nature. The lad had a very unorthodox technique and an awkward-looking stance. It was a front-on stance, with his body standing at the 90-degree-angle of the conventional batting position. His bat generally rested right in between his legs, his shoulder was stood right in front of the square-leg umpire & his chest faced the bowler.
Nonetheless, this unusual technique never affected the West Indian cricketer’s mindset. Despite having a very unorthodox batting style, the Southpaw always focused on the bowler, which helped him a lot. The 44-year old has scored 11,867 runs in test cricket and almost 9k runs in ODIs. He is one of the best and most underrated players West Indies has ever produced. Although his stance was widely termed as being “crab-like”, he never let it affect his performance.
He even said that his technique surprisingly helps him to do better. About his stance, the veteran once said, “I just had to be a little open and get the bat up in front of my face every minute. It was just to protect myself,”
2. Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen’s stance. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Kevin Pietersen has had a batting stance which was one of the weirdest in the world. Although he is considered to be an all-time great, especially in test cricket, the lad was one of the most unconventional batsmen of his time. The South Africa-born had a stance wherein he kept his feet wider apart than any other modern-day batsman. The rear part of his body would always be a bit higher and the backlift will be soaring.
However, this never proved out to be costly for the English cricketer as he always remained very concentrated while batting on the crease. The 39-year possessed the natural ability to judge the ball earlier than any other batsman of this world, which also helped him in the long run. At the same time, he didn’t stand still and kept shuffling with his leg movement which helped in confusing the bowler.
KP went on to score a total of 8,181 runs in his 104-match test career. Although he wasn’t a legend of white-ball cricket, he still scored more than 4k runs in ODIs.
3. Steve Smith
Steve Smith’s stance. (Photo Source: Hotstar)
Another legend from the modern-day cricket, Steve Smith is also widely regarded for his anomalous stance and peculiar looks while batting. He uses a special modus operandi of batting which is quite different from the traditional methods. The lad has a posture, wherein, he keeps skewing his bat abruptly to distract the bowler. The distance between his two legs is far more than what normal batsmen have. He still, albeit, keeps lurching across the crease before hitting the ball and shuffles his legs along the line.
Although the technique looks quite ugly from a viewer’s point of view, it has earned huge success to the former Australian skipper. Even though he was banned from all forms of international cricket for a year, the 30-year old is still one of the best batsmen going around in the cricketing fraternity. Smith has scored 6199 runs in the 64 test games he has played till now and is arguably the greatest test player of the current lot.
A couple of years ago, the Sydney-born had reached the rating of 947 in the ranking of the top ICC batsmen, which is the second-best after the great Sir Don Bradman.
4. Lance Klusener
Lance Klusener’s stance. (Photo Source: Youtube.com)
Lance Klusener is one of the best players of the 90s era. The 47-year old was a legend in ODI cricket. However, one of the most surprising aspects of his batting was the stance he possessed. The lad held his bat at such a lofty height that it stayed parallel to his head. His bat also used to be quite heavy and hence, this stance looked more like a baseball-one.
However, this technique was followed by several pros and cons. The higher backlift helped Klusener to hit many big hits which made him score tons of runs. The Proteas cricketer was quite a decent bowler too and went on to become one of the finest all-rounders of his time. He scored more than 3k runs and struck around 200 wickets in his short-but-glorious career. Nevertheless, this stance turned out to be really costly for him on slow wickets, especially in the biggest format of the game.
5. George Bailey
George Bailey. (Photo Source: Twitter)
It was a one-day warm-up game between Prime Minister’s XI and the South African team, which was all set to kick off the upcoming tour. Chasing 174, the former team were on the score of 53-3 when their skipper George Bailey came out to bat for his team. The lad soon went on to create a scene which will forever be remembered by the cricket aficionados. The former Australian skipper took a stance in which, his back was facing the bowler and his bat was standing right in front of the fielder at point.
Meanwhile, Faf Du Plessis, who was standing at the slip, was captured having a cheeky giggle after watching such a hilarious posture. The South African skipper was left in splits, at that moment.
Bailey also talked about this topic after the game ended. He said, “The really simple answer is to keep it side on, the key for batting and getting your feet into a position where you can hit the ball as hard as you can. The key to that is keeping my back foot very side-on, which is something I used to speak to you (Michael Clarke) a lot about when you played as well.”
“My tendency when the ball is swinging is to turn my hip to face the bowler, which then makes my hands lead out and it would get me into a lot of trouble. So it’s just something I’ve been tinkering with to try and make sure my back foot stays as side-on as possible,” the 36-year old further added.
Faf having a cheeky giggle in the slips at Bailey's extraordinary stance 😂 pic.twitter.com/q30H7chZeP
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) October 31, 2018
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