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The straight drive
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Straight drive shot

The straight drive is one of the most classical shots in a batsman's repertoire.

Bowlers hate to see batsmen present the full face of the bat as the ball races to the boundary through the offside.

The straight drive is usually played to an overpitched delivery on or outside off stump.

Overpitched means when the ball is not quite on a good length, but not quite a yorker.

Sachin Tendulkar reels off another straight drive
Sachin shows the maker's name

This is the perfect length to get on the front foot and ease the ball through the covers or mid-off.

One of the most important points to remember about this particular shot is getting your front foot as close to the pitch of the ball as possible.

You often see batsmen driving the ball in the air with their feet nowhere near the pitch of the delivery.

To stop this from happening, make sure you get your head over the ball as you play the stroke.

This means your weight is leaning forward, rather than back, which is often when the ball travels dangerously in the air.

The straight drive is about timing and placement rather than power.

So most of the work is done by the top hand, with the bottom hand lending support.

You might often hear the phrase "showing the maker's name" from commentators when a batsman has played a glorious drive.

This means the batsman has presented a very straight bat on their follow through, so straight you can see the name of the company that made it.

If you want to see the perfect example of a straight drive, watch India's Sachin Tendulkar in action.

The Little Master almost always hits the ball with little effort with a classic straight bat.

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Front foot strokes
Forward defence
Straight drive
Sweep shot
Leg glance

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3

TIP: The off drive is played to a ball of 'good length' on or outside off stump. And the on drive is played if the ball is on or outside leg stump.

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