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The sweep shot
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The sweep shot

The sweep has become the favoured shot against spinners, especially by England's batsmen.

Although it's not the easiest shot in the world to perfect, it is very effective if it's played with the correct technique.

However, this is easier said than done.

There's an element of risk when you play the shot, so read on to make sure you don't give your wicket away needlessly.

Andrew Flintoff sweeps in action for England
Flintoff gets in line for the big sweep

The sweep is a cross-batted shot played to a delivery on or around leg stump behind square on the leg side.

The front foot ideally should be as close to the pitch of the ball as possible.

To keep balance, the batsman usually goes down on one knee on the back leg.

The idea is to get as low as possible and roll the wrists when the bat makes contact with the ball.

However, the sweep is often a premeditated shot, which means the batsman has decided to play the shot before the ball has been bowled.

It's important the batsman gets their front foot to protect the wicket, so if the ball misses the pad, there's little chance of getting bowled.

But it's also important to sweep a ball on the right line - if the ball's on middle stump and you miss, there's a very good chance of an LBW dismissal.

Sachin Tendulkar in action for India
Sachin plays a subtle paddle

Another point to remember is playing the sweep to a spinner who's turning the ball considerably.

Often bowlers, especially leg spinners, go around the wicket and aim for the rough created by the fast bowlers outside the batsman's leg stump.

This gives them a better chance of bowling a batsman around their legs, especially if they decide to play the sweep.

There are variations on the shot, especially in one-day cricket. There's the paddle, which is almost like a half-hearted sweep shot which relies on placement rather than power.

And then there's the "slog sweep", which is usually a huge swing aimed towards deep mid-wicket.

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Step 1
Step 2
Step 3

Front foot strokes
Forward defence
Straight drive
Sweep shot
Leg glance
'Shovel' shot



Try to get the bat as parallel as possible to the ground as you make contact with the ball

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