Graham Gooch's Cricket
The skills of batting against a fast bowler - By Simon Burrows
Here is quick run-down of what the screen shot you can
view by clicking on the "View Screen Shots..." button
below means, and how to interpret it´s information into
a game situation. At the bottom, this text includes
some tips on how to get each shot shown in the screen
shot to work effectively each time.
The main diagram
The main diagram, (being the graphic representation of a
cricket square with the umpire and wickets drawn on,) is
the part which shows you which style of bowling you can
expect from this type of bowler, and, what ´colour´ shots
you should play against these types of bowling.
The diagram is only effective if the bowler you´re facing
is running to the left of the umpire (hence why he is on
the picture). This is called bowling over the wicket
and is the method most fast bowlers will use for the
majority of the time. Also, remember that it will only
be effective if the batsman you are using IS right-handed.
I´ve chosen to cover this scenario as it is the most
common you are likely to come across, taking into
consideration all the international teams.
The boxes coloured in on the pitch show where any ball
from this particular type of bowler will land. There may
be slight differences in the exact location of the ball,
but, 99% of the time, the target ´square´ for the next
ball will always be positioned in one of these boxes.
When playing a game against one of these bowlers you can
use these squares to tell you which shot to play. Match
up the position the target square is, on the game screen,
with the position it would be on the representation, then
look at the colour of the box it is in. This colour
denotes what shot to play. To find out what all the
different colours mean, look towards...
The key, (amazingly enough being the part marked "KEY",)
will tell you what the different colours on the main
diagram mean. I´ve deliberately left that main diagram
black and white so the colours will stand out on both the
diagram itself, and the key.
When you have a colour from the main diagram, cross
reference it with that same colour on the key. Now look
across at the type of shot written by that particular
colour. That shot will be the one best suited to the
ball you are facing.
You now need to know what combination of keys you need to
use in order to make each of these shots work. To find
this out, glance down to...
The legend is the diagram below the key that looks like
an 8-point compass. This will tell you - if you have a
colour from the main diagram - what combination of keys
to press in order to make this perfect shot.
As you will see, each of the 8 arrows has a colour. If
you match this colour up with the one from the main
diagram, you will have a direction. (Up, left,
down/right, for example.) If you match this direction to
either the corresponding key on the numeric key-pad on
your keyboard, or, one of the eight directions available
on a conventional joystick, you will have the right
control to use in order to get that shot to work.
Now you have this control, use it with fire to make your
batsman hit - or try to hit - the ball in the correct
fashion, in order to get the best results from the type of
That´s the basics over. You should now understand how
this screen works. (Well, actually, you probably
understood it anyway). If you like, you might as well
give it a go now since each individual will have their
own ways of getting each shot to give you a good result.
However, if you like, read on for detailed tips on each
of the strokes you will need to play....
Number 1 - The ´Defensive Stroke´ (Red)
This type of stroke is only used in one situation - when
the bowler is attempting to hit your leg stump (the
stump nearest your leg) with a yorker-length ball. (One
that bounces, for the first time, directly at your feet).
It is an easy stroke to get right since you needn´t move
your feet in order to do it perfectly. Simply stand
where you are, and, as the bowler bowls in towards you,
hold down the up control and hit fire. This will make
your batsman play a sturdy, defensive shot to his left by
pushing the ball into the floor as it comes towards him.
Number 2 - The ´Leg glance´ (Pink)
This stroke can be played in three, very similar ways.
Each one can get different results, though; if you get
your timing perfect, you should only need one of them to
get a boundary (4 or 6) every time.
The shot involves ´flicking´ the ball as it goes down the
leg side (the right of the wickets as you look down the
pitch) so it flies along the ground, either behind, or
square of the batsman, to his left.
The three ways of playing the shot are the same except
that you either stay where you are as the bowler
approaches, take one step towards the left-side of the
screen as he approaches, or, take two. The difference is
which angle the ball goes. The further to the left you
move, the further behind the batsman the ball will go, so
long as you make a good strong contact with it. So, not
moving at all will leave the ball going square, whereas
going two paces should hit it finely, behind him.
To hit it correctly, make the stroke just as it reaches
in line with the batter´s legs. This way you know that
you will be pushing it in the correct direction without
the possibility of an edge into your own stumps. Timing
the shot is difficult, and, unfortunately, if you get it
wrong you will make little or no impression on the score.
However, if you find the middle of the bat, especially
with a really fine (as far behind the batsman as
possible) shot, a four should be yours.
(You can also play a sweep shot with this kind of bowling
but these are hard to connect with and will only reap a
good reward if you play it really sweetly ´round the
Number 3 - The ´Off Drive´ (Green)
This stroke is played, like the defensive stroke, from a
yorker length delivery (bowled into the feet). The
reason for using this stroke - instead of a defensive
stroke - is because it is a lot safer than in number one
(don´t ask me why, it just is) so you might as well get
the runs while you can.
The shot involves driving the ball hard, back towards and
past the bowler´s right. (Towards the Mid-Off position.)
The reason it works so well is because, for some reason,
playing the ball in the opposite direction to that in
which it is travelling (ie, towards the bottom-right of
the screen because it has been bowled to the top-left)
will make a faster shot if you connect.
To get it to work properly, as the bowler runs up, you
must move towards the left of the screen so your bat has
gone ´past´ the target square and your feet are standing
in it instead. This way, you can flick the ball off your
feet with more power than otherwise. This also has the
added advantage of saving you from being bowled if you
miss the ball because you will be hit on the ankles
instead! (Just make sure you disable the LBW rule
You will flick the ball from a position on the floor
straight along the ground, hopefully to the boundary.
However, if you don´t time the shot quite right and you
end up hitting it softly, either too late or too early,
you should still snatch a run from the Mid-Off fielder as
he´s too far from the wickets to get a run-out. (If you
sprint, of course!)
Number 4 - The ´Straight Drive´ (Dark Blue)
This one is a killer to play and you may wish to use a
defensive stroke instead, especially if you are in the
situation where a wicket would be fatal. However, if you
wish to try it, the rewards can be good or, quite
The shot involves, with a straight bat, hitting the ball
straight past the bowler, or just to his left or right.
Most of the time you won´t get a perfect connection (bat
on ball) so it will trickle down to either the Mid-On or
Mid-Off fielding positions (the two behind and to the
right or left of the bowler respectively). This isn´t
the end of the world, though, because if you´re quick you
should still get a single whilst these fielders collect
and return the ball to the bowler.
As with number 3, you must move a little towards the
screen´s left in order to make a good connection. Keep
moving until it seems that the ball is going to bounce
right into the centre of the bat from where your opponent
has placed the target square.
In order to get a four, you need to connect with the ball
late so that it is as high on it´s upward movement as
possible (after it has bounced). The problem with this
is that you might then leave it too late and get bowled
through the pads. If you do hit it, though, you will
make a sweet connection with the middle of the bat and
the ball will travel for a short distance in the air
before rolling, very quickly, to the boundary closest to
the bowler. Whoopppeee - 4 runs!!!!
Number 5 - The ´Cut´ (Brown(ish)
This stroke is the one most likely to get you four runs,
and, what´s more, even if it doesn´t, the only way it can
fail and get you out is when you edge it up into the
slip´s hands. This doesn´t really matter, though, as
they´ll probably flunk the catch anyway!
The shot involves giving yourself loads of room in front
of the wickets so you can smash the ball out at the left
of the screen. Of course, you wouldn´t do this with just
any type of ball - only those too short to endanger the
wickets, and, preferably too wide as well.
When you see your opponent line up one of these balls -
you must act quickly. Hold down the right hand direction
key until your man won´t go any further. This looks
suicidal as the stumps are completely open, however, the
bowler can´t change his mind now!!
Now, as the ball flies wide of the stumps (though not as
wide as you) hit the up/left key with fire and you will
smash the ball at a very fast rate. If you time it
perfectly, which you should do most of the time, it will
be an unstoppable four-runs. If not, it will go to
either Mid-On or the Gully position (I´m not going to
bother to explain) where it will be fielded and returned
before you can even get a single. The only other outcome
happens occasionally, and that, as I´ve said above, is
where you top-edge it towards a first or second slip
I thank you..... (and you can thank me if you like)