Soft hands (batting) (also soft bat)

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Soft hands

Soft hands (batting) (also soft bat) – literally “soft hands”, a specific grip of the bat during a defensive strike, when the main goal of the batsman is not to clear the playing space for a run but to defend the wicket or escape from a blow that may affect himself or lead to the announcement of Dead ball.

The Soft hands (batting) (also soft bat) refers to one of the slang epithets coined by former cricketers who later devoted themselves to commentary activities. Like Cherry (ball), it is understandable primarily for professionals, but at the same time, it has several semantic shades that allow further clarification of its meaning.

The Soft hands means a more relaxed grip than a standard grip. Soft hands (batting) (also soft bat) is used primarily in situations when there are several fielders near the batsman, and he does not want to hit the ball in the air to avoid a possible out. Done correctly, this kick will reduce the speed of the ball and direct it to the desired pitch.

The main feature of the Soft hands (batting) (also soft bat) is that at the moment of receiving the ball, the hand that is on top holds the bat, while the second, on the contrary, is as relaxed as possible (cricket coaches often advise beginners studying this blow using only thumb and forefinger). Since the Soft hands (batting) (also soft bat) is one of the Forward defensive strikes, to receive the ball, the player reliably rests his back foot in the pitch and steps forward, moving the bat into the optimal position.

From the outside, it may seem that the batsman is taking a risk, waiting until the last before hitting the ball. In reality, this is not entirely true, since one of the main tasks, in this case, is to correctly calculate your speed so as not to give the ball an additional impulse. That is why, with the Soft hands (batting) (also soft bat), the batsman takes the shell almost on the verge of permissible, slightly pulling it back.

In practice, it looks like this. If the bowler uses the Straight drive, directing the ball at a speed of about 30 m / s, and the batsman accepts the ball, taking the bat back at a speed of no more than 10 m / s, then the total speed of the projectile after contact with it will be about 20 m / s. Therefore, even if the batsman ultimately fails to get the ball into the correct sector, he is more likely to avoid Caught and Bowled.

Professional batsmen believe that the Soft hands (batting) (also soft bat) should be used primarily against swing bowlers and spin bowlers. Despite the difference in serve speed, both of them prefer to give the ball a complex trajectory of rotation, which can be extremely difficult to predict. And even having coped with this task, the batsman cannot always transfer the projectile to a safe zone. The Soft hands (batting) (also soft bat) comes to the rescue in such situations, which allows you to “dampen” the blow by rolling the ball along the ground to the desired sector.

It is worth noting that many people call the Soft hands (batting) (also soft bat) an endangered form of defensive strike. Indeed, it is easy to see that these days it is used much more often in a test format than in, for example, the T20, where batsmen mainly rely on powerful and hard punches that allow them to quickly collect the necessary runs. At the same time, mastering the Soft hands (batting) (also soft bat) is still considered extremely important, since regardless of the specific game of a batsman, his arsenal should be quite diverse.

Rahul Dravid (India) and Alistair Cook (England) were recognized as masters of the Soft hands (batting) (also soft bat) at different times. Nowadays, New Zealander Kane Williamson holds the palm in this area.

Interestingly, the term Soft hands is also widely used in blackjack, where it is understood as an ace, which is valued at eleven points. Such a card is considered extremely profitable, which means it can help the player form a potentially winning combination.

Nisha Bhavani
Author: Nisha Bhavani Position: Cricket Expert

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