How To Develop A Safety Shot

How To Develop A Safety Shot

Today, we’re gonna talk about something a little different, something that’s a trick all pros keep up their sleeves to help them when they’re out of form. The Safety Shot.

Every batsman no matter how good or bad, has a time when he goes out to bat and just doesn’t feel confident.  Let alone the big hits, you can barely get your cover drive correct.  It’s for times like these that pro-batsmen like Kane Williamson & AB De Villiers rely on the safety shot to play themselves into their innings.

What Is A Safety Shot?

Good batsmen find out that one shot they are really comfortable with, a shot that they know, they rarely get wrong. They know how exactly to execute it and just in case there is a ball they can’t judge, they can modify this shot to their needs and the needs of that particular delivery.

It isn’t exactly a defensive shot because unlike a defensive shot this is meant to keep you safe while also giving you a single or two. A safety shot comes handy when you are going aggressive but then you suddenly face a tricky delivery that needs to be played cautiously.

How Do You Play A Safety Shot?

You can find your own safety shot but playing to your strengths and not using too much effort is important, so no drives or power strokes. Find the one-shot you feel most comfortable with and a shot you rarely get out to, after all, it should be safe. A couple of examples are:

The Late Block
This particular safety shot has been mastered by the man known for his 360-degree skills, AB de Villiers! 

Step 1 – Get to your stance, and mentally be prepared that you are going to play this shot a little late.

Step 2 – Use the back lift to raise your bat as high as you can as the ball is released.

Step 3 – Come on the front foot and punch the ball into the ground while raising your bat to 45 degrees. Doing this allows the ball to come on to the bat rather than you aiming for it.

What’s interesting about this shot is that since it’s a late shot, it lets you choose your shot till the last second.  If the ball is wider your hands should flow, let it go.  But if it is close enough to your off stump, you can always punch it into the ground towards third man and get a single.  Basically it’s about staying in the safe zone with a single or two until you can go for a boundary.

Kane Williamson uses a variation of the block in which he opens the face of the bat too, so he doesn’t punch it but glides it down to third man. 

To succeed as a batsman, it’s all about surviving the toughest bowling spells. When a ball is overpitched or short, it's easy to score off but what happens when a bowler is bowling a good line and length? You cant get bogged down and not score otherwise you’ll eventually lose your wicket.