An IPL player changed his backlift angle by 4 degrees and experienced improvements of 21% and 28% in his bat and impact speed.
Backlift in cricket is one of the significant batting parameters. In this blog, you will understand what a backlift is and why it is important. Further, you will explore how str8bat’s smart sensor helps aspiring cricketers embrace power batting with a slight improvement in their backlift angle.
Learning never stops in a cricketer’s life. All fundamental skills of batting hold a peculiar place in the batter’s learning graph. If you are an aspiring batter, you must be putting energy into learning the right batting techniques. Be it the right batting stance, trigger movement, batting grip, and backlift - an amateur batter knows them all, whereas an experienced batter masters them all.
In cricket, mastering the right skill is the first step to becoming a Pro.
While practicing in the academy, you must have heard a coach mentioning ‘work on your backlift’. We assume many of you have an idea of what the backlift is. But, still to revive your knowledge, here is the meaning of bat lift or backlift.
What is a Backlift in Cricket?Backlift in cricket means how wide a batter raises their bat backward before they start their downswing motion prior to hitting the ball.
Many readers have queries like what is backswing in cricket. They must understand that backlift and backswing mean the same in cricket.
The Importance of Backlift in Cricket
Three reasons make backlift significant in cricket. These reasons are:
- With backlift, a batter generates power to hit a power shot
- Backlift helps the batter to get in the rhythm
- Backlift in cricket helps the batter to cope with different bawling conditions
Let’s understand these reasons more in detail.
What is High Backlift in Cricket?
High Backlift = More Force
To understand the connection between backlift and force, we need to understand the anatomy between backlift, downswing, timing index, bat, and impact speed.
The relationship between Downswing, Bat speed, and Backlift in cricket
When a batter takes a high backlift in cricket the bat reaches a high point and after reaching that point downswing starts. As a result, during a downswing, the batter's bat generates bat speed.
The Relevance of Backlift Angle in Power Hitting
Let’s understand this whole scenario with a hypothetical situation.
Suppose, during a practice session, a batter does not take his bat backward. As a result, he will not get enough power to hit a long and range shot. Now we will understand the same concept with a different example.
You must have seen a golfer hitting a shot at a golf club. For a range hit, a golfer swings his club backward and takes it high beyond his head. Whereas the same golfer will hit a chip shot to strike the ball to the short-range or cup. Taking a club high and forming a wide back lift angle contrary to a chip shot that forms a narrow backlift angle affects the swing and implied power. And this implied power decides the speed and distance of the shot.
The same rule applies to backlift in cricket.
The Rhythm of the Shot with Trigger Movement and Backlift in Cricket
An accomplished batter doesn’t change their backlift frequently. Instead, they sync their backlift with their foot movement. Once they set up a batting process they are happy with, the batter ingrains backlift and triggers moments into their muscle memory with regular practice. An aligned backlift and trigger moment help the batter time the shot well.
Several beginners lift their bats either late or in the wrong direction. Less coordination in footwork and backswing is the main cause of these mistakes.
Backlift in Cricket and Bowling Conditions
Bawling conditions are not static. Therefore, a batter has to make adjustments in its backlift height to succeed in difficult batting conditions as well. For instance, hard and bouncy pitches are ideal for high backlift, on the other hand, short backlift goes well on pitches where the ball bounces low.
In a nutshell, a batter has to adjust his backlift depending on the batting pitch’s conditions. This arrangement helps the batter time the shot well.
Payers with High Backlifts in Cricket
Brian Lara, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Vinod Kambli, and Lance Klucener are some of the prominent international cricketers who used high backlift in cricket.
Players with low Backlifts in Cricket
Mark Taylor and Allan Border
Common Problems of Batters with Backlifts in Cricket
Many budding cricketers find difficulty with backlift in cricket. Some of the common mistakes are:
Delay in Lifting the Bat
A batter should lift the bat when the bowler comes into action. A slight delay in the backswing will affect the downswing judgment and timing of the shot. You can follow the below tips:
- The batter should not backswing his bat either too straight or pointing far to the gully.
- His bat should always slant between the first and third slips. This will bring the best resultant balance.
- During a downswing, the bat path should be behind the line of the ball and in a straight line.
Wrong Usage of Hand during Backswing
In the backlift, the position of the hands is also significant. The batter should lift the bat with the top hand, and his elbow should bend and not go too far from his body. His banding stance should be fixed, with the position of his eyes and head in line with the ball.
Up until now, whatever we covered was a half-truth, and was not enough to make you a Pro batter.
The Secret to Becoming a Pro Batter
The secret to becoming a Pro batter lies in BACKLIFT ANGLE.
In a game of cricket, cricket pitch, fielding position of the opposite team, and bowling conditions - nothing is in your control. A striking batter can take the team to a winning path only once he has the flexibility to hit shots all across the ground.
Also, Read Cricket Batting Tips and Techniques – str8bat
When a batter takes a backswing their bat follows a path, this path is called the backlift path or backlift direction. During the backswing, it is typically the horizontal path - away from the batter’s body.
Backlift angle forms between the highest point of the backlift and the batting stance. This angle is measured on the basis of the bat’s wide movement from the stance position. Therefore, the angle is measured in terms of width. A wider backlift angle generates greater angular acceleration during downswing movement, this increases bat speed.
How do the degrees of Backlift Angle affect a batter’s batting abilities?
First, when a batter takes a trigger movement, this is the point where the backlift angle matters most.
Second, observe how the bat path and backlift angle affects the shots of the batter.
- Backlift angle between Ist and 2nd slip
- The batter will have a better chance to hit the intended shot in all directions.
- The batter will play all shots with ease like cover drive, on the drive, curve drive, pull, hook, etc.
- Elite players have a 36 degrees wide backlift angle between 1st and 2nd slips.
- Wide backlift angle between gully or point
- The batter will comfortably play Leg-side Shots.
- Find Difficulty with Off-side shots.
- Elite players have a 51 degrees wide backlift angle around 3rd slip.
- Narrow backlift angle between wicketkeeper or leg slip
- The batter will access off-side shots better like straight drives.
- Find difficulty with leg side shots.
- Such a batter won't be able to play square shots like pull, hook, cut drive, etc.
Most cricket coaches guide budding batters to set their backlift angle between 1st and 2nd slips. As once this template is set, getting in line with the ball becomes easier for the batter.
How can a str8bat cricket bat sensor help with backlift in cricket?
Technology in cricket offers smart solutions that can help budding batters to draw their attention to their weaker skills. Surprisingly, str8bat’s cricket bat sensor too falls in this category. str8bat’s smart bat sensor is a boon for aspiring cricketers that can take their batting to the next level.
Str8bat offers an IoT-based smart sensor solution that a batter can apply on their bat. This sensor records all data related to the bat's movements which they can transfer to their str8bat cricket app.
Also Read: How to use the Cricket Bat sensor to Improve your Game?
Str8bat Cricket App
Str8bat cricket app is a cloud-based solution that can be downloaded on mobile. This app provides an in-depth analysis of more than 8 critical batting parameters. Fortunately, the backlift angle is one of them.
So, if your coach wants you to work on your bat lift angle, how will you know how much change you need to make?
Here, the str8bat cricket app’s visual insights will help you. You will get a detailed metrics report of your batting session. This report will show your actual metrics insights, viz-a-viz elite players. For instance, by analyzing the session-wise backlift angle report, you can see how a wider or narrow vertical moment change impacts the outcome of your shots.
Users can maintain a record of their drill and compare their records to form a better judgment. By repeating the right approach, they will learn to synchronize their backlift with foot moment and learn to take the right path to hit the ball in the intended direction.
Str8bat's Case Studies and Observations on Backlift Angle
- Str8bat Case Study on Backlift Angle
In one case study, an elite player changed her bat lift angle by 8 degrees and scored 36 runs extra in 9 balls.
- Str8bat’s observations regarding backlift in cricket
Str8bat analyzed several elite players’ thousands of shots. Based on the analysis, the below revelations came in open.
- Elite batters around the globe have 10 degrees wider backlift angles in nets compared to bawling machines.
- In matches, elite batters keep a 16-degree wider backlift angle compared to net sessions.
It is evident by both observations that an elite player adapts different approaches in matches and net sessions. During practice sessions, a batter focuses more on its technique, whereas in matches, due to game pressure and field placement, a batter depends more on their instinct.
But here a question arises, how will you reach a level where you can play a game of cricket based on your instincts?
The answer lies in the right technique and muscle memory.
In a Nutshell
There is no single skill that can make you a great batter. Instead, it's the learning of the right parameters that makes one a marvelous hitter. In a competitive world, when every second budding cricketer is getting trained in academies, you need to do something extra to make your worth felt. Thankfully, str8bat is here to help you.
So the next time, when your coach tells you to work on your backlift angle, you know whom to contact.