Brian Lara's inside-out drive

Any of Brian Lara's drives warrant inclusion for their sheer class. His pristine back-foot flail through the covers is arguably his signature stroke, but it's the inside-out drive - the off-drive to a leg-side delivery - which really shows how this guy bats alone.

As a bowler, the first sign of impending disaster is the backlift. Brian Lara's bat comes straight up behind him. Vertically. Really he should put a sign on the back of it saying: 'Take that, you bastard'. The ball may be spearing towards his feet, but those are no ordinary feet. Those are feet of which even Michael Flatley would be jealous. The feet flutter their owner across the crease.

The ball is pretty much underneath his nose before Lara bothers to move his bat again. You don't think he's given himself enough time to play a shot, but you'd be wrong. The bat whirs through, seemingly only appearing in two places and none of the intervening points - the point where he strikes the ball and then behind his back after the world's biggest follow-through. If you're wondering where the ball is, look between the fielders and then look beyond to the boundary rope. It's somewhere over there.

Some other batsmen and their signature shots

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

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