Biomechanics of Pandya, Buttler, and Livingstone’s big hitting and what works for them

My philosophy: White-ball batting is hand-eye coordination with strength and skill. When hitting, you lead with your head. When you hit, you lead more with your hip. It’s about generating power from the ground up, from your waist to your hands. Cricket has traditionally been too dependent on hands. That needs to change. The power comes from the upper body and hips. When you explosively hit the ball, a chain of kinetic energy is created: it goes from your back leg to your hip, to your back, to your shoulder, to your elbow, and finally to your wrists. What I’m trying to do is connect the dots. You must separate your hands from your body. You need to make this separation to improve explosiveness. You see, in baseball, the back leg goes back, the hands sort of separate from the body, and then there’s an explosion. You have stored a lot of energy in your wrists. For players who don’t do it naturally, I try to make it through their natural movements. Using wrists is the final part of the kinetic chain of events. This is how you get the last snapshot.
I would love to see all of these hitters do their job in Australia where the gaming services are a bit bigger. You have to be aggressively smart.

Liam Livingstone

His mindset is to hit every ball for a six. He has no fear of failure. He needs rhythm and pace and timing. He gets his rhythm out of his hands and if he gets it right the whole kinetic chain stays together. Those ground forces we were talking about. If he gets it wrong, which is basically more important, his back leg basically collapses, meaning he doesn’t use his back leg.
When you’re punching you want your back heels to be over your toes, then create power, create angles. But when your back leg collapses, the power doesn’t flow properly. He has great hand-eye coordination and supports his hands. When you commit to the shot, bring your whole body into the shot. He’s talked about hitting his longest sixes against spinners when he initially feels like he’s been done with by the flight and is still going through with it. What does that mean? The effort takes over and the whole body flows in and the energy flows better. Even if he doesn’t get all the way here, he can draw it for a six; In the end, his hands do the work. But he comes best when his back leg is well positioned and gets his hips into the action.

Jos Butler

He’s the best batsman in the world right now, arguably the best T20 batsman of all time. He has the biggest wrist snap out there. He can be fairly conventional early in the innings, staying lateral, seeing the momentum and pace, and once he gets his eye in, he opens a touch. He can access any part of the ground, he has the same swing (like Liam) but he can hit different levels depending on the length and line. He can open the off-side and of course he can go on the leg-side and he’s got all these scoops.
You have stored a lot of energy in your wrist. His wrist snap is the best out there. And he doesn’t try to hit under the ball, but undercuts it almost slightly so the ball gets more airtime, lingers longer and clears the field. With a slight undercut you get a lot of backspin on the ball, which practically takes the ball out of the field. It’s a baseball thing. You don’t go under the ball and only gain altitude, you hit it at an angle that gains more airtime and flies longer. Buttler has a pure racquet swing and looks so effortless. It’s a bit like a slice, but of course from a different angle. You don’t want to undercut too much; it is a scientific art.

Glen Maxwell

He has this ability to separate his hands from his body. He has strong massive forearms on him. And he takes credit for every shot. For me he has to keep it simple. Don’t manipulate too much. He seems to be very instinctive and needs to call instead of messing around. By separating his hands from his body I mean this: when he lifts his racquet, he has a great attitude. His hands go behind him, his hands are above his front elbow giving you a great launchpad. It’s like golf, you don’t hit 400 yards just by getting the club down; there’s a hand-hip separation and Maxwell does that pretty well.

Hardik Pandaya

Very nimble hands. Very quick movements – including the feet to get into great positions. He knows what he likes to do. And what he does well is when the ball isn’t there for the position he’s set for – say on the off-stump guard, open stance and theoretically trying to hit the side of the leg – then it always is still there in a great position to meet it elsewhere. We’ve often seen bowlers try to bowl further, away from him, and he smashes it to the point limit. The best are the right doughs; like Pandya, like Butler. They have a great awareness of their hitting and it helps tremendously. Hardik has such nimble hands, look at some of the cuts or the leg side pulls; he almost slashes her open. He throws down the outside-off Yorkers well; he is really fast.

Another interesting thing you’ll notice about Pandya, and this is true of a lot of these big hitters like Buttler, is that these guys hit direct but don’t play direct. You play with a slight angle of the racquet, which offers more possibilities. Hit straight, but don’t play straight.
It also helps with undercutting the ball. You can only undercut if you’re at a slight angle. If you swing the racquet up and down in a straight line, as you may have seen in the olden days, the ball may fly straight up or gain more height than necessary. You can still see it in the more conservative or conventionally oriented batsmen. They can pot the ball, but if they go beyond that and look for highs, this technique will fail. You have to get the ball at an angle and you see that with all these players.

David Mueller

He gets in good positions and stays there. You don’t see him out of shape when he’s hitting well. He doesn’t get too close to the ball. He can play directly, but he can also maneuver the ball into other areas quite dominantly.

No unnecessary grabbing or jumping for the ball. I feel more confident these days waiting for the ball. He’s strong and has quick hands; so that he can. He’s a real hitter who gets access to the ball. It looks like he’s worked out his game.

Rovman Powell

He’s strong, built like a heavyweight boxer. He goes into positions very early and has this hands-hip separation. He has scientific hitting skills, but he’s more of a power hitter. Not as skilled as some of the others on the list but seems to have the ball feel to execute his brutal swings. His role on the team is also different from the others on the list – he’s not riding that much yet as he’s still growing and having a bit of fun if you will. Once bowlers start examining and analyzing, these batsmen tend to be more scientific with their shots. But right now he’s hitting her like a boxer. So strong.

Marcus Stoinis and Tim David

Stoinis is a big strong boy, more strength than ability (scientific ability) but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t think about his batting ability. He is seen, feet close together, slightly crouched, body like a catapult as he leaps and unfurls for the big throw. So there is this thought and this style; but again in his role, with the other hitters on the team, he was free to come and do his thing. The timing of the movement is key and when he gets it right he connects well.

Tim David is another hitter I’m looking forward to at the World Cup. A batsman who almost grew up playing franchise cricket. A stand and deliver guy with a good clean racquet swing. High, long levers and a simple bat swing. I haven’t seen much of Tristan Stubbs; he looks good too.

If you ask me about a team of batters of power players, I have to choose England. All the way down

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