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Cricket Basics
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Reverse Sweep
A cross-batted sweep shot played to a low bouncing ball, by kneeling on one knee and swinging the bat around in a horizontal arc close to the pitch, but reversing the blade of the bat half-way through the swing and sweeping the ball around to the off side from the leg side. The reverse sweep is a potentially valuable shot to play because it effectively defeats the field positions, but it is considered an unorthodox shot by cricket purists. It was first regularly played in the 1970s by the Pakistani batsman Mushtaq Mohammed. Two cricketers who are considered to have played the reverse sweep very well (it has been described as their signature shot by some) were Andy Flower of Zimbabwe and Javed Miandad of Pakistan. The reverse sweep requires good timing and coordination in turning the blade over and also requires considerable arm-power in driving the ball to the off side. It has been known to backfire, for instance in the case of Mike Gatting of England against Allan Border of Australia in the 1987 World Cup, when Gatting, attempting a reverse sweep off a fairly non-aggressive first delivery off Border, edged the ball with the top edge of his reversed bat straight to wicket-keeper Gregory Dyer. This subsequently proved to be a very expensive wicket for England, whose run rate dropped sharply and caused them to lose the 1987 World Cup Finals. It has also been often used by England Wicket-Keeper Paul Nixon in the 2007 World Cup Finals, to such an extent that it has seemingly become his 'trademark' shot.
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