There are certain moments in sports that can make even the most seasoned and cynical fan fall. From a batsman’s standpoint, the cover drive is near the top of the list in cricket.
There are various ways to execute this shot. Some players place their foot directly on the ball’s pitch and virtually rock down on one knee to stroke the ball through the cover region. Others rely on timing and hand-eye coordination to get the ball to the ropes.
In any case, it is one of the most spectacular views in the game. Here are the ten best cover drive players of the contemporary age, evaluated just on aesthetics.
1. Virat Kohli
The Indian batsman and former Indian captain is unquestionably the best cover drive player among all current batsmen. His command of his bat and body while playing the shot is particularly amazing, and it has frequently grabbed the attention of onlookers. Cricket commentators from all around the world have praised the Delhi batter for his outstanding footwork while playing the shot.
Kohli has been playing international cricket for more than 15 years, and now he is one of the top scorers in all formats. He is also one of the rare batsmen with a 50+ batting average across all formats of the game. Without a doubt, Virat Kohli is the finest cover drive player among all contemporary players.
2. Sachin Tendulkar
Although several batters had executed this magnificent stroke, Sachin was the one who first showed his fans the importance of maintaining proper body balance when making this hit. He was able to maintain control throughout the shot, keeping the ball in the air when he wanted to play down.
When it comes to the various cover drive dimensions — such as square, lofted, back foot, and cover drive against the spinners — the Master Blaster was the true master of them all.
Also Read | 5 Reasons Why Sachin Tendulkar is the GOAT
3. Babar Azam
The batsman from Lahore is currently a global star in cricket. Frequently compared to his Indian counterpart, Babar has been routinely producing runs at the highest level. Aside from his ability to score runs, his cover drive is frequently compared to that of the former Indian captain.
Babar made his international debut in 2015, and his career since then has been nothing short of amazing. He is one of the few batsmen ranked in the top ten in all formats of the game. He is, without a doubt, one of the best cover drive batters of his generation.
4. Quinton de Kock
Johannesburg’s batsman is among the most successful of his generation. He is currently perhaps South Africa’s top batsman.
He is among cricket’s all-time top 15 batters. But of all the batsmen, he is more effective with this shot. Both fans and cricket analysts applauded his cover drive skills.
5. Mark Waugh
Mark Waugh is the more competitive of the two, despite being less successful at history and statistics than his twin brother Steve. The kicker had strong running speed with a lot of cutting and pulling, but his cover drives and short hits will be remembered the most.
6. Michael Vaughan
Although there are numerous shots, the Yorkshire native performs best when he shifts his front foot to open up his range, and nothing beats clearing his cover face. His career came to an end in 2009 after completing an Ashes run as England captain, and he has since found a comfortable home in the commentary box.
Also Read | Top Ten Ashes Tests of All Time
7. Damien Martyn
Damien Martyn, an Australian cricketer, is largely considered one of the game’s best cover drive players. In his heyday, his beautiful stroke play and impeccable timing made him a formidable batsman.
Martyn’s cover drives were spectacular, as he sliced the field and sent the ball speeding towards the boundary with ease and precision. His cover drives were an important component of his extensive stroke repertoire and contributed significantly to his success as a batter.
8. Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Sangakkara was the master of the left-handed cover drive. The top wicketkeeper-batsman awaited the full-length delivery to demonstrate the elegance of the cover drive.
That is to say, the ideal components for the graceful stroke were a perfect body balance that was completely reliant on the steady foundation and the traditional Sri Lankan bat swing. Sanga distinguished himself from others by connecting with the ball immediately after it passed through his front foot.
9. Brian Lara
The West Indian legend successfully executed this shot by using his own technique for backlifting. His typical shuffle for the fast bowlers had always put him in the ideal position to hit the best shot from the book.
Furthermore, when bowled in the slot, the left-hander never hesitated to open up in the cover zone. Brian’s lofted cover drives on the offside, like the sweep shot on the leg side, had several spinners cut off bowling in the offside region.
10. Kane Williamson
While his approach to playing the ball with exquisite timing occasionally causes concerns with edges, Kane Williamson stays persistent in his approach. His dedication to giving the ball as much time as possible to move before connecting with the bat has become a feature of his batting approach.
Williamson’s cover drive is his most impressive stroke in his arsenal. He demonstrates a textbook execution of this shot with elegance and precision, stunning viewers with his ability to detect the gaps with ease.