‘The Gentleman’s Game’ as it has been called, made its way into the commonwealth countries like the nations in the Indian Subcontinent, the Caribbean Islands, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries. As a game requiring strict adherence to some rules, it pictured quite a contrast with the sport of baseball, a game requiring a similar skill set.
One of the important things which separate the game of cricket apart from baseball is the variety of shots being played in cricket. The cover drives, straight drive, pull shot, on-drive and square-cut are just a few in the wide arsenal of cricketing shots. Playing each cricketing shot requires a lot of determination, practice and perseverance on the part of the batsman.
The cover drive is one of the most elegant and effective shot to score runs. Here, we rank the top 5 current batsmen with the best cover drives. The ranking is based on objective parameters like the average of the batsman while playing the shot, control percentage and the percentage of runs scored through the shot.
Here’s the list:
5. Quinton de Kock
The 27-year-old batsman from Johannesburg is rarely noticed, yet one of the most successful batsmen of the current generation. Currently, he is arguably the best South African batsman. He is among the top 15 batsmen in all the formats of cricket.
Being a left-handed batsman and like his counterparts, Quinton de Kock has an elegant cover drive. However, he has achieved far more success than the other batsmen with this shot. His cover drives are admired by cricketing experts and fans alike.
Since his debut in International cricket in 2012, de Kock has captured the imagination of each and every spectator who has watched him bat. He had already broken some great records within a few years of his debut. Having scored almost 10,000 runs in his International career at the age of 27, it would be safe to consider de Kock as currently one of the best players with cover drives.
4. David Warner
The swashbuckling opener from Australia has taken the world by storm with his consistent batting performances. Despite serving a one-year ban from international cricket, he has come back strong and looks better than ever. He has a wide array of innovative shots up his belly. However, the cover drive is still one of his most effective and powerful shots.
His batting average in Test Cricket while playing the cover drive is 121.63. He also scores more than 20 per cent of his runs through this shot. He is one of the five batsmen who have an average more than 100 while playing the cover drive whilst also scoring more than 20 per cent of their runs through the same shot.
The 33-year-old batsman made his debut 11 years ago and is one of the most consistent batsmen in the current generation. Also, he is one of the few batsmen around the globe having hundreds in all formats of the game. He has been scoring runs for fun and has established himself as one of the best players of the cover drive.
3. Tamim Iqbal
The 31-year-old batsman from Chittagong is one of the most underrated players of the current generation. He has been playing international cricket for 13 years now and has performed quite consistently for Bangladesh. The left-handed batsman has one of the most elegant cover drives to his credit.
His average while playing the cover drive is an astonishing 149.33. Also, he scores almost 21 per cent of his runs with the same shot. Being a left-handed batsman, the cover drive is one of his primary and most effective cricketing shot.
Tamim Iqbal is one of the most experienced batsmen of his team and has bailed them out of trouble multiple occasions. He has scored more than 18,000 international runs and deserves to be included in a list for the current best batsmen with cover drives.
2. Babar Azam
The 25-year-old batsman from Lahore is a sensation on world cricket right now. Often subjected to comparisons with his Indian counterpart, Babar has been churning runs consistently at the highest level. Apart from the run-scoring capabilities, the elegance of his cover-drive is also often compared to that of the Indian skipper.
His average while scoring runs with the cover drive (in Test Cricket) is 49.3. However, he scores more than 21% of his runs through the same shot. Apart from this, his control while playing the shot is 91.5 per cent.
Babar made his international debut in the year 2015 and his journey for these 5 years has been nothing but impressive. He has been the No. 1 T20I batsman for a while now and is one of the few batsmen in the top 10 rankings in all formats of the game. It would be wise to say he is one of the best batsmen to play the cover shot in this generation.
1. Virat Kohli
The 31-year-old batsman and the Indian skipper is unarguably the best player of the cover drive among all the current batsmen. His control over his bat and body while playing the shot is quite impressive and has often drawn the attention of spectators towards its elegance. Cricketing pundits all across the globe have heaped a lot of praise on the Delhi lad for his excellent footwork while playing the shot.
His batting average while playing the shot is 74.14. He also scores 18.8 per cent of all his runs through cover drives. His control percentage while playing the shot is also an impressive 86.3 per cent.
Kohli has been playing international cricket for over 12 years now and is leading the run-scoring charts is every format of the game. He is also one of the few batsmen to have 50+ average in all formats of the game. Needless to say, Virat Kohli is the best player of cover-drive among all the current players.
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