Although the three matches played so far at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad have not been very high-scoring affairs, even on a tricky surface, some of the power hitters and stroke makers have managed to play some audacious and at times very lucky shots that have gone for boundaries.
While batsmen trying to negate the spin with reverse sweeps has been a common sight in the series, some of the more innovative shots too have been out on display by players from both sides.
Outwitting the bowlers and rendering the field placements null and void, batsmen have found unique ways of scoring runs.
TimesofIndia.com here takes a look at some of the most out of the box shots played by the batsmen in the series so far:
1st T20I – Rishabh Pant reverse scoop off Jofra Archer
When Rishabh Pant came up with his reverse-scoop for the first time in the recently concluded Test series against England legend James Anderson, the whole world was in awe of the swashbuckling batsmen. Tillakaratne Dilshan, who was the first batsman to play the scoop shot over the wicket-keeper called it ‘outrageous’. But when Pant did the same to one of the fastest bowlers in the world — Jofra Archer — in the first T20I, it was really something to behold — a reverse-scoop off a bowler bowling at over 90 miles/hour.
So impressed was the cricketing fraternity with the audacity of Pant’s shot that he was praised by multiple cricketers.
‘Greatest shot that’s ever been played in cricket’, ‘incredible’, ‘absolutely fearless’, were some of the words said by the greats of the game said about the shot that Pant played off Archer’s thunderbolt.
The incident happened in the fourth over of the first T20I when Pant took on Archer, changing to a right-handed stance and scooping him over the keeper and the first slip fielder for a boundary. Archer was visibly stunned in his follow through as Pant produced an absolutely extraordinary shot.
Pant played this audacious shot in the first T20I against England – Reuters Photo
1st T20I – Hardik Pandya ramp shot off Ben Stokes
A shot that has been a potent weapon in Hardik Pandya’s armory for quite some time now — the ramp shot that he plays against the pacers’ bouncers. One of the best offensive shots, with minimum of risk involved, Hardik has mastered the ramp shot.
It was in the 15th over of India’s innings in the 1st T20I when Hardik played his trademark shot to perfection off Ben Stokes.
A banged in short ball outside off was perfectly guided to the third-man fence with the timing on that shot doing all the work for Hardik. Although Hardik was off-balance and was on the ground after playing the shot, he had timed the bat-ball connection to perfection.
Hardik has mastered the ramp shot – ANI Photo
3rd T20I – Jonny Bairstow scoop off Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Jonny Bairstow has been one of the most destructive batsmen in the England batting unit in the recent past. Apart from classical strokeplay, it is Bairstow’s outside-the-box thinking while scoring that separates him from the rest.
Finding gaps at will and with an ability to hit any ball to the fence, Bairstow is a pretty difficult batsman to bowl at.
Bairstow during the third T20I vs India showed exactly what he is capable of when he cheekily scooped one of India’s best bowlers, Bhuvneshwar Kumar to the fence.
Although it was a premeditated shot and Kumar, to the best of his ability, tried to stop him by following a moving Bairstow outside off, the swashbuckling batsman managed to collect a boundary.
Bairstow fell while completing the shot, but the job was done.
Bairstow’s scoop against India’s pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was a premeditated shot – AP Photo
3rd T20I – Virat Kohli ramp shot off Jofra Archer
When it comes to Virat Kohli, classical strokemaking and timing is something the Indian captain is synonymous with. But the run machine, in the recent past has added some new variants to an already wide array of shots, keeping the demands of the shortest format in mind.
A ramp shot that Kohli played off Jofra Archer in the third T20I was a rare sight. But the Indian skipper timed it to perfection while attempting to up the ante during the India innings.
Off the last ball of the 19th over, Archer banged the ball in just a bit outside off to Kohli, who stepped away creating additional room for himself and lifted it over the in-field to collect four runs.
3rd T20I – Virat Kohli top edge off Jofra Archer
Luck is not something Virat Kohli depends on to collect his runs. But once in a while, the man with the maximum number of T20I runs in the world (3078) also gets lucky while trying to pull off an audacious shot.
During the third T20I, Kohli surprised himself, along with the England team after a top edge off his bat off Jofra Archer took the ball over the fence behind keeper Jos Buttler.
Attempting a flick off a Jofra Archer 142.2 km/hr delivery, Kohli closed the face of his bat early. Luckily for the Indian skipper, the ball hit the meaty part of the top edge and flew past behind the stumps. The pace of Archer helped the ball go all the way. The ball went high up and also travelled the distance, comfortably sailing over the boundary rope.
Along with Kohli, non-striker Hardik Pandya too enjoyed the shot and they shared a good laugh about it.
Virat Kohli surprised himself with this shot – AFP Photo