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Thread: Best damn hooker of the cricket ball

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    School Boy/Girl Captain cricmahanty's Avatar
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    Best damn hooker of the cricket ball

    Happened to watch this video from Rob's video vault today morning :



    And wondered to myself why modern batsmen don't hook so often in an age of ultra-protective helmets or is it just the fast men not bowling enough of the head-high short stuff ?

    And I assume that the learned folks here would not make the mistake of using the 'pull' and the 'hook' interchangeably, for they're two completely different types of shots.

    While Ricky Ponting is my choice for the best hooker of the ball from whatever cricket I've watched over the years, guys like Jimmy Amarnath, Chappell himself, Kim Hughes and Sir Viv did it at the cost of having everything to lose, in absence of a proper protective gear.

    Obviously the most dangerous and the most risky to execute, of all the cricket shots in the book.

  2. #2
    Cricketer Of The Year Hurricane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cricmahanty View Post
    And I assume that the learned folks here would not make the mistake of using the 'pull' and the 'hook' interchangeably, for they're two completely different types of shots.
    Well perhaps I am not learned but I consider those two strokes to be very similar although yes they are different. Basically if you can pull the step up to hooking is very easy.

    Who was the best hooker?
    Viv Richards
    Aravinda was sensational
    Bradman had a good hook didn't he?
    Isn't this Stan McCabe Inning supposed to be legendary for hook shots 1st Test: Australia v England at Sydney, Dec 2-7, 1932 | Cricket Scorecard | ESPN Cricinfo
    Last edited by Hurricane; 05-10-2013 at 02:37 AM.
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    School Boy/Girl Captain cricmahanty's Avatar
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    Not sure if there's more to it but the hook is basically played to a head-high ball by moving across the stumps and swiveling on your back foot, so as to guide the ball towards the region between the fine leg and the square leg.

    The pull, on the other hand, can be thought of as a shot played to waist-high balls towards the region between the square-leg and the mid-wicket by swinging the bat in a horizontal arc in front of the body.

    And yes, Aravinda used to be a good hooker of the ball. The shot becomes ever more challenging if you are vertically unblessed but people like him and Kallicharan are pure anomalies in that regard.

    Stan McCabe's famous resilient knock in the Bodyline series (one which Bradman himself used to rate as the best piece of cricket batting he'd ever seen) featured quite a lot of hooks in it against the likes of Larwood.

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    School Boy/Girl Captain cricmahanty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane View Post
    Isn't this Stan McCabe Inning supposed to be legendary for hook shots 1st Test: Australia v England at Sydney, Dec 2-7, 1932 | Cricket Scorecard | ESPN Cricinfo
    Ah yes. It hit our heads at the same time, it seems.

    Phenomenal strike-rate for those times. Such a counter-attacking lone hand it must have been.


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    Cricketer Of The Year Hurricane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cricmahanty View Post
    Not sure if there's more to it but the hook is basically played to a head-high ball by moving across the stumps and swiveling on your back foot, so as to guide the ball towards the region between the fine leg and the square leg.

    The pull, on the other hand, can be thought of as a shot played to waist-high balls towards the region between the square-leg and the mid-wicket by swinging the bat in a horizontal arc in front of the body.
    O'Rly?

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    International Regular OverratedSanity's Avatar
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    Tendulkar used the hook shot very very rarely bit when he got it right, oh boy... The one in Nairobi off McGrath was sensational. He seemed to really shy away from playing it though...
    Really loved Amarnath's hooks too, didn't always come off but he was one of the bravest cricketers ever imo.
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    School Boy/Girl Captain cricmahanty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane View Post
    Admittedly guilty of stating the obvious but there are people (even commentators) who mistake the pull for the hook and vice-versa.

    Quote Originally Posted by OverratedSanity View Post
    Tendulkar used the hook shot very very rarely bit when he got it right, oh boy... The one in Nairobi off McGrath was sensational. He seemed to really shy away from playing it though...
    Really loved Amarnath's hooks too, didn't always come off but he was one of the bravest cricketers ever imo.
    Tendulkar sadly never gave it a go following the tennis elbow injury. His hooks used to carry pretty long though. The heavy, meaty blade helped and so did his beautiful roll of the wrists that made use of the pace generated by the bowler.

    Read somewhere about Amarnath being called a 'West-Indian in disguise' following his successful Caribbean tour in 1982-83. Gavaskar's ton off 94 balls against the West Indies @ Delhi is filled with some brutal hooks. Sunny admits to being a natural leaver of the ball and a reluctant hooker, for the most part of his career.

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    International Debutant Adders's Avatar
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    I'm gonna nominate Big Fred Flintoff as the best hooker of the ball I've seen..........how the **** he managed to do it time and time again with his eyes closed is beyond me. Any mere mortal would get killed, Fred just kept getting caught in the deep
    smalishah84 likes this.

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    International Vice-Captain kyear2's Avatar
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    Richie Richardson deserves a shout here as well. He was a compulsive hooker, but when he was on he bisected the hook trap that was always invariably there for him.
    kingkallis likes this.
    Aus. XI
    Simpson^ | Hayden | Bradman | Chappell^ | Ponting | Border* | Gilchrist+ | Davidson3 | Warne4^ | Lillee1 | McGrath2


    W.I. XI
    Greenidge | Hunte | Richards^ | Headley* | Lara^ | Sobers5^ | Walcott+ | Marshall1 | Ambrose2 | Holding3 | Garner4

    S.A. XI
    Richards^ | Smith*^ | Amla | Pollock | Kallis5^ | Nourse | Waite+ | Procter3 | Steyn1 | Tayfield4 | Donald2

    Eng. XI
    Hobbs | Hutton*^ | Hammond^ | Compton | Barrington | Botham5^ | Knott | Trueman1 | Laker4 | Larwood2 | Barnes3

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    There have been plenty of good hookers, Viv and undappa Viswanath probably the best I've seen - the hooks I most enjoyed were David Steele's against Lillee and Thomson in '75 - he didn't always middle them, and often got too tucked up but it was great to see someone other than Greigy having a go back

    There have also been plenty of poor hookers most of whom learnt not to play the shot - but not Andrew Hilditch - talk about rope a dope - he was diabolical
    JBMAC likes this.

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    International Vice-Captain robelinda's Avatar
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    3 names stand out for me- Gordon Greenidge, Richie Richardson, Viv Richards. I don't actually rate Ponting as a great hooker of the ball, IMO he mastered the pull shot, but didnt really face and conquer enough of the really fast guys bowling it at head height like the 70's and 80's guys did. Richie Richardson my god, what a brutal batsmen when in hook mode, he just nailed everything, nothing in front of square ither, just creamed it behind square every time, raced away. HEY, thats a great idea for a video, 50 best Richie Richardson hook shots. IMMA GONNA DO IT.
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    School Boy/Girl Captain cricmahanty's Avatar
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    Given the nature of the pitches and the type of bowlers they had to face, it would have anyway been a prerogative for WI batsmen from the 70s and the 80s to know to play the hook shot well.

    One of the key things that Chappelli mentions in that tutorial video above is to use as much as of the 4 ft separating the crease from the stumps, that is to get back real deep into the crease and then do the swivel. Something which I've seen Viv do the best. It's almost as if he used the entire space surrounding his stance to rock back and dismiss the ball out of his sight. Brutality personified.

    Quote Originally Posted by robelinda View Post
    HEY, thats a great idea for a video, 50 best Richie Richardson hook shots. IMMA GONNA DO IT.
    I'm glad that my thread idea could give us something as GOLD as that. Looking forward to it, mun.

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    International Vice-Captain robelinda's Avatar
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    Ponting didnt do the swivel, he pumped the ball over mid wicket most of the time, square leg at best. Never looked as in control as Viv, Gordon or Richie when hooking.

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    School Boy/Girl Captain cricmahanty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robelinda View Post
    Ponting didnt do the swivel, he pumped the ball over mid wicket most of the time, square leg at best. Never looked as in control as Viv, Gordon or Richie when hooking.
    Yeah he was more of a puller like most of the contemporary batsmen. He made up for the missing swivel with his quick feet and good balance though. Didn't move back into the crease by much either, it used to be just real quick reflexes in his prime.

    Of the modern batsmen, there's hardly anyone you could term as a genuine hooker tbh, part of the reason being the extinction of the head-high short balls from the game.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Burgey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OverratedSanity View Post
    Tendulkar used the hook shot very very rarely bit when he got it right, oh boy... The one in Nairobi off McGrath was sensational. He seemed to really shy away from playing it though...
    Really loved Amarnath's hooks too, didn't always come off but he was one of the bravest cricketers ever imo.
    I knew someone would mention Tendulkar, because they always do.

    But no.
    kingkallis likes this.

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