The Block Shot
As the name suggests, a block shot in cricket is a defensive shot. Also commonly called a "front foot defensive" shot, it is when the batsman holds the bat vertically in the path of the ball in order to break the ball's momentum and send it swiftly back down to the pitch. It is performed without swinging the bat, and is used to prevent the batsman's wicket and pad from being hit by the ball, rather than to score runs.
The procedure for performing the block shot is as follows. Firstly, keeping the back leg straight you should take a huge stride with your front leg forward towards the pitch of the ball, keeping your head and front shoulder in line with ball. Next, keeping the bat's face angled slightly to the ground and just in front of your front leg and pad, swing the bat down and make contact with the ball. Contact must be made below eye level and close to the ground in order for your shot to be effective.
The most important thing to remember is to not to follow through but rather to keep the bat in the finishing position, best achieved by raising the heel of your back foot.
The trick with the shot is that it must not have any strength behind it: it should merely stop the ball in its tracks. Because of this, it is usually played with a light bottom-hand grip. It is also worth noting that the block shot can be achieved by using the back leg instead of the front, in the same way, hence why it is also sometimes called the "back foot defensive" shot.
Even though the block shot is mainly a defensive shot, ambitious players can also use it to their advantage by working the ball into a gap so that the batsman can do a quick run.
The Block Shot