The drive, or ‘straight drive’ as it is more commonly known, is a powerful front foot shot which is exercised by the top hand with the bottom hand supporting the short in order to keep the ball along the ground. The drive is directed between the cover point on the off side (the right hand side of the batsman’s body for the right-handed batsman and the left hand side of the body for the left-handed batsman) and mid-wicket on the leg side (the part of the field that is behind the batsman when he takes the shot).
The drive is usually used when the ball is over-pitched, meaning that it bounces just in front of the batsman allowing the batsman to make contact with the middle of the bat.
Below are the three steps to a successful drive:
1. Bend the front knee (that which is nearest the bowler) to form a base with the front foot and lean into the delivery with the front shoulder. With the weight of the body leaning forward, the batsman will be able to send the ball moving close to the ground.
2. Position the head so it is in line with or in front of the bent knee, keeping the eyes fixed on the ball. Keep the front foot close to the pitch of the ball (the position that the ball bounces) and raise the toes of the back foot moving the bat to hit the ball vertically.
3. Follow through so that the bat ends up with its face pointing to the sky keeping the wrists relaxed to allow the bat to move in a straight line. The sign of a good drive is when the bat is kept so straight that the name of the company that has made it can be seen, coining the commentator’s phrase, ‘showing the maker’s name.’