Basic batting set up
The basic batting setup should be the starting point for every young cricketer but some of the basics often get missed in the early development.
For me this is the non-negotiable, at least until you are scoring runs on a strong and consistent basis. Hands must be together on the handle, touching. This gives the batter the best control over their shots.
Where on the bat, is up to you. Somewhere around the middle of the handle is probably best. Nearer the top is generally harder to control.
Finally, you should have the two V-shapes your hands make as they grip the bat (between thumb and forefinger) lines up down the back-top side of the bat, just above where the back of the bat slopes.
Before you go anywhere near a ball, this is the basic starting point.
Every time you get a chance to hold a bat, whether in the back garden or in training or in a match, this is how you should be holding the bat.
Your feet should be around shoulder width apart with the crease (white line) between your feet. If your feet are too close together you will struggle to stay balanced.
Your back-foot toe should be around middle stump, certainly no further to the off side than that.
My preference is for the front foot toe to be slightly further back, but it can be in the same level as the back foot - but never further forward. I will talk about why I have that preference shortly.
I like the front shoulder to point towards mid on (see earlier post on fielding positions). This position opens up the body to be able to play leg side shots more easily whilst still being able to easily move feet across to the off side for off side shots.
BAT & BACKSWING
It’s important your bat doesn’t come back behind your body. Again, I have a preference here. I prefer to see the bat coming back towards first or even second slip. This helps it to come through straight without the body getting in the way. Straight back over middle stump is fine but the closer you get to the stumps, the more chance your bat may end up having to come around part of your body.
This, for me, is the ideal alignment and batting set up, for every ball.
Practice this in a mirror to make sure everything is lined up correctly.
One other important element before you even hit a ball is learning to "Take Guard".
Why do we do this? Simply to help us know where to stand for every ball.
Before you start batting in training or in a match, hold your bat up sideways in front of the stumps where you would like to stand. Middle stump is the typical area. You should ask the coach or umpire for "Middle Please" and they will then direct your bat to the right place.
If you can, make a small mark with your shoes or bat so you know where that point is and to ensure you stand in the right place each time rather than get too far from, or in front of, your stumps.
You can read up more, with some great images on WikiHow.