The Square Cut Uncovered

From: Ian Canaway

How To Effectively Execute The Square Cut For Maximum Runs Scoring Potential

The square cut is another shot which you should try to add to your batting ‘armoury’, as it will allow you to play aggressively to balls delivered shot outside your off stump which you wouldn’t be able to drive.

The square cut

Can you play the square cut?

It is an aggressive/attacking shot played off the back foot to a ball which has been pitched short of a good length (a short delivery) and is passing wide of off stump. You should aim to hit the ball square of the wicket ideally between point and gully, always aim to hit the ball between the fielders and into the gaps.

Main Points

  • To play the square cut start from your normal batting stance, stay nice and relaxed, with your head still and your eyes as level as possible.
  • As the bowler is about to bowl take your backswing, and as you see the delivery is going to be suitable for a square cut move your back foot, back and across towards the off stump.
  • Move your weight onto your back foot and establish your base of support over it. Bring your bat down and across the line of the ball towards the off side, increasing your bat speed into contact, from a high position to lower one. As you hit the ball ‘roll your wrists’ over the ball to keep it down.
  • Follow through the shot naturally and stay relaxed and balanced.

Common problems:

  • The most common problem is getting caught out at point or gully by not rolling the wrists or not playing from high to low. Like most shots, you need to isolate it in the nets and practice with throw downs hitting the ball down (low) and along the ground.
  • Another problem is lacking the ability to hit the ball in the gaps and instead hitting it to fielders, the best way to improve your shot placement is to use targets in practice to hit the ball between.

Advanced tips:

Try playing a ‘late’ cut. To do this you need excellent timing, as you need to wait a fraction of a second longer before hitting the ball. You should aim to hit the ball behind gully towards third man (be careful if there are slips in place).

All the best,

Ian Canaway

P.S. Now go play some cricket!

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Categories : Batting, Cricket Tips


  1. frog says:

    Is it a good idea to pull short balls outside off between mid-wicket and mid on? I never seem to be able to cut outside off – I always pull or leave.

    Alarmingly, if I do cut it is normally to the one that is too close to the body and it goes flying over slips to third man for four, or straight up in the air for the bowler or mid off to catch.

    I would love to hear what you guys think.

    Nice site btw.

  2. shyam says:

    Dear sir many thanks to provide me the huge knowledge about cricket and right feedback of skills.

  3. Nikhil Sharma says:

    thanks ian this was one of my weakness. i have a very good late cut but not square cut . this for sure will help and can you give tips on swinging the ball in pace in bowling.

  4. Ian says:

    Hi Nikhil, thanks for your comment. You can learn more about swing bowling here:



  5. Raveendra says:

    Hi Ian, thanks for the articles. I am facing some problems while moving my back foot towards off stump while playing this shot. The main problem is i’m missing the ball completely. Can you help me out.

  6. O' Connor says:

    Mr. Ian Cannaway!!!
    I’m currently captaining a team of school students. Many a times I find the responsibility of playing a captain’s innings. But I fail to do so. Your tips seem to point out exact loopholes in my batting. I will strive to improve on them.
    All credit to you, my friend! I owe it all to you 🙂

  7. salim UA says:

    In fast bowling how many types of gripping and variations are there?
    How we can develop a better run ups and follow through

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