Zak Crawley: Paving the Way with Ramp and Reverse-Sweep Mastery


Zak Crawley is aiming to carve his path into England’s white-ball strategies by honing his skills in the ramp and reverse-sweep shots. After leading England’s run-scoring charts in the Ashes, he’s now seeking to diversify his range of shots.

Crawley marked his return to the crease after the Ashes with a notable performance on Saturday, where he smashed 30 runs off 15 balls for London Spirit against Trent Rockets at Lord’s. His sights are set on an England call-up for the upcoming tour to the Caribbean in December, encompassing three ODIs and five T20Is against West Indies.

Throughout the summer’s five Tests against Australia, Crawley maintained a strike rate of 88.72. Adapting to the 100-ball cricket format hasn’t required significant changes in his approach. “I maintain a fairly similar approach,” Crawley elaborated. “I execute comparable shots, just with added aggression and perhaps a touch more loft.”

Drawing inspiration from James Vince, a fellow top-order batsman, Crawley shapes his white-ball game around finesse rather than brute force, capitalizing on the powerplay. “I admire his style of play. He possesses innate giftedness as a player. If I can emulate his approach, which has been successful in English conditions, it aligns well with my game.”

Crawley acknowledges the evolving nature of the game and its increasing aggression. He anticipates his game will become more aggressive over time but underscores the current importance of well-timed shots and strategic scoring.

In his recent innings, Crawley executed a ramp shot against Luke Wood, deftly guiding the ball over short fine leg for a boundary. His ambitions extend beyond this shot; he is working on adding more sweeps, reverse sweeps, and ramps to his arsenal. “I’m dedicated to enhancing various shots,” Crawley explained. “Expect to witness more diversity in my shots, including sweeps, reverse sweeps, and even ramps. Nevertheless, I always assess each delivery on its merits.”

In his earlier days at Kent, Crawley was a frequent user of the ramp shot. Although it had faded from his recent playstyle, he’s been diligently reviving it, believing it can open up additional scoring opportunities. “I used to employ the ramp shot regularly before my England days. While it waned in recent times, I’m actively refining it and reintegrating it into my play. Hopefully, this will create more avenues for scoring.”

Crawley’s practice of the reverse sweep was evident during the Ashes, as he specifically aimed to counter Nathan Lyon’s spin. He successfully executed the shot against Lyon on multiple occasions, continuing to employ it against other bowlers as well.

Discussing his preference for quicker bowlers, Crawley reveals an interesting trend. Unlike many batters, he performs better against faster deliveries due to the reduced time for decision-making. “Stats may show a preference, but facing speeds exceeding 90mph is never easy,” Crawley commented. “Swift bowling requires swift reactions, simplifying the thought process. That’s likely why I’ve historically found it favorable. Although, I’ll need to enhance my performance against deliveries in the 80mph range.”

As the memories of the Ashes wane, Crawley remains grounded. He remains unfazed by external perceptions, understanding the transient nature of success in cricket. “I haven’t undergone any dramatic transformation. I’m the same individual who excelled a few weeks ago. If my performance in the Hundred isn’t noteworthy, I’ll just be someone who didn’t excel in the Hundred. The cricket world is capricious, so I avoid becoming overly engrossed in it.”

Reflecting on his Ashes experience, Crawley emphasizes his forward-looking mindset. He acknowledges the fondness of the experience but is more focused on current endeavors. “While I cherish the memories, I don’t fixate on whether a series went well or not. I’m focused on the next challenge. Memories are cherished, but my primary goal is excelling in the Hundred.”

One thought on “Zak Crawley: Paving the Way with Ramp and Reverse-Sweep Mastery

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *