Difference between Hook Shot and Pull Shot in Cricket

Key Difference: Hook shot is a shot, which is similar to pull shot. It is a shot when the ball is above the batsman’s shoulder. Pull shot is a shot which is to the leg side to a short pitched delivery that is between mid-wicket and backward square-leg.

The most important strokes in establishing supremacy over bowlers are the hook shot and pull shot. They both are being played for short deliveries and played on the back foot towards the on side of the batsman. These are the only common aspects as far as these two strokes are concerned.

A hook is a shot taken when the ball is pitched outside the leg stump and the ball comes up to the batsman at shoulder height. The batsman hits the ball towards the ‘on’ side boundary. It is like when the ball comes somewhere between his head and his chest, so the ball is hooked. It is one of the more dangerous shots which a batsman plays in cricket. Any wrong judgment on the movement of the ball can hit the batsman or the ball might get caught by any of the opponent fielders. A batsman always attempts to play a hook shot against a bouncer.

For a good example, look at Alvin Kallicharan’s playing the hook shot while batting for the West Indies in the 1975 World Cup.

The pull stroke is a vital weapon in a batsman’s armory. It is a stroke that is normally played for slow medium short pitched deliveries. In a pull shot, if the ball is a little short on length of the pitch, then you can pull that ball. Pull shot is when it is hit along the ground.

To play a pull shot, start in your normal batting stance as you would in any delivery and play the shot in response to the appropriate delivery. Example: short and on or outside leg stump.

In both the shots, the ball goes in the air. Hook shot is basically a shot in which the ball goes out to the boundary rather than a pull shot. However, the common problems that arise in both the shots are:

  • The ball in the air can get caught out.
  • Mis-timing the ball and not hitting the ball effectively or where you want it to go.
  • Misjudging the appropriate delivery and playing any of the shots.

There is a small difference between the two. They are the most difficult shots to control; mostly batsmen avoid taking risks in crucial circumstances. Hook shot is hitting the short length outside the off stump delivery to offside. Whereas, pull shot is hitting the short length delivery to leg side. The way of playing shot hook or pull are the same, the one difference is that in pull a batman uses the pace of the ball and in hook batsman hits the ball hard. For pull shots refer Australia’s Ricky Ponting's matches and for hook shots refer India’s Virendra Sehwag's matches.

Image Courtesy: talkcricket.co.uk, talkcricket.co.uk

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