Best Cover Drive in Cricket History: List of Top 10 Players

Know which batsman hits the best cover drive in cricket history and also get the top 10 best players of the cover drive shot. Also, know what is a cover drive shot.

Best Cover Drive in Cricket History: List of Top 10 Players
Subhayan Dutta

Written by: Subhayan Dutta

(Sports Writer)

Fact checked by: Dillip Mohanty

(Sports Editor)

Last updated: 2024-02-06

5 minutes read

The best cover drive in cricket history is hit by former India cricket team captain and 2011 World Cup winner Virat Kohli. Fondly known as the king of cricket for his phenomenal ability to score runs, whether it be setting up a total or chasing a target, Kohli is inarguably the best cover drive player in cricket.

What is Cover Drive in Cricket?

One of the most classic and elegant strokes in cricket, a “cover drive” is a front-foot shot that directs the ball towards the cover fielding position on a cricket ground’s off-side. A cover drive is played when a batsman leans forward to hit the ball and dissects the space between mid-off and the cover fielder with the entire face of the bat.

Needlessly to say, one requires immaculate technique, flawless balance and perfect timing to execute this shot as one wrong step could send the ball into the air and result in a dismissal. A perfect cover drive exhibits a batsman's unparalleled talent and immense dexterity and it has been a lethal weapon for most top batters across the world. A cover drive is also one of the most visually appealing shots in cricket.

Top 10 players who can hit the best cover drives

1. Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli Cover Drive in ODIs.jpeg

The player who is widely credited to have the best cover drive in the world, Virat Kohli has scored plenty of runs with this shot on the off-side. One of the fittest players in the world, Virat’s cover drive establishes the proper core strength as his body puts full strength on the front foot to send the ball racing away to the boundary. Kohli has so far amassed 8848 runs in Test cricket, and 13,848 ODI runs and sits as the highest T20I run scorer with 4037 runs to his name. His ODI average of 58.67 is the highest by any batsman who has played a minimum of 100 ODIs.

2. Babar Azam

Babar Azam Cover Drive in ODI.jpeg

Another batsman whose cover drive shot is highly talked about is Pakistan’s Babar Azam. Often compared to his Indian counterpart, Babar Azam’s cover drive is one of the most beautiful visuals in cricket as he tends to play the ball more on the up. Making his international debut only in 2016, Babar Azam already scored 3898 runs in Tests, 5729 ODI runs and 3698 T20I runs.

3. Sachin Tendulkar    

Sachin Tendulkar Cover Drive in ODI.jpeg

A purist of the game, who became the greatest batsman in cricket history on the foundation of sound technique, Sachin Tendulkar also played one of the most delectable cover drives ever. He mastered all the cover drive variations like square, back foot, and lofted as well as the drive against the spinners. The 2011 World Cup saw the Master Blaster hitting boundaries on the cover side by merely defending a delivery. The only batsman to tally 100 international centuries, Tendulkar retired with 15,921 Test runs and 18,426 runs in ODIs.

4. Mark Waugh

Mark Waugh Cover Drive.jpeg

Not the most successful of the two Waughs that took the Australian cricket team to great heights in the 1990s, but Mark Waugh did possess a brutal cover drive amongst his arsenal of offensive strokes. He retired with 8029 Test runs and 8500 ODI runs in his bag with the 1999 ODI World Cup medal in his trophy cabinet.

5. Kumar Sangakkara

Kumar Sangakkara Cover Drive in Test.jpeg

Very few left-handed batsman in world cricket could execute the cover drive like the former Sri Lankan captain. So trustworthy was Sangakkara of his cover drive that he almost waited for the fuller length deliveries and used his brilliant body balance to send the ball to the delivery. He ended his cricket career with 12,400 Test runs, 14,324 ODI runs and 1382 T20I runs. Playing at a time when the likes of Virat Kohli, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers and others were dominating world cricket, Sangakkara holds some of the stupendous records like seven fifties in consecutive Test innings, fastest to 12000 Test runs, most consecutive ODI tons (four) and many more.

6. Quinton de Kock  

Quinton de Kock ODI Drive.jpeg

Inarguably the best South African batsman after AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock is yet another left-hander whose cover drive is widely revered by fans and commentators alike. It is as elegant as it can get as De Kock likes to wait for the ball before bending his knees slightly to send the ball to the boundary. The 2023 ODI World Cup saw the last of the wicket-keeper batsman as he retired with 3300 Test runs, 6770 runs in ODIs and 2277 T20I runs under his belt.

7. Kane Williamson

Kane Williamson Cover Drive Test.png

One of the classiest batsmen in modern cricket, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson is known for being a strong believer in textbook execution of cricket shots and his ecstatic cover drive is a result of the same. Known for his single-minded focus and unmatched grit, Williamson can play the ball through the eye of a needle. So far, he has garnered 8263 Test runs, 6810 ODI runs and 2547 T20I runs.

8. David Warner

David Warner Cover Drive in ODI.jpg

One of the most consistent batsmen ever produced by Australia, David Warner is known for his swashbuckling approach and cover drive has been one of his most effective shots ever. Retiring from the international side recently, Warner has won the 2015 ODI World Cup, the 2021 T20 World Cup, the 2021 World Test Championship as well as the recently concluded 2023 ICC World Cup. He has 8786 runs in Tests, 6932 ODI runs and 2894 runs in T20Is.

9. Brian Lara

Brian Lara Cover Drive in Test.jpeg

The former West Indies captain was known for playing some of the most beautiful shots in cricket. Characterised by his typic shuffle while the bowler was in his run-up, Lara was able to get into ideal positions to play his strokes. His lofted cover drives were as much a treat for the eyes as were his sweep shots. The southpaw ended his cricket career with 11,953 Test runs and 10,405 ODI runs.

10. Damien Martyn

Damien Martyn Cover Drive in Test.jpeg

One of the lesser talked-about Australian players, Damien Martyn was widely believed to have one of the best cover drives in the game with his timing almost unbeatable. His success as a Test batsman depended largely on his prolific cover drives as he ended his career with 4406 Test runs and 5346 ODI runs.  

FAQs

Who is known as the cover drive king?

Virat Kohli is called the cover drive king for his ability to play that shot effortlessly.

What is cover drive meaning in Hindi?

The definition of cover drive in Hindi is “कवर ड्राइव में बल्लेबाज ऑफ साइड पर गेंद को नीचे की ओर खेलते हैं।”

Who is the no 1 cover drive player in the world?

Yet again, Virat Kohli is considered to be the no 1 cover drive player in the world.

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Subhayan Dutta

Subhayan Dutta

An M.A. in English Literature, Subhayan is an experienced journalist and sports writer. Having worked as a journalist at Hindustan Times, Subhayan covered diverse beats including sports, education, and health, showcasing his versatility and in-depth understanding of various subjects.

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