The back cut is reckoned to be one of the most beautiful strokes in the game. It is also a very risky shot, especially when the ball is hurrying off the pitch. The chance of mishitting is always present, and great care should be exercised in choosing the ball to cut, particularly early in an inning. The back cut is shown being played by Middlesex and England batsman Denis Compton. He is confidently cutting the ball past slip, and the similarity in method is very obvious. The ball to choose to cut generally pitches short of a length and a foot or so outside the off stump.
There must be no hesitation at all when playing this stroke. The bat and back foot are taken back simultaneously, with the foot as close as possible to the line of flight of the ball. When the ball has passed the body, the bat is brought down with a whippy wrist action, the full face of the blade over the ball. I pointed out the importance of gripping the bat with the splice pointing between the thumb and first finger. Just look at Denis Compton in this picture, and you’ll see my advice put into practice.
Compton’s stroke is rather better because his weight is placed more on the back leg. If the weight of the body is allowed to go with the stroke in this backward movement, there will be more force behind it. The late cut, though a dying art, is played in similar fashion, but only when the ball has passed the stumps. Denis Compton is the finest batsman England ever produced, and he played back cut with elegance.