Controlled aggression has worked well for the former Kiwi skipper. Photo: Pal Pillai/IPL/SPORTZPICS

If there's one phrase that defines Ross Taylor well, it is controlled aggression. He's an attacking top-order batsman with quite a successful stint as the skipper for the Kiwis, and it is a treat to watch his slog sweep.

In T20 cricket, there's no telling a 'slog shot' from a 'cricketing shot'. Taylor's teammate and Delhi Daredevils skipper Kevin Pietersen's switch hit is one such shot. So would Taylor hit his trademark slog sweep giving it a switch hit twist?

"I tried hitting the slog sweep left-handed and it was difficult," Taylor told the official IPL site. "I tried the switch hit at the nets and in the process, did my side in, and I haven't tried it since."

Anyway, there's no prize for guessing which one is his favourite shot. "My favorite shot was always the slog sweep," Taylor said. "I played a lot of hockey growing up and it just came naturally to me to hit on the leg side. Gradually, as I got older and more mature, I learnt to hit to the other parts of the ground. But it is definitely a shot I enjoy when it goes for a six.

"I remember watching Steve Waugh play it quite a lot and he was very successful at it. I have learnt to play the slog sweep from him and from a lot of other players who play it well."

When Mahela Jayawardane retired from T20 cricket, he said it was the freedom to hit at will that really kept him going in the shortest format of the game. He said it was as though rekindling the sheer joy of playing cricket in his childhood. And it is that joy that has kept Taylor going as well. Hitting big comes naturally to him and he has not taken any advice that would curb his style.

"People have their own perceptions about certain players," Taylor said. "My natural instinct is always to hit the ball. To block and leave the balls is not my natural instinct. It has taken a while to groom that. But it is still nice and enjoyable to try and hit the ball as far as you can."

Sometimes, while trying to hit the ball as far as you can, you could find the fielder outside the ring. So what do you do then? Taylor has a simple solution. Hit farther away.

"Sometimes your strength is also your weakness and you can get out to the slog sweep," Taylor added. "There was a period in my career where I did get out to it a few times. So, I guess, just putting it away was easier."

(Ed: VP)