The mystery involved to choose an ideal cricket bat can never be solved. This is because the technicalities of a bat are such that it burns down to an individual’s choice, though there are certain factors that need to be taken into consideration in doing so. This article will probably help you in taking a decision as to buying a new bat from the market.
These days, the prices of bats have gone up by a considerable amount. So it is of paramount importance to know the thing in which you are ‘investing’ in. The reason why I have mentioned the word investing is not that it will give monetary returns. It is because it will certainly give you a bundle of satisfaction and joy. Let us look into the ways in which you can choose the right cricket bat.
Here are some of the tips which can be considered by you to go for the bat of your choice:
#1. The Right Size
Your height plays a very important role while deciding to buy a cricket bat. Cricket bats commonly come in different sizes. Let me also break the myth that bigger the bat the better it is for stroke play.
The size of the bat has no relation to stroke play. Your height is the determining factor. A short person will find it very difficult to play with a bigger bat. In the same way it will be difficult for a taller batsman to adjust playing with a smaller bat.
#2. The Ideal Weight
The next point that one should consider is the weight of the bat. Ideally, a heavy bat is used for the purpose of offensive stroke play and big hitting whereas a lighter bat is used for defensive stroke play.
This is because the weight of the bat is primarily around the ‘sweet spot’ which is the mid-point between the handle and the toe of the bat.
You need to understand that there is no hard and fast rule to this because at the end of the day the feel (pick-up) of the bat when you hold it with both hands is more important.
#3. Style of Play
The cricket bats these days are designed and customised for play across all formats namely ODIs, T20s and Tests. At the professional and elite level, the cricket bats are customised or made in accordance with the format and your style of play.
A batter’s batting style also determines the type of bat which one requires. For example for drivers, who usually plays straight shots with full face of the bat then a ‘low’ bat is preferred. In this, the sweet spot is bit on the lower part of the bat.
For the front foot batters, a ‘medium’ bat is recommended as the sweet spot is positioned right at the middle of the bat. This type of bat is highly recommended for batsman who mostly play on the front foot as this has a good mix of low and high bat.
For a batsman who likes to play a wide range of shots all over the ground then a ‘high’ or a ‘medium-high’ bat is recommended. In this type of bat the sweet spot is a little on the higher side towards the handle. This allows the batter to hit more powerful shots with ease.
#4. Willow and Grade of the Bat
The willow or wood that goes into carving out a bat from clefts of wood is an important consideration when you choose to buy a bat. There are mainly two types of willow, Kashmir willow and English willow.
English willow bats are highly superior to Kashmir willow bats. The former is softer in nature and lighter as compared to the latter. This makes the English willow bats less heavy. If you are just starting out to play cricket or just beginning with the sport then a Kashmir willow bat is recommended.
For those who are constantly excelling and play at the semi-advanced level and are trying to up their game then an English willow bat is highly recommended right up till the professional and elite level.
These bats are further graded from 1-5. Grade 1 is of the highest quality and are the go to bats for the professional and elite level cricketers. This is the most expensive of the entire lot.
Grade 5 are good quality bats which can be used by cricketers at the semi-advanced level, the only difference is the texture of the wood and the grains that separates it from Grade 1.
#5. Handle Type
There are usually two types of handles short and long which are further classified as round and oval. The rounded version helps the batter to lift the ball easily and play hard hitting shots whereas oval shaped version provides better pick up. The whole concept of the bat handle is to provide the right grip to the batsman so that a batter can play a wide range of shots.
The most important thing is that the handle helps in absorbing shock when the ball hits it. A long handle is recommended if you are as tall as 6 feet. For others a short handle is recommended as it gives greater control to the batter. It again is a personal choice for the person who is actually going to play with the bat.
These are some of the points that you can consider while purchasing a cricket bat. Do not limit yourself because at the end of the day it you are comfortable with any bat then go ahead with it. So, go out there and enjoy the game of cricket.
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