How to Select the Right Cricket Bat
Choosing the right cricket bat can have a big influence on how you play and the amount of runs you score.
Sporting outlets contain a wide variety of bats of different makes, models, sizes and weights which makes the decision tough, one which you must consider thoroughly before purchasing.
If you select the right bat, you have the ability to play a better game and become a better batsman. If not, your batting can suffer and struggle to improve.
You must take everything into account:
Cricket manufacturers produce bats tailoring to different player’s styles, such as Kookaburra with Australian captain Ricky Ponting . When manufacturing these bats, Kookaburra analyze the batting style of the individual and produce bats best suited to their play. Other brands such as Gray Nicolls do the same with their sponsored players.
Tip: Analyse how you would like to bat and your favourite batsman’s style. Assess their chosen cricket bat and whether it suits your style of play.
There are different grades and types of willow used by manufacturers. English is the best quality willow and renowned for its durability and toughness. Most senior level crickets use these bats as they are the best in world cricket. The next best is English nurtured willow, which is generally produced in India, Pakistan and Australia. The willow is aimed at the next tier market and can be a more affordable option for the entry level cricketer. These bats don’t contain the years of nurture and grains which the top quality English willow has to offer, but its price gives buyers a good option. Kashmir willow is aimed at the lower end of the market and more suitable for practice and in the nets. They are extremely affordable, but the quality is more suitable for casual cricketers and players beginning in the game.
Tip: Look at what level of cricket you’re at and your budget. If playing in the higher levels, it is recommended to stick to the better quality English willow for durability. If just starting in the game, the English nurtured and Kashmir are a more affordable option but as you progress your cricket career you will have to upgrade to a better quality willow.
The size of your cricket bat is vital if you want to succeed in the game. You will require a bat which is not either oversized or undersized, just the perfect balance.
Tip: As you progress through the various levels of cricket, start with a smaller bat and work your way up as your height and build advances. Practice your batting stance and assess whether the bat is too high or too small. An over sized bat can limit your stroke play and development.
Some players prefer a heavier and some a more lighter bat. It’s important to choose the bat which feels the best and whether you can play shots with ease from that weight of bat.
Tip: Assess your position in the batting order. As an opening batsman, it is recommended that you use a lighter bat as the bowling speed will be quicker in the opening overs, requiring quicker reaction time. As the batting order progresses a more heavier bat is suitable as the bowling speed reduces. It’s important to have the right bat for the position you’re in to enhance stroke play and opportunity to score runs.
Selecting the right bat with the best pick up is of personal preference. Some bats are extremely heavy, but contain a light pick up and vice versa. There isn’t a recommended rule on pick up, only that it’s best designed for your style and overall feel. There are various brands with different styles on the market today.
Some players prefer two grips on the handle, making for a more comfortable feeling when playing. It can increase bat speed and enhance stroke play. Some feel better with one as the type of handle feels too heavy when playing shots. At the end of the day it’s up to the individual as every batsman’s different
The market is bombarded with a large variety of bats on offer, with the choice being endless. Some brands are better than others and it’s important to assess all features before purchasing. It’s a decision which can enhance your cricket career and allow for better development and progression.
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