What things do you look when you buy a bat? You go to the shop near to you, ask the shopkeeper to show the bat. They have limited options so they try their best to convince to sell. Don’t you think it would be amazing if you know what things you should look before buy a cricket bat?
Having the right bat will not only help us to a good score but will help you to improve your technique and performance.
Choosing the right bat is a difficult task for a beginner. Knowing some technical part of the bat can help you to select your bat.
Let’s discuss this in two ways:
- You don’t know about the technicality of the bat and went to a local shop to buy the bat
- You will first learn the technicality of the bat and then either you will buy a cricket bat online or will go to the local shop. But now you are more confident to judge what cricket bat is good for you.
If you do not want to go in hassle of shopkeeper then you can read best cricket bat for the leather ball article where I have reviewed few English willow cricket bat.
Point #1 You do not know technicality of the cricket bat.
In this case, there are chances that you rely more on recommendation of the shopkeeper.
Usually, the shopkeeper asks you the budget and then start showing available options. He then starts telling features of the bat to convince you so you can select one and he can win the sell.
How amazing if you know some tricks to validate that shopkeeper is giving you the genuine recommendation or just trying to make a sell.
You can judge the shopkeeper advice good or bad based on how many questions he asked in listed below:
- Are you buying this for you? If you are buying for someone else, then he should inquire more about height of that person to know size of that bat.
- Will you play with leather or tennis ball?
- They might ask you about skill level to decide the willow preference. Usually, Kashmir willow is recommended for beginners and English willow for intermediate or advanced skills.
- And of course, the budget? – That I believe everyone asks.
If you are going to be a professional cricketer then I will recommend; do not go with advice of others, you must know the technicality of the cricket bat so you can make your decision yourself.
In the next section, I will describe the technicality of the cricket bat, read that thoroughly and make your own decision to buy best cricket bat for you.
Point #2 Learn technical point of the bat which helps you to choose the best bat.
Here are few points that you must be aware before taking a decision to buy a cricket bat
- The size of the cricket bat
- Tennis vs leather ball
- Sweet spot on the cricket bat
- Quality of willow
- Number of Grains on the cricket bat
- The shape of the handle
- The weight of the bat
- Brand of cricket bat
The size of the cricket bat
When you are going to select the bat the first thing is to pick the right size bat.
A bat is made in 2 parts; one is handle and another is a blade. Size of both these parts varies as per height of the batsman.
Choosing the right size of the bat depends totally on your height. Use the table below to have an idea what size of bat fit you best.
|Height||Recommended Bat size|
|4 ft and under||0|
|4ft – 4ft 3″||1|
|4ft 3 – 4ft 6″||2|
|4ft 6″ – 4ft 9″||3|
|4ft 9″ – 5ft||4|
|5ft – 5ft 3″||5|
|5ft 3″ – 5ft 5″||6|
|5ft 5″ – 5ft 7″||Harrow|
|5ft 7″ – 5ft 9″||SM Mens|
|5ft 9″ – 6 ft||Short handle|
|6ft +||Long handle/Long blade|
“SM mens” size is available only with kookaburra brands. Read more about SM size bat here.
Tennis vs leather ball
Once you figure out the size, you must know what kind of cricket you play. Would you play with a tennis or leather ball?
If you are going to play with tennis ball only, then buying a Kashmir willow tennis cricket bat would be sufficient. If you are going to bat with leather ball then you would require a thicker bat.
Sweet spot on the cricket bat
The sweet spot is the area on blade which is a thicker part of the bat. This is the part where the performance of the bat is maximized. That area generates the maximum timing on the ball.
There is three type of shapes in the bat.
- Lower sweet spot
- Middle sweet spot
- Higher sweet spot
Players who play front foot a lot; would usually go with lower middle sweet spot. Lovers of Backfoot shot usually go with higher middle spot bat.
We all have to play off both the front and back foot, so it is therefore best to choose the bat that just feels right for you.
In tennis, usually higher middle is advised because it bounces well on the pitch.
Quality of willow
Cricket bats are usually manufactured with a special kind of wood that called willow. There is two type of willow; first in English willow and other is Kashmir willow.
English willow: this is the preferred willow for the majority of bats manufacturer due to its high-performance effect on stroke.
Kashmir willow: it is the alternate of English willow, it’s harder wood than English willow and recommended to play with a tennis ball and for beginners to start cricket.
The English willow further divided into grades.
Grade 1: the most expensive blade and top quality grade of willow. It will have at least 6 straight grains. There should be no or minimal or no marking on the face of bat.
Grade 2: Excellent quality but you can see the irregular grains patterns. You can see face of bat for colourish than grade1.
Grade 3: That is most widely used grade which offers the good value of the money. That has irregular pattern of the grains( 4-6 grains) and some discoloration or marking on the face of the bat.
Grade 4: Fewer grains and there are more butterfly stains and marks on the face of the bat.
You do need to be realistic with your expectations as you cannot get an ‘8 star’ bat, for a ‘1 star’ price!!
Reference: Kookabura inside story of the bat
Number of Grains on the cricket bat
What are grains in crickets bat?
Do you see the lines on plain side of the bat? These are called grains.
The number of grains represents age of the tree– more the grains, older the tree—and mature wood gives higher performance.
The number of grains in a bat is a debatable issue as over the year technology change and manufacturers using such scenarios which get wood mature earlier than a traditional period.
Its recommended by many experts to go for 6-10 grains bats. Do not give much importance to grain, the most important factor is how you feel with the bat.
You must know the basic cricket batting tips which are more important than selecting a bat. Bat only will work if you know how to bat.
The shape of the handle
There are 2 types of handle:
Oval handle: The benefit of an oval handle is it stops the bat spinning in the hands when you play a shot, eg. maximizing your use of the face of the bat. It’s best to
Round handle: The round handle is best suited to those who like to use their bottom hand to hit the ball hard and lift it.
What are three lines you can see in the handle of the bat?
The lines, sometimes called strings, are the layers of cork and/or rubber that are inserted into the bat handles to reduce the vibrations felt when you hit a cricket ball. Most modern bats have three visible lines but some older models and junior bats have fewer.
Reference: Cricket equipment guide
The weight of the bat
It totally depends on you, with what weight you feel comfortable. English willow is lighter than Kashmir willow so you would get more thickness and power in English willow in comparison to Kashmir willow.
Many experts advised to Master blaster Sachin to play with the lighter bat but he never felt comfortable with lighter one. Read his point of view on “how to choose a bat”
Brand of cricket bat
You read above that there are few things where the difference is minor, but impact on performance is large.
So, I would advise to go with a reliable brand and buy a cricket bat from a trusted shop.
You can read my another article “Best cricket bat for the leather ball” if you are looking to buy cricket bat online.
Feel free to comment if you have any question or any suggestion or anything to add here which can help others to learn.
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