Any cricket bat is more than just a playing equipment when it has the power to shape your cricket career, enhance your game and boost your passion. A lot goes into making the best bat a perfect one for the player. It is how you choose the best attire for yourself when getting ready for an important day, same applies to choosing the right weapon considering your playing style, your strength, which stage you are in in your career and more.
To answer all the bewilderment arising when choosing the right bat for yourself, this cricket bat selection guide will be all you need. Following are the factors you should take note of, to answer your question- What cricket bat should I get?
Your budget becomes your cricket bat selector, only to narrow down your choice when looking at the overwhelming range of bats showcased by all the manufacturers around the globe. Although budget should not be the ultimate determining factor and can be considered.
Bats come in various shapes concerning the blade size, the handle size, the sweet spot, edges and scallops. These attributes hold different importance for different players pertaining to their batting style. For instance if you are a front foot dominant player, you should pick a bat having a sweet spot positioned mid-to-low. Similarly for a back foot playing style, a sweet spot positioned mid-to-high makes the right fit.
Although the general rule says that the massive profile and light weight bats are exceptionally good to hit the ball farther and with greater speed, and thus preferred by every player, it is very hard to find one such bat. It is because the massive profile is more of a heavy weight bat feature. Where a massive profile is liked by all, heavy weights cannot be played well by every batsman. Your physical attributes such as height, strength, can only tell you the best bat that will help you deliver your best. So clearly no one can tell you which bat has a good pickup for you but it is clearly the question you need to answer- what feels right for me?
Another important consideration in what makes a good cricket bat, has to be the weight of the bat which is closely related to the pickup as well. People often relate heavy bats having massive profiles with good pickup and may end up in buying a bat that does not go in accordance with their ability to use the bat more effectively owing to less physical strength or shorter height. Where a heavy bat is more durable and gives more impact at hitting, a lighter bat is definitely easy to handle as it needs lesser strength and gives overall faster speed. Ultimately to make more runs, you need to time the ball well, which will require you to pick a bat that is neither too heavy nor too light by understanding your literal and figurative strength profile.
5. WILLOW GRADE DIFFERENCE
The vast ambit of bats ranging from all sizes and shapes is covered majorly by Willow grading difference. Willow pertains to the cleft( the wood) of the bat and Grade tells us about the age or maturity of that cleft. Again the question- what is the best willow for cricket bats ? arises due to two important willows used in manufacturing of cricket bats which decides the cricket bat quality. These are ENGLISH WILLOW and KASHMIR WILLOW. Other than the difference of their origin, English willow supersedes Kashmir willow in terms of durability and reliability and is more expensive. Coming to the Grading part, each type of willow has Grades 1 to 5, telling us more about the cricket bat quality. Grade 1 has 7-8 straight grains (lines on the blade suggesting years of the tree) and almost no blemishes, while Grade 4 or 5 having 3-4 straight grains with few blemishes. It is only beneficial if you consider your dedication for the game, your budget and your skills while choosing the right bat for you. More the grains, more is the power of the bat to deliver immediately, lesser grains’ bats might take a while to come into their best form but they sure do.
The key with the bat size is to match it up with your height. Sizes range from 0 to 6, harrow, short handle and long handle variants. You can easily look up the height-size chart and pick the best fit for yourself.
7. BALL TYPE
Keeping it pretty simple, heavy balls like rubber and leather types would require heavy weight sturdier built bats. Alternatively, light-weight balls like tennis or foam balls can be played well with lighter bats with no much weight and gradation requirements.
8. BATTING STYLE
Every player has his own style of hitting the ball which makes his batting style slightly different from the others, and so does the sweet spot placement requirements. Whilst a player has his own predominant batting style, he still needs to play all sorts of balls on all sorts of pitches, whether it is driver, attacker, back foot, front foot, whatever is the call. So we can infer that no single bat caters to all the sweet spots in one blade and that the best bat is the one that just feels right for you.
9. HANDLE TYPE
Last but not the least, Handle type needs to be considered when accounting for the control over your bat, your strokes and ultimately your game. It is where you first come into contact with your bat and it is where all the shock and impact from the ball is absorbed.
Here the trade-off has to be made between an Oval and a round handle.
Oval handles are vouched for their strength and greater directional control, but the grip can be an issue for some. Whereas the round handles offer firm grip needed by power hitters and is preferred by players who flick their wrists.
Performance of the bat culminates into the performance of the batsman. Where the bat does not speak for itself, it surely conveys a lot through its blade size and shape, its weight, the grade and willow chosen. All these attributes together when matched well with your batting style and the ease with which you handle the bat makes you extract maximum output from your bat.
Hopefully the above list comes handy to you in making the right choice of bat by comprehending well your game requirements, your playing style, your budget and your expectations from your bat in order to place yourself in a good spot.
Was our article able to help you decide the bat you want? Let us know in the comment section.