Cricket is a technical sport, and choosing the right cricket bat makes all the difference. It will not only help you to hit some lovely shots, enjoy your game and make some runs but also help you to improve your performance and technique.
Having the perfect equipment is not enough though. It won’t make you the perfect player, but arming yourself with the best equipment will surely perfect your game little by little and with time, you’ll improve your batting skills.
If you’re someone on the way to buy a cricket bat or thinking of buying one, you’re at the perfect place. This ultimate cricket bat buying guide is all you need!
How to Buy a Cricket Bat?
Now, when it comes to buying a cricket, is there a right way to buy a cricket bat? With so many brands and varieties of bats out there, surely choosing the right bat can be an overwhelming task.
You need to consider answering some questions when you go to buy a bat. What are the things that you look for while buying a bat? You’ll simply go to the nearest store and ask for a bat. The store won’t have many options to choose from, and they’ll convince you to buy the one available at their store.
But how do you know it’s the perfect one for you? Don’t you think your bat buying experience would be so much more rewarding when you know the right things to look for in a bat?
As a beginner, this entire process can turn into a nightmare. But we’ve got you covered. With the help of this cricket bat buying guide, you’ll be easily able to find your perfect bat.
There are two possibilities:
- You don’t have the knowledge of the technicalities of the bat, and you go to the nearest shop to buy one.
2. You’ll learn the technicalities, and then either buy online or go to the nearest shop. Only now you’re confident because you know the specifics of what to buy.
What Happens When You Dont Know the Technical Details of a Bat
If the case is such that you’re solely relying on the recommendation of the shopkeeper. You’ll simply go to the nearest shop, skim through a few bats they have, according to your budget and he’ll convince you to buy one of them.
When the shopkeeper recommends you something, to judge whether his suggestions are genuine or not, you only need to see if he asks any of these questions:
- Will you play with leather or tennis balls?
- Who are you buying this for? If you’re not buying for yourself, he’ll ask the height of that person and give the right-sized bat.
- They can also ask you about your skill level. If you’re a beginner, or a part time cricket player, he’ll recommend a Kashmir Willow bat. And if you are a thorough professional, he’ll recommend the English Willow bat. But in our opinion, Kashmir Willow is the best to use bat.
- What is your budget? (But that’s a question any shopkeeper is likely to ask)
If you’re an advanced cricketer, you must not follow the advice of others and make the decision for yourself.
In the next section, I’ll describe the other case where you have prior knowledge of the technicalities, so I recommend you to read it thoroughly and make your own decision while buying your bat.
Scenerio When You Learn the Technicalities to Consider While Buying a Bat
Here’s a list of some technicalities to consider while buying the perfect bat:
☑️ Cricket bat size
☑️ Cricket bat handle shape
☑️ Cricket bat weight
☑️ Ball Type
☑️ Sweet spot
☑️ Based on the style
☑️ Willow grade type
☑️ Number of grains
1. Know the Cricket Bat Size You Need
In the market, cricket bats are available in an array of sizes. And by no means, should you think that the bigger the bat the better. The bat sizes vary according to the height of the batsman.
If you’re shorter it’ll be hard for you to play with a large bat. The key point to consider here is, to match up your bat size with your height. A bat is made in 2 parts; one is the handle, and the second is the blade. Both of these sizes vary according to the height of the batsman.
2. Understand the Cricket Bat Weight That You are Comfortable With
Another important factor to consider besides the length of the bat is the bat weight. It’s a game-changing point. Heavier bats are more durable and leave a better impact on the ball, but they can be hard to play with for some batsmen.
This will affect your performance because you won’t be able to swing your bat fast enough to hit the ball. It will decrease your control and hinder the overall performance.
Lightweight bats are good for beginners. They are light, easy to handle, and require lesser strength and effort, giving the bat a better speed. However, their durability can be low sometimes, and deteriorate quickly.
English willow is lighter than Kashmir willow, giving you better thickness and more power delivery. Many people advised Sachin Tendulkar to play with a lighter bat, but he always ended up with the heavier ones.
We would advise Young Crickets to play with bats in the weight range of 1150-1250. They suit most of the adult players.
3. Learn About the Cricket Bat Handle Shapes
This is a crucial part to consider that most people might underestimate. Without a proper and comfortable grip, you won’t be able to exercise control on the bat. Your handle must be able to absorb impact when you hit the ball so that you don’t get your hands injured.
There are usually two types of bat handles:
- Oval Handles: They are strong and provide you directional support. A con is that some people find it hard to grip. A benefit of this one is that it stops your bat from spinning when you hit the ball.
- Round Handles: Round handle bats are easier to control with both the top and the bottom hand. This is essential for those players who tend to flick their wrists while batting. For power hitters, it is essential to get a firm grip. Round handles do that job for you.
You can also see some lines, called strings, which are basically layers of rubber/cork that are inserted in the handle to reduce the vibrations and impact when you hit the ball. Most of the bats today come with three visible lines, but the older ones had fewer.
4. Know the Ball Type You Play With
There are different kinds of balls that cricket can be played with: leather, tennis, rubber, or foam. When purchasing a bat, the kind of ball you generally use to play should be taken into account.
Tennis balls are lightweight and to play with them, you don’t need bats that are too heavy. They are easy to hit and play with because of their lightweight. If you’re going to play with a tennis ball only, a Kashmir willow tennis ball cricket bats will be perfect for you.
Leather and rubber balls, on the other hand, are quite heavy. If you’re someone who usually plays with a leather ball, you need a heavier, thicker, and sturdier bat to play with. In order to exert the same force on the ball, these balls require thicker and heavier bats.
5. Check Sweet Spot on the Bats
The part where the performance of the bat is maximized is the sweet spot of the bat. It is the area on the blade which is a thicker part of the bat. This area also generates the maximum timing on the ball.
There are three types of bat shapes
1. Lower sweet spot
2. Middle sweet spot
3. Higher sweet spot
Selecting a bat on the basis of this consideration is given below.
6. Consider Your Batting Style
When it comes to buying the right cricket bat, your batting style should be taken into account. Also, don’t forget to do machine knocking or hand-knocking on the bat.
If you’re used to mostly hitting straight shots, then a “low” bat is just the perfect one for you. These bats concentrate on the “sweet spot” of the bat away from your hands.
To hit the drives you’re looking for, the positioning and particular construct of the bat is just what you need. It won’t make your drives perfect, but you’ll feel amazing when you hit the ball right on that low spot.
The players who play off their front foot will do well with a bat that has its “sweet spot” in the middle. This is also known as “medium positioning”. A medium bat is actually a mix between low and high bats. So if you’re a front foot batter, this is the kind of bat you’re looking for.
Are you more of a back-foot player, fond of fancy shots and cuts? Well, in that case, a “medium-high” or “high” bat is your best friend. The positioning of the “sweet spot” is much higher, making those shots easier and exciting to execute.
7. Understand the Willow Grade Differences
Cricket bats are manufactured using a different kind of wood known as willow. There are basically two types of willow, Kashmir Willow and English Willow.
English Willow: Due to its high-performance effect on stroke, many bat manufacturers prefer the English willow.
Kashmir Willow: It is the alternate of English willow, and it’s a harder wood than the English alternate. It is perfect to play at local club cricket, tennis ball and is recommended for beginners.
English willow is more expensive than Kashmir willow. And if you’re someone looking to start your cricket career, Kashmir willow comes at a decent price.
Besides the willow type, the grade of the willow is also to be considered. The grades range from 1 to 5, with 1 being considered as the best in terms of making, reliability, and quality.
Your dedication to the game and skill level will ultimately decide your budget and the grade type. Most of the English Willow Grade 1 Bats will Cost above Rs. 18,000/-. Grade 1 Kashmir Willow will cost around Rs. 4000/-.
8. Check Number of Grains on the Cricket Bat
The lines that you see on the plain side of the bat are actually known as grains. The number of grains basically shows the age of the tree – the more the grains, the older the tree. And the mature the wood, the higher the performance of the bat.
The number of grains on a bat is a debatable issue today because of over-the-top technology changes. Manufacturers often use synthetic ways to get the wood to mature earlier than its natural time.
The most important thing is how you feel with the bat, the number of grains is really not that important. However, many experts recommend going for 6-10 grain bats. So the decision is totally yours, depending on how you feel about the bat.
Bat will work only when you know how to use it. You must know some basic rules of batting. This is more important than selecting a bat.
So, Which One are You Going to Buy?
I know, this simple task of buying a cricket bat can easily turn into an overwhelming mess. This cricket bat buying guide is all you need to buy the perfect bat for yourself. Though there are many other factors to consider, I believe if you keep these basic elements into consideration while buying your cricket bat, you’ll be good to go!
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Mir Saeid is the Growth Hacker of Kashmirica, a brand that is poised to ‘Bring Exclusives from Kashmir to You’. An enthusiastic cultural entrepreneur, he is driven by a passion to bring about a social impact. He has a Masters in International Business from the University of Bedfordshire and has worked in leading Marketing positions at various SMEs and Startups for 8+ years.
Intrigued by the crafts of his birthplace, he decided to bring the art on the Global Connoisseur through the internet. A polyglot who speaks English, Arabic, Urdu & Koshur, Mir loves traveling, reading, writing, and spending time on the cricket field – a passion rekindled just recently.