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If you are wondering how to knock a cricket bat then you are at the right place. Just got a new bat? Obviously, you would want to have it well prepared for the upcoming match.

Cricket is a highly loved sport not just in India but also in several other parts of the world. Whether it is kids or adults, cricket is played with much enthusiasm and zeal by everyone. And while Indians have managed to pretty much use anything in place of a cricket bat, it is actually a good-quality cricket bat that makes playing this sport a lot more enjoyable.

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However, it doesn’t just end at buying a good cricket bat; knocking it is important before you actually start playing with it. As important as it is to get a good bat, it is equally important that it is knocked as a prerequisite to using it. 

For those of you who might be new to this or might not know what knocking is? Knocking is simply preparing your cricket bat before you use it for the first time. 

Here, in this article, we have explained everything that you need to know about knocking in a cricket bat in detail.

Why does a Cricket Bat need Knocking in?

Before we move on to how to knock in a cricket bat, it is important to know why it needs to be knocked in the first place.

The simple answer here is that, in order to ensure that your cricket bat doesn’t get cracked soon and works well for a long, long time, it has to be knocked in. The knocking-in process ensures that its life is enhanced. Not just that, the performance of a cricket bat is enhanced after knocking it properly.

In case you do not knock your new bat, you will have to fetch a new one in no time as it will wear out soon. And you definitely do not want to end up in a situation like that, right?

Although a lot of hardening procedures are used to make a cricket bat, It still remains ‘soft’ and not ‘ready to play’ despite manufactures using this term too very often. Softer bats are prone to breakage and have a comparatively lower performance.

And after all, decent cricket bats come at a good price and you definitely wouldn’t want that money to go to waste.

If something similar has happened to you, now you know why your bat got cracked or worn out so soon.

Hence, to ensure that the cricket bat can sustain the impact of the leather ball, it is important that it is knocked before using it.

What does knocking a cricket bat do?

Now, what is it exactly that is achieved with this process? Well, what knocking does is that it condenses the fibers of the willow to make the bat stronger.

Cricket bats are either made from English Willow or Kashmir Willow, both of which are soft fibrous reeds. These bats, during the manufacturing process, are pressed which gives the bats some conditioning, and the strength of these bats increases. Bat manufacturers also custom press these bats to determine how much pressure needs to be used to optimize the bat’s drive or power.

Knocking-in is an additional process that ensures that the lifespan of cricket bats is good and that they do not get cracked soon. This process is a bit more natural and practical.

The knocking process consists of a number of steps that contribute to the longevity of cricket bats. The process is such that it compresses the fibers of the willow in the face and edges of a bat to create a barrier and make the bat stronger. This barrier is what helps the bat sustain the impact of an incoming cricket ball.

Now that we know why knocking is important and what it does, let us now see how to season a cricket bat.

How to Knock in a Cricket Bat?

Let us first see the things that we will need before we tell you how to make cricket bat stronger.

Things You’ll Need for Cricket Bat Knocking

  1. Linseed oil or special cricket bat oil
  2. A wooden cricket bat mallet
  3. A soft cloth
  4. Sand paper

When you have these things ready, you are all ready to knock your new cricket bat.

Step 1: Oiling the Cricket Bat

The first step of our process involves oiling the bat properly with either linseed oil or special cricket bat oil. We already have a detailed guide on How to Oil a Cricket Bat, and you can refer to it if you want to know more info on it.

Cricket bat oiling and knocking is important because oil gives a good moisturizing effect to the bat. If there is a lack of moisture then the cricket bat might crack or split.

  •  Use the sandpaper to clean the surface of the bat. Skip this step if your bat is already clean.
  • Then, take 2 to 3 tablespoons of the oil and apply it evenly to the face, back, and edges of the bat evenly. It is important that you use less oil and do not overdo it as overuse of the oil will do more harm than good and ultimately affect its performance. Hence, 2 to 3 tablespoons is just the right quantity here. Also, you do not need to oil the handle, splice and label parts of the bat.
  • Now, lay the bat horizontally with its face up and let it dry for about 24 hours.

Some cricket bats come with a protective cover called ‘scuff’. And you may asking can I knock in a bat with a scuff sheet on it? Well, If your bat comes with the cover(scuff) then oiling your bat once is enough. If not, you need to repeat the above-mentioned process twice more. 

Step 2: First Stage of Knocking-in

  • Now, before you actually begin to knock the cricket bat, it is important to wipe off any excess oil and make sure that the bat is completely dry. Use a soft cloth to wipe off excess oil, if any.
  • The next step on how to make cricket bat stronger is to begin knocking-in the face of the bat.
  • Take the mallet in your hands and start hitting the edges of the bat at a 45 degree angle. Make sure that you are do it slowly at forst and increase in the strength of the hits after some time.
  • Once the edges of the bat seem to be ’rounded’, you can move on in the process.
  • Now hit the face of the cricket bat firmly but also make sure that you don’t do it very hard as you do not want to cause any damage.
  • You need to do this for a couple of hours.
  • Make sure that your knocking is uniform and consistent. Note that the splice of the bat does not need to be knocked.
  • The best way would be to start knocking from the edges and then slowly move up and down the central part of the bat. 
  • Also, you need to take utmost care when you knock the edges and toe of the bat. Don’t hit these areas directly but go slowly about it. Tap these areas very lightly and then gradually increase the force.

Step 3: Some Oiling

  • The next step on how to season a cricket bat, you need to do a bit of oiling again.
  • After you have spent about 3 to 4 hours knocking the bat, apply just a little bit of oil to moisturize the bat well.
  • Let it dry, wipe off any excess oil, use a sandpaper to clean it, and begin knocking again.

Step 4: Final Knocking

  • Continue knocking the bat for a few more hours i.e. 2 to 3 hours.
  • Then, you can finally stop knocking. The total knocking should be done for about 6 hours.
  • After it is done, test the bat by bouncing a ball on it. If any seam marks or indentations appear on the bat then the bat is not fully knocked and it will need about half an hour more of knocking. If no marks appear then your bat is fully knocked.
  • Once your bat is fully knocked, apply fibre tape to the edges and fit an anti-scuff sheet over its top. While these two accessories are optional, we highly recommend doing it.
  • Now, before you actually start using this bat to play, test it once. Use a good ball to give the bat some catching practice. Do this process well to ensure that your bat is well-knocked.

Step 5: Playing in!

  • The last step answer to the question how to knock a cricket bat is to start playing with it.
  • Even though you have knocked your bat well and tested it with a few catches, the bat will still need some practice.
  • Ask a bowler to throw a few balls at you with a quality leather ball made for cricket. Start playing softly and hit using different parts of the bat. This is just to check every part of the bat.
  • Initially use an old ball to play.
  • We recommend that you have two sessions of the playing-in. Start playing softly and then eventually, you can increase the pace.

If the above goes well and you feel confident enough, you can finally start using your cricket bat for actual matches.

How to know if your bat is well-knocked?

Apart from knowing how to knock a cricket bat, it is also important to know if it is well-knocked. And here are a few ways of knowing that:

  • The weight of the bat feels lighter after knocking-in. It is not that the bat gets lighter, but with a change in texture of the wood, you will feel the bat a bit differently.
  • If the ball does not leave any seam marks on the bat then it is ready for use.
  • A well-knocked bat will produce a light sound on the impact of a leather ball.

We hope our detailed process on how to knock in a cricket bat helps you. While this process might seem long and tedious, it is very important to knock your bat before you start to use it. Hence, you must always complete this process and do it well.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

As above, we discussed some of the key questions about how to do bat knocking. These are some questions that we have been asked by our users and we are going to answer them too. If you have any such question, feel free to ask us through our comment section or thrugh our DM’s.

Q: How can I check if my cricket bat is knocked in?

Sometimes, we have cricket bats that are already knocked in and sellers also mentions this! But to determine if your cricket bat is effectively knocked in, carefully examine its surface for any visible seam marks or indentations. You can gently tap the face of the bat to listen for a distinct and melodious sound, and gauge its performance by striking it with a leather ball, ensuring no seam marks or dents are left behind.

Q: How do I knock in a Kashmir willow bat?

To knock in a Kashmir willow bat, the process is same as we discussed above in the form of 5 stages.

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