Tuesday, January 29, 2019

What do you look for when buying a Cricket Bat?

Cricketers across the world have a tough choice to make when choosing cricket bats resulting in various questions being asked before they make a purchase that could be the difference between a good and bad season. Which bat do I go for? Do grains make a difference? Which brand is the best? What is a sweet spot? Many of these questions run through a cricketer’s head before they make a decision – some think about these more than others.

The revolution of cricket bats came with the experimentation of the distribution of weight, spearheaded by iconic bat-makers Gray Nicolls and John Newbury. This distribution ensured the cricket bat had a ‘sweet spot’, where the middle to lower half of the bat was dense, enabling more power to the blade resulting in the traditional cricket bat shape which is known all over the world.

Each cricket bat brand have their unique story. Gray Nicolls for example, have been at the forefront of bat-making since their formation in the 1940s, resulting in iconic blades such as the Gray Nicolls Legend, the Gray Nicolls Powerspot and the Gray Nicolls Scoop – endorsed and used by legends in the game such as Viv Richards, Clive Lloyd, David Gower, Michael Atherton and many more. More recently, Gray Nicolls have added innovative touches to their bat ranges, offering a variety of modern day options whilst holding the traditionalist outlook to their brand. For 2019, Gray Nicolls have launched the Gray Nicolls Supernova, Gray Nicolls Powerbow 6X, Gray Nicolls Shockwave and carried forward their established Gray Nicolls Classic collection.

Bat-making started a little later for Kookaburra with the brand diversifying from cricket ball manufacturing into bat-making in the mid 1980s. The Kookaburra brand grew into one of the household names in cricket with the help of over 27000 runs for the Australian national team by none other than Ricky Ponting. Entering its 17th year, Ponting’s endorsement of the Kookaburra Kahuna range will have undoubtedly played a huge part in the Kahuna being the most recognizable blade of the Kookaburra bat range. For 2019, Kookaburra have launched the Kookaburra Ghost, Kookaburra Nickel, Kookaburra Rampage, Kookaburra Glare, Kookaburra Charge and carried forward their established Kookaburra Kahuna collection.

New Balance has bulldozed its way to the forefront of the cricket bat market with the help of endorsements from some of the world’s best batsmen such as Joe Root, Aaron Finch and Steve Smith – to name a few. Although still embryonic in comparison to larger brands like Gray Nicolls and GM, New Balance has produced high quality cricket bats coupled with aesthetically pleasing visuals, aiding its meteoric rise. Entering the bat market in 2012, their roster of established international cricketers is huge, often resulting with these players having huge impacts in high profile cricket matches, ensuring people take notice. Since its introduction to bat-making, New Balance has launched the TC and DC ranges with the introduction of the Burn range in the 2018 season.

With over 130 years of bat-making experience, Gunn & Moore hand craft their bats in Nottingham, England. Having mastered the craft of bat-making, GM have been endorsed by some of the greats of the game including Michael Vaughan, Marcus Trescothick and the recent acquisition of England’s powerful All Rounder Ben Stokes adds to a long list of international cricketers. The unquestionable credibility of GM Willow has resulted in the brand becoming one of the leading bat-makers in the world. For the 2019 season, Gunn & Moore have launched the GM Diamond, GM Zelos, GM Neon, GM Haze, GM Mythos and the GM Noir.

Selecting a cricket bat can be a tough choice to make but a decision every cricketer needs to make. After all, not every player has to bowl, but every player has to bat. Pondering over myths about cricket bats have forever been prominent in cricket retailers around the world. Although widely used in the cricket retail world, relentless bat tapping and ball tapping are not always the way forward when selecting your willow.

Differing from bat to bat, the grains on a cricket bat are usually a respectable indicator on the quality of willow you are purchasing. Usually, cricket bats between 6 and 12 grains are a good measure of willow performance. However, the amount of grains can affect performance. For example, a bat with 6 grains is likely to be softer than a bat with 12 grains resulting in it needing to be used for large periods of time to reach peak performance. Whereas a bat with 12 grains will need knocking in for a short period of time and will reach peak performance quicker, the lifespan of these bats tend to be shorter.

Universally, there are 5 grades which cricket bats can be segmented into with Grade 1 being the highest (as used by professionals) and Grade 5 being the lowest. As expected, the cost of a Grade 1 bat will be considerably higher than the cost of a Grade 5. The visual appearance of the blade will also need to be taken into account with straight and even grains on the high end blades with minimal marking/coloration on the high end cricket bats.

The Profile on a cricket bat often indicates where the sweet spot is located. This is where most of the wood in a blade is located so when opting for a new willow, it’s crucially important the sweet spot is in the place which suits your style of play as well as the pitches you play on. For example, if you’re playing on slow, low pitches, it would be helpful you have a cricket bat with a low sweetspot whereas bouncier pitches would suit a high sweetspot.

Ensuring that the ‘pick up’ of the bat is right for you is equally as important as any of the above. Testing the bat in your actual stance playing an array of shots is what is commonly used by professional cricketers to help them gauge whether the bat is right for them. After all, if the pick up of the bat feels too heavy and is going to hamper your chances of getting your hands through the ball quickly and efficiently, then this may not be the bat for you.

In summary, there’s lots to think about when purchasing your cricket bat. After all, large amounts of money can be spent in selection so it’s important that you have peace of mind that the money you’re paying on the blade is not only justifiable, but well spent.

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9 Pitched:

  1. SageFantasy said...

    I always look into the brand when I am buying bats, or I just buy old bats used by pro players.

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  2. Chetan Raygor said...
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  3. Chetan Raygor said...

    Nice and useful information, I also have blog related to cricket but it was is in hindi. This is link of my blog
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  5. Unknown said...

    Whenever I Buy the sports equipment like bat and other thinks i will look the compatibility first and than go for the brand.

  6. Cricket geek said...

    Thanks for sharing such a valuable content on Types of bat in detail, it will definitely help to choose good bats. Fantasy Cricket Tips and Play IPL Fantasy League 2019

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