From time to time, guest posters will give you a slightly different take on cricket. Ian Canaway of CricketSecrets.com tells us about bat care.
With almost all new cricket bats, you need to spend some time conditioning it before using it in a competitive environment.
This is done by 'knocking the bat in'. Knocking in is the process of compressing and binding lose fibres in a new bat together to allow the bat to withstand the constant impact from the ball during your innings.
Knocking In Tips
- Knock in any new cricket bat for at least six hours
- Knock-in your new cricket bat even if it comes advertised as 'ready to play', as it still won't be ready for the full force of a hard new cricket ball, especially if you catch an edge or the ball hits the toe.
- Use an old high quality cricket ball.
- Some new bats need a little linseed oil - but no more than a couple of teaspoonfuls.
How to knock in your cricket bat
- Begin gently by tapping the bat, particularly focusing in on the edges, as these are a very vulnerable part of the bat and by the end you want the edges to be almost slightly rounded.
- Spend 2-3 hours doing this stage of knocking in the bat, making sure you cover all of the face of the bat, excluding the splice area. Don't knock-in the back of the cricket bat.
- After you have done this gradually increase the force with which you hit the bat, making sure you systematically cover all of the face of the bat. By the end you should be hitting the bat with full force to simulate the impact of a real cricket ball.
- When you have finishedthe first 2-3 hours, you can progress to using the bat for out field practice and then in the nets against an old used high quality cricket ball. Avoid 'bat breaker' cricket balls: Cheap, hard and usually shiny. If your bat is going to break or split it's these balls that'll do the damage.
- Once you've played the bat in for a few hours in the nets it'll be ready to take out onto the square.
It's a tedious process but worth the time and effort for the results you'll get for your hard work.
Some sports shops may offer a knocking in service for a small fee. I like to do it myself to see how the bat progresses as it becomes more knocked in.
You can read more tips, learn how to score more runs and take more wickets with Ian’s highly recommended ebook: Cricketsecrets.com