How to Choose a Bat You Are Proud Enough to Sleep With | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

How to Choose a Bat You Are Proud Enough to Sleep With

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The cricket bat is more than a lump of willow with a rubber handle. It is your only weapon in the quest for the runs you need to succeed.

No wonder so many batsmen love their blade so much they can’t even be parted with it at bedtime. It‘s like losing a beloved family pet when the time comes to replace it. Sometimes it has to be done. Sometimes tape and sandpaper and oil are no longer enough.

Take a deep breath and buy a new bat.

Selecting a cricket bat is tricky. Walk into any shop and look at the range of bats. They don’t seem too different. It’s easy to make a mistake. In my days I’ve been tricked into buying the wrong bats a few times. There are plenty of things to look out for.


A bat either too big or small will not to your batting any favours. When you are buying a bat, stand into stance and play an imaginary straight drive. This will give you an idea if the bat is according to your size or not. If it is small you’ll notice when you take your stance. If it is big it will hinder the straight drive. You’ll know without much effort if the bat is the right size or not.

As a rule of thumb, if you are 5’9” or over (174cm) you can use a short handle/full size bat.

Shape of the handle

There are two shapes of bat’s handles. Some are round, others are oval. Both are fine as long as they are not misshaped. Before buying a bat, carefully examine the shape at the end of its handle. A misshaped handle will cause the bat to rotate in your hands after you play a shot.

The type of wood used

The cricket bat wood is categorised in grades (willow quality). Grade 1 plus is the highest quality of wood with all the necessarily oiling and polishing. It is normally used by professionals as it is expensive. In contrast Grade 4 is a rather roughly made willow without much lubricant treatment. The important thing to remember here is your budget. If you cannot buy G1 plus, do not sweat over it. Buy the quality you can afford. With the passage of time when the standard of your cricket goes up, you can go for higher quality.

Brand name

This is more of a personal liking thing than a technical one. All the quality brands have little difference in their products. If you buy a brand that you like, you will be extra proud of your stick. That is when brand name comes in.


The weight of the bat is the most important for you. Young players often buy too heavy bats. Your priority should be to buy the most light weight bat possible. Heavy bat won’t allow you to swing freely and you’ll shoulders will be stiff after a long stay at the crease.

By keeping these things in mind, you can buy a bat that can serve you for a long time to come. When you have a bat make sure you take good care of it. His cricket equipment is like a best friend to a cricketer. Just as teachers tell you to respect books to be knowledgeable, coaches tell you to respect your equipment to be a good cricketer.

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Do you find it beneficial to inspect the grain pattern on the bat as well, particularly looking for potential weakspots near the toe? Is there an ideal number of grains, or is that a myth?

I have also found that thick edges and toe (about an inch and a half) have a massive effect in providing both power and longevity.

AB - you're not really going to see any weak points in the bat although darker wood does tend to be denser. This is why you often see two tone bats with darker wood on the outside edge. The key thing is to avoid bats with thin toes as they're the ones which will go.

As for grains, there is some truth to the theory that more grains equal more 'spring' but there is more to it than just that. Moisture content, treatment, how it was dried, the bat maker and so on all play a part. A good rule of thumb is to look for a bat with around 8 grains, all straight and evenly spaced.

I will also add that for the most part willow grading is done on cosmetics and will not necessarily indicate how a bat will play. It is always best to buy in person where you can tap a bat with a ball and feel the rebound. Some of the best bats I've had playability wise have been grade 2/3 willow although they looked average.

Do i need to add extra grip ? When one should add an extra grip? What is the use of it..

There's no reason to other than that you prefer the feel of it. I like a thin handle with only one grip, but different players prefer two or even three grips. So its up to you.

Extra grips, are as AB suggest, largely about feel. Some people have big hands so need the extra girth, others have weaker grips so find bigger hands stay in better and won't rotate in the hand as much.

The other use for extra grips is adding weight to the bat and changing the balance, although it's a small effect at best. Generally grips add about an ounce in weight, so by adding more to the handle you can move the balance point of the bat. As I said, though it is a small effect but one that can have a pleasing influence.

Would anyone recomend the Gray Nicolls Quantum or Powerbow for 2012?

I kind of depends on YOU, not the bat.

How important is curve of bat & how much .

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