A great bat doesn’t make a great batsman.
But it’s the only tool the batsman has, so the correct bat will give you the chance to be as good as you can be. Choosing which bat to buy is a crucial decision.
So how do know what’s right for you?
There are bats worth £500 and there are bats worth £80; both made out of the same stuff.
Is it just a matter of buying the best one that you can afford and hoping?
The beauty about bats is that the one suited to you personally isn’t necessarily the most expensive. It’s the one that feel right to you.
Buy from a shop
And feel is all important.
Nothing quite satisfies going through different bats by hand; feeling how the same model bat and weight can feel so different just from the slightest variation in crafting.
Plus, the weight of the bat isn’t always what it seems. A bat can pick up much lighter than what it is weighed on a set of scales. You can’t know that without actually picking it up.
Some pro bats can lose up to 6 ounces in perceived weight in the pick up when compared to their dead weight, just from the way the bat is crafted.
While there are some great places to buy bats online and you could get lucky, it’s just not the same.
That’s why you have to go to a shop.
Know your style
What you can do online before going to choose your weapon is your research.
Understanding what type of batsman you are will help decide on the style of bat you should purchase: the general rule of thumb depends on your preference to front or back foot strokes.
- Batsmen who prefer front foot have success with bats with lower middles.
- Batsman who play more back foot prefer high middles.
The height of the middle is also related to the type of pitches.
Players being bought up on pitches that keep low (like India or Sri Lanka) opt for lower middles, where as higher middles tend are successful on harder bouncier wickets like Australia or South Africa.
Look at the bat
Finally, bats nowadays have several features that may, or may not help you. While this is personal preference, it’s good to know the theory:
- Scoops: One way of improving the pick up is by a concaving the back of the bat. This method sees the spine of the middle keep its height, but ‘scoops’ away either side. This reduces the amount of wood off centre of the middle, but still keeps the original power directly down the centre of the bat.
- Blade length: Shorter blades tend to pick up lighter than standard blades due to the middle being placed closer to the batsman’s hands. These are not recommended for batsman of roughly 6ft and taller as this can cause problems when in the stance position.