How to knock in your cricket bat | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

How to knock in your cricket bat

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From time to time, guest posters will give you a slightly different take on cricket. Ian Canaway of 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:

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i think i will have better luck knocking my bat in now thanks


My pleasure Josh, let me know how you get on.

should you hit the edges at the side so that you are effectively knocking the edges inwards to wards the middle of the bat, for example a "leading edge" would so they arent so soft?
looking forward to hear your reply
thanks stuart

I'm not sure Stuart. I have always been told not to do that by experts because the knocking all needs to be in one direction. I would say it's proably best not to knock the sides in just in case. After all, how many leading edges are you going to do? Not many I hope.

I've just got my new bat and it says pre-knocked in but this clearly isnt the case how long should i spend knocking it in for?

my new bat had cracks in it. shud i put gaffer tape on them

i've just recently purchased a new high quality bat, im planing on knocking it in, but do you think it would be a good idea to part a clear face cover on it after i've knocked it in?

my toe gaurd is peeling off should this happen also how can you tell if a batg has been knocked in

i mean my toe at the bottom of my bat its peeling off csn you reply back quickly plz

What are your opinions about covering bats with fiber tape to protect it? Does it indeed protect the bat? is any striking power lost due to it? And what is the best way to use it?

I think tape or specialist facing is an excellent investment if you want your bat to last. The key is not to put too much tape on. A double layer is plenty. You won't lose any power. I tape the edges of my bat and have also taped over a small crack. So it's used more for specific protection. A full face is also a good option though.

Fibre glass tape is fine on a bat - a single layer will protect and lengthen it's life. On cracks, a double layer is a good idea as should minimise any further damage (providing it's been glued etc).

Most bats will come with a clear face nowadays which will soak up a fair bit of damage. As David said above, stick some fibre glass tape on the edge and you'll have done as much as you can to protect the bat. Of course, cracks and damage will still occur but it should be minimal.

Usage is up to you - common options are either a full face or just on the edges.

thanx for the info

I've brought a bat and about to knock it in but I dont know how to, how do i do it

All you will ever need to know about knocking in cricket bats -

yeah Certainly.....But that must be after u oil and knock-in your Bat.

should i oil my bat before knocking in and if i should have long do i have to leave between each coat? and how many coat should i do?

Yes, oil before knocking in. Give it a day or two between coats. 3 to 4 coats should suffice.

How do you knock it in, do you knock it in sideways or straight?
Some people say straight and some say sideways so I don't know.

How know when bat knocked in

Kim - you know it's knocked in when someone answers the door.

Aidan - always from around the back when knocking in.

I also find it amusing that many of the answers to questions being asked have been given but people are too lazy/stupid to scroll up a few lines.

I just brought a new cricket bat, can i still knock it in if it has a protective face on it. e.g. tape

Yes, you certainly should if you want it to last.


I got my new bat and the shopkeeper says the junior bats are pre-knocked. Does it mean i never knock it again or I knock it after 6 or 7months?

You will need to give it a small amount of knocking in. Maybe an hour or so.

how do u properly oil the bat,can u put in a
cricket bat sheet will it still need oiling befor
you put in the sheet?!

For those too lazy to scroll up...

i only knocked my bat in for about an hour then put linseed oil on it will be ok and will i be able to knock it in again

The more you do the better knocked in it will be.

Can I oil my bat the day before I play a match? It will have around 8 hours to dry

You can and it won't really have any impact on anything.

Just don't coat the bat in the stuff. A small amount on a dry rag and work it into the grain. You are trying to seal the natural moisture in and keep the damp out, not giving it a drink of oil.

Do you have to use a specific mallet manufactured for cricket bats or could you just use a , for instance, a mallet for camping tents?

To save a couple of pound I mean, I could buy a couple of mcflurrys from McDonald's if I don't need to buy a mallet Laughing out loud

You're best off using a mallet designed for cricket bats. Camping mallets will in all likelihood be too hard and actually damage the bat. If you want to save cash simply use an old ball in a sock and then progress to hitting throw-downs (again with an old ball) before using newer balls and finally a new one.

should i get someone to bowl at me or should i just use my hand to knock it in

Hi, I haven't played cricket for some thirty years, but I will be playing against our local Taverners in our own charity Ashes tournement (I am part of a Bonfire Society, hence the ashes). I lost my Father last year, who played at a semi professional level in the forties and I want to give his beloved bat one last run out. It hasn't been played for some 50 years and probably not oiled for 30 odd years. I have restored the handle and given it it's first taste of oil, but would I need to knock the bat in before playing with it?

I realise I am taking a risk using it, but it's a risk I am willing to take to give it one last run out, and perhaps hopeful that the old bugger will help to get my hand back in!!

Thank you in advance for any replies.

Hey Paul - first of all congrats and well done on getting back in the game! Be prepared to be unable to walk properly for the 3 days after the game. You'll hurt in muscles you forgot you had!

In terms of the bat, no, you should not need to knock it in again: if anything the bat will have become more brittle over time and you probably are taking a genuine risk using it .

What Im not as sure about is whether you should oil the bat... someone else might need to answer that one...


Hey all I bought a new Kookaburra Rogue 650. It says its pre - prepared etc but dont read that, cos you do need to knock it in!. So how ive gone about it is, Step 1 I used the steel shaft of a golf club n ran it along the edges of my bat on 45 degree angle!!, dont be afraid to put alot of weight into it cos itll smoothen out in the in end and I also did it on the face of my bat starting at the bottom of the sticker n working to the toe. Its a good way to knock in the edges and the face jus by rolling a golf club along it! (but do get someone to hold the bat for you n I recomend doing this on the floor with a towel underneath or something or even in a woden vice.
Step 2 I then started using a grey nicholls bat mallet n hit the edges on a 45 degree angle to further round them n thoroughly knock them in. after an hour I then lightly coated my bat on all sides exposed to air except handle/splice n left to dry overnight. Next day I began knocking in on the face again n edges. After another hour of knocking in I then applied an extratec sheet to the face n then put 2 strips of fibreglass tape along both edges. I then started knocking in again. After a bit of that I then got the oil out again n this time only lightly oiled the edges n back n NOT the face cos theres extratec now on there. Once that second coat dried overnight I started knockin in again n decided to have a mate bowl some slow medium balls to me (NOT YORKERS!! )in nets n I lightly hit em back NOT HARD YET! even though the ball was old it left some seam marks meaning my bat isnt knocked in enough so for me its a few more hours of knockin in n 1 more coat of oil. So guys n girls thats how I prepared my bat hope this helps you.
Btw my bat also had a toe guard! N now also has extratec n fibreglass tape!

Tips: Dont over oil a bat!
Never knock the edges in from the sides or 90 degrees cos it just starts to dint them inwards n actually causes weakness!
Thoroughly knock in the toe!! Otherwise if not 1 yorker from a paceman n your bat is gone!
Invest in extratec n fibreglass tape!
Also invest in a toe guard
Do use a golf club for the edges otherwise use the edges of a bath tub or ya mums wooden rolling pin, dont tell her but! Smiling
Never put oil on the handle or splice
If your bats too old for toe guard but you want protection invest in some shoo goo!
Never use cheap arse cricket balls cos they damage your bat!! ( usually are bright red ,heavier n are very shiny cos of a clear lacker on them)
Never wack ya bat on the ground hard.
Never knock in the opposite side of ya bat.
Using a mallet or ball mallet takes,6-7 hours for knockin in
Using a ball in a sock takes 10 hours for knockin in
But if you're not confident n still scared to ruin your bat take it in to get rolled but trust me doing it yourself makes you look after your bat more n makes you more keen to make runs
Hope these tips help and good luck all Smiling

when i was knocking in my bat with my bat mallet i didnt realise u were not supposed to hit the edges and i was doing that now there is indentations in the edge of the bat (is that really really bad, can it be fixed)

Hey Matt as I did above in my comments you can fix them by running the shaft of a golf club along the edges applying even pressure from top to bottom n this can flatten out indentations along the edges Smiling just read my comments above for tips Smiling

Can i use a rubber mallet to knock in my kookaburra bat?

This is by far my favourite question:

by Aatif Syed (not verified) | Tue, 20/03/2012 - 10:16


I got my new bat and the shopkeeper says the junior bats are pre-knocked. Does it mean i never knock it again or I knock it after 6 or 7months?

My god why would you use it for 5-7 months and then knock it in, that is just ridiculous!! What do you expect after 6 months the bat regenerates to brand new and has to be knocked in again?

Are you smoking wacky backy!!

Easy now! I would encourage everyone to ask questions no matter how silly it might seem. It is the responsibility of people with knowledge to help people who lack knowledge, not to ridicule the question. It's a cliché but true to say that the only stupid question is the one that is not asked!

Hi chaps how do you know when a bat is knocked in?

No you should just continue to use it to it breaks, then buy a new one. Tape can affect the balance and accuracy of your shot. I say that you should get a GM bat.

can we knock the bat by putting the old good quality ball in the socks and start hitting the socks to the ball

Hi I have brought a gray nicolls matrix 1200 is getting your bat rolled before knocking in nescerey or getting it rolled at all necessary or do you get better performance by rolling first ? If it dose increase performance or is necessary I have put one coat of oil on the bat can I still get it rolled then knock it in ?

i wouldn't recommend it as the sock does dampen the effect of the ball, if you don't have any other options then result to using tights instead of sock

Does knocking in a bat give it more power off the face?

Can anybody ansew this question it would be muchly appreciated thanx