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How to choose the right Cricket bat and save money
Choosing and buying a cricket bat is an important decision for cricketers, both young and old, to make. Whether you like it or not poor cricket bat selection will have an effect on your game and all too often your wallet. There are 4 main things to consider when buying a new bat:
- Middle Position
- Grade of Wood
Before taking any of these things into account however, you must consider what kind of player you are. Unfortunately, not everyone can bat like Sachin Tendulkar, when choosing a bat you have to be able to accept your style of play and be honest with yourself. If your a very defensive player who looks to occupy the crease and rarely goes for the boundary, don't go choosing a bat with a huge middle that feels like lead in your hands. Likewise, if your a bit of a slogger don't go buying a lightweight bat under the delusion that it will make youplay a little more conservatively. I guess what i'm saying is recognise your skills and select a bat which complements them.
Okay, so now you've thought about the type of batsmen you are you need to recognise what kind of weight and what middle position you need. There are exceptions but as a general rule certain middle positions benefit certain types of batsmen.
- Low Middle Position - Players who like to drive and get on the front foot as much as possible. Slightly favors the more defensive players who look to work the singles. Also useful for players who play on damp, greentop wickets often.
- Medium Middle Position - A happy medium for the more traditional batsmen, you will have no trouble playing your cover drives and cut shots etc. but expect less reward for manufactured or unorthadox strokes.
- High Middle Position - Perfect for those eho like to hit the bowler of their line with a range of traditional and improvised shots, also perfect for those heaves over midwicket to a ball on a good length.
Another important factor is the weight of the bat. As a general rule bats lighter than 2lb 6oz are considered light, bats weighing between 2lb 7oz - 2lb 9oz are medium weight and anything heavier than 2lb 9oz is considered heavy. Bat's too heavy will affect the speed of your shots and capability to play improvised shots against quicker bowling. It has been said that a bat cannot be too light, to an extent this is true but a strong batsmen batting with an extremely light bat might not get full value from his shots. Top Tip: When buying a bat take a blindfold to the shop and wear it whilst playing a few 'air' shots, shortlist the ones that feel best and put back the ones that don't. This is also useful when taking a child to buy abat as it prevents selection being affected by stickers or branding.
Have a look at the size chart above. It tells you all the sizes from size 4 that you need to know along with the height of a person who should be using that size bat. As with everything there will be exceptions but if you folllow the chart above you won't go far wrong.
Grades of wood are usually labelled pretty clearly on the bat, otherwise the shop attendant should be able to help you. English Willow and Kashmir are the two types of wood used to make bats. English willow is more expensive but is much more durable and will provide a better connexion allowing you to hit the ball further. English Willow is graded from 1-4 with Grade 1 being the best. The difference between Grade 2 and Grade 1 in terms of performance is very small and is generally based on the cosmetics and colour of the wood, number of blemishes and grains etc. However, the difference in price between these two grades is often very large so don't be fooled into opting for a much more expensive bat on the grounds of it being a higher grade.
By choosing carefully your cricket bat you give yourself a higher chance of success and therefore a much longer usage. Cricket bats are very expensive items of gear so once you've found one that works for you don't be in a rush to replace it.