Choosing the perfect cricket bat can be a hard decision. It can be overwhelming when walking into a Kingsgrove Sports store and seeing a wall of bats lined up from edge-to-edge. Which one will perform the best? Which one will last the longest? Which one can I afford? We’ve broken down this complex buying process into a few simple steps to assist you in this decision.
1. Set A Budget
Having a budget set for your cricket bat is always a good idea before walking into one of our stores. It helps you narrow down your possible options and helps our bat specialists to look for bats in your price range. Although price is not the ultimate determining factor it needs to be considered.
Bats often come in ranges with varying models with the same shape, such as the New Balance DC Range. If a player likes the style and shape of the bat they would then choose the specific model that fits within their price range.
2. Determine The Shape and Your Style of Play
Bat makers create cricket bats with varying profiles, edges, scallops, sweet spots and so on. These aspects of a bat change how the bat is shaped and hence the performance of the bat depending on the player. Because it is hard for an individual to determine what shape is best for them our bat specialists will help you in this process.
Most bats are designed for all styles of cricket: T20, ODIs or Tests. However, some bats may be tailored to specific styles like T20 cricket, such as the Kookaburra Blaze Maximum, which is shaped for this style of cricket.
Players should also determine how they play the game. Are you more front-foot dominant or back-foot dominant? Bats can be designed with the sweet spot better positioned to increase value of stroke play. If you like to play off the front-foot have the sweet spot positioned mid-to-low. If you prefer to play off the back-foot, look at bats that have a sweet spot placed mid-to-high.
3. Choose A Suitable Weight
The next aspect and one of the most important, is weight and pickup. You don’t want a bat which is too heavy or too light as this will ultimately affect how well you play. This is especially important for juniors. Because the biggest bat won’t necessarily make you hit the ball further if you aren’t strong enough to play your shots correctly. Consequently, a bat which is too light may hinder your potential. This is why it’s better to focus on the pickup of a bat rather than weight.
4. Find The Perfect Pickup
We would all love a bat with a massive profile and a very low weight, but this is extremely rare. There has always been much discussion about the heavy bats with massive profile being able to always hit the ball further but we don’t always agree with this. If you select a lighter bat, then most likely the thickness of the profile and edge, will be smaller, but this is not an issue. As everybody is different in terms of their physique and strength, the most important thing is to choose a bat which feels right for you. Most people are unable to differentiate between bats which vary only slightly in weight, it is incredibly difficult to tell the difference between a bat that is 2.8 lbs. and 2.9 lbs. So it’s best to choose a bat that just feels right for you.
5. Look For The Best Performance
There are roughly 5 Grades of willow that bats are made with. Grade 1 tends to be the best performing willow with 8-10 grains and extremely few or no blemishes on the face of the bat. The cheapest bats tend to be made with Grade 5 willow with 4-5 grains and more blemishes on the face.
These grades give a general rule of how well a bat will perform but performance varies from bat to bat. If you need a bat for immediate use, bats with higher grades of willow perform well immediately, while other grades may take longer to play in and reach their optimum performance. In some cases, bats using lower grades of willow may perform better than bats with higher grades of willow.
We hope that these five aspects will help you when looking for a new cricket bat. If you want professional help in your decision process, feel free to visit a bat specialist at one of our Kingsgrove Sports stores.