It’s the new cricket season time again and thus starts the massive cricket kit haul. If you are a batter, you understand the pain of going through hundreds of bats to pick out a new stick for you to rule the crease with.
With all the misinformation spread around regarding bats, it’s easy to get confused amongst all the myths and lies. Here are the pro tips used at WHACK to help choose the stick that is the best from the rest:
Here’s to busting the age-old myth of cricket bats that the more the number of grains, the better it is. The number of grains on your stick don’t measure its performance. They only show that the bark that the cleft has been carved from has aged for a long time. Bats with “tighter”/”more grains” often reach their peak much quicker, hence, they are more brittle and may break quicker too. The opposite is the case for a bat with “less grans”/”wider grains”. This only means that the tree is younger, and the willow is less dense, which means that there’s more wood packed into your stick. While these need to be played in a little bit longer to get to their peak, they age rather well and maintain the peak performance for longer.
If your bat pings well from the get-go, regardless of the aesthetic, the bat will only get better. However, picking a bat just because it looks good and doesn't hit well at the time of buying is like a gamble as there is no certainty as to how it would mature. Hence, the wisest approach would be to opt for something that hits well, regardless of the appearance.
Don’t buy into the marketing mumbo-jumbo of cleaner looking bats being better just so you end up paying more.
Another factor to keep in mind while selecting a bat is its balance. “Good Balance” is a very subjective term. What may be good balance for a driver, might be too bottom heavy for someone who plays square. What may be the right balance for someone playing square, might be too light for a big hitter.
In order to find the “Right Balance”, first identify the kind of shots you like to play the most. For a predominantly straight player and someone who likes to use their feet a lot, something with a lower middle might be their best friend with the meat packed at the bottom, allowing a strong swing. For someone who likes to cut and pull, a cricket bat with a mid-middle or a slightly higher middle will allow you to swing the bat with more speed and will give you the best bang for your buck.
Whilst these are general guidelines, the basic rule of thumb is to go for a bat which feels like an extension of your arm. If you are comfortable with the feel of your bat, you will get it to do exactly what you want.
While your cricketing idol may be using a certain brand, it does not mean that you have to restrict yourself to it as well. Rather than choosing a bat based on its brand, choose a bat based on the willow underneath and how it feels in your hands along with a good ping. An example to state this, sub-continent brand SG have been making bats for Kookaburra since forever. Yet, you end up paying more with Kookaburra for a similar quality of timber than SG. That is the similar case with brands like New Balance, who have their bats made from the likes of FCS, based out of India. An advantage of buying from a manufacturer (such as Gray Nicolls, Newbery, DSC) than a brand that licenses their bats (New Balance, Kookaburra, ICON), is that you tend to get better value because you’re not paying a premium for the stickers, rather paying for the cleft of the wood and decades/centuries of bat-making excellence.
It is common knowledge where international cricketers have stickered up bats from other manufacturers with their sponsors stickers as they happened to have liked the feel better, eg. Ben Stokes stickered up Moeen Ali's TON bats since he preferred the feel of those to his GM bats.
Instead of brands, a serious cricketer tends to go with a bat that is a full shape with minimal scalloping, perfectly balanced in the hands and pings well when hit against a ball/mallet.
Now that you know the secret to finding the right bat, come on over to WHACK and choose your crease companion for the new season! Looking for the widest variety of bats to choose from down under? Head on over to our website - www.whacksports.com.au
For your bat purchases with us, you get:
🏏 Free bat knocking
🏏 Free bat maintenance kit and bat cover
🏏 Free shipping on orders of $199+ (AU and NZ)
🏏 Up to 10% back as store credit
🏏 Buy Now, Pay Later with ZipPay & AfterPay AU/NZ