Looking to freshen up the batting gloves but don’t know where to start? Here is our breakdown of the key factors to help you make the right choice:
One of the most important issues while choosing a glove is the choice between the finger styles- BLOCK FINGERS or SAUSAGE FINGERS
Block Fingers offer you high flexibility which allows to tighten your grip on the bat, especially if you like to hit more on the square. The only downside is that they take away the protection a little. Block finger style gloves are the most popular in countries like Australia, where cricketers like to play cuts and pulls more, hence, a stronger grip with better flexibility helps.
On the other hand, a Sausage Batting Glove offers protection that is second to none. A single block on each fingers means more protective foam and most of them have additional protection in the form of a TPU insert or an additional layer atop the foam, which increases the cushioning. These kinds of gloves offer test level protection but take away the flexibility a little bit, ideal for cricketers who like to play “in the V”, since a loose grip on the bat gives freedom to drive and use the wrists more.
With these in mind, most professional cricketers like Virat Kohli, Nic Maddinson, Usman Khawaja and David Warner tend to go for a sausage style of gloves as they offer much better resistance against quicker balls. This doesn’t take away from the fact that block finger gloves are equally popular amongst professionals.
LEATHER AND PROTECTION
Another key feature to consider while choosing batting gloves is the leather at the palm. The softer the leather, the easier it is for you to flex them, offering better grip and comfort. Usually, the more money you spend on your gloves, the softer and more premium the leather gets. When it comes to the best leather, the one you should seek is Pittard. It’s a specially treated, highly durable, sheep leather which is incredibly soft and needs no breaking in. It also has the highest levels of sweat tolerance and offers great amount of ventilation at the palm.
The other kinds of leather that you usually see on the market, in descending order of quality (primary factors being softness and durability) are: sheep leather, cougar leather, calf leather and PU mock leather.
Most gloves tend to get too crusty after half a season’s worth of use as the salts from the sweat form a layer on the leather’s inner lining. Having a Pittard leather palm stops that from happening due to the way it is treated. Pittard is the Dri-Fit material equivalent for palm leathers.
An often-overlooked area while selecting a pair of gloves is the protection around the sides and the thumb. Side protection on the exposed areas of the gloves using high-density foam adds on to the overall protective quality. The side foam protects against any odd ball that lands at your palm. The preferable style of the foam would be a 3-piece foam bar with slits between the foams so that flexing the palm is seamless.
Moving onto the thumb area- opt for a glove with a thickly padded thumb on the inside (preferable once with a dense TPU shell). Since your thumb is at the base of the handle and closest to the splice, a considerable amount of shock affects that area. Additionally, the bottom hand thumb is the most vulnerable to breakage on the event of defending a short ball.
Once you have made the choice for a specific pair of gloves, the care is crucial for them to get them to last for a while. Ideally, you want 2 pairs of gloves- 1 for the nets and 1 for the game, so that you don’t burn through your gloves due to intensive use.
Besides that, our recommendations to look after your pair of gloves is to wear batting inners- a thin cotton glove that goes underneath and absorbs the sweat, reducing contact with leather. If the leather at the palm is exposed to less sweat, it doesn’t wear out as quickly. If you are not used to wearing inners or don’t like the feel, try going for a “fingerless” pair as they only cover the palm, feeling less intrusive.
A must have habit after your session in the nets or your game is ensuring that you always dry out your gloves in the shade. Doing it for 10-15 minutes means that the sweat doesn’t sit on the leather for too long and dry out. Hence, the glove is withering away as less as possible because of not being in contact with excessive moisture.
Now that you know all that there is to know about batting gloves, it’s time to head out there and get the best gloves for your budget!
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