After getting your bat ready for the season, the most important bat accessory is your pair of gloves. To help you choose the right glove and maintain them well, here are some of our pro-tips:
One of the most important issue while choosing a glove is the choice between the finger styles- BLOCK FINGERS or SAUSAGE FINGERS.
While Block Fingers offer you much better flexibility which helps to tighten your grip on the bat, especially if you like to hit more on the square, they do take away the protection a little bit. 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 Glove offers protection that is second to none as there is a lot more foam on the fingers in a single block and most of them have additional protection in the form of a TPU plastic insert or just a top layer on top of the foam, which adds on to 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” as a loose grip on the bat gives freedom to drive and use the wrists more.
However, 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.
The Leather and Protection
Another important factor while choosing 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, 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 inner lining of the lather. Having a Pittard leather at the palm stops that from happening due to the way it is treated. Pittard is the Dri-Fit material equivalent for palm leathers.
Perhaps another key factor while selecting your pair of gloves is the protection around the sides and the thumb. Side protection on the exposed areas of the gloves in the form of high-density foam adds on to the overall protective quality. The side foam protects against any odd ball that lands at your palm. The kind you would like to go for would be a 3 piece foam bar with slits between the foams so that they don’t hinder your grip.
Another slightly overlooked protective feature in a glove is the thumb area. Opt for a glove with a thickly padded thumb on the inside since your thumb is at the base of the handle and closest to the splice, where you will feel most of the shock coming through.
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, some good options to look after your pair of gloves is to wear batting inners- a thin cotton glove that goes underneath and absorbs the sweat, stopping it from getting to the lather. 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, giving a better feel.
After your session in the nets or your game, make sure you always dry out your gloves in the sun for 10-15 minutes so that the sweat doesn’t sit on the leather for too long and dries out, meaning the glove is withering away as less as possible because of not facing a lot of 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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