Choosing the right cricket bat is imperative as it helps and supports a player to perform well and give the best shots on the field. A cricket bat consists of several parts that directly or indirectly determines the performance of the bat. Some cricket bat manufacturers offer bat customization options making it easier for cricket players to get what they want in their bat. It is very important to know about these options before making a decision. Let’s find out about all the key factors that you should keep in mind before getting your next cricket bat.
Handle: The handle is a vital part of a cricket bat, and its shape and size should be precise so that players can easily hold it. The best handles are made from sarawak cane. A good handle helps in absorbing the shock and also gives rebound ability to the bat. You can customize cricket bat handle in different shapes that suits your needs:
- Oval: The majority of batters prefer an oval-shaped bat handle. You can have better control of the top hand while taking pressure off the bottom hand; thus, helping batters play in the “v” region of the ground(deep cover to deep mid-wicket). This type of handle twists less on impact and provides a more direct feel through the shot.
- Round: In this handle shape, the bottom hand of the handle allows the players to show the real action through aerial shots. Players who attack mainly with horizontal bat shots always choose a round handle for an easier wrist-roll over the ball. It is preferred by players who are wristy and like to feel the bottom hand of the handle.
- Semi-Oval: This is the hybrid of oval and round handles and appears to have a slight oval shape and looks different from the traditional oval handle.This handle has the benefits of both oval & round handles.
Apart from these, the thickness of the handle is also necessary to consider. Choose the thickness on which you can have a firm grip on. Putting more grips on the handle can help you get a good grip and make the bat feel lighter.
Bat Face: The face of the bat (front side) is the main playing area of a cricket bat. While looking for customized cricket bats in India, you may find bat manufacturers giving you an option to customize bat face in two ways:
- Round Face: This is the most popular choice and typical bat face profile. Round bat face can reduce the chance of edge damage, allowing more rebound and ping in the center of the bat for a long time. Round face cricket bats have a more recognizable appearance but a narrower profile.
- Flat Face: This is the recently introduced bat face profile. It lets the bat appear big by pressing the bat lighter and giving it a great ping in the sweet spot. This helps in increasing the power profile by retaining more bulk in the rear of the cricket bat by leveling out the striking region.
Grains: The age of the wood used to form a cricket bat is shown by the grains on the bat. Each grain represents one growing season. A cricket bat with a grain weight of 6 to 12 grains is an excellent sign of good cricket willow. Cricket bats with 6 grains are more flexible than bats with 10-12 grains, taking longer to knock in and attain peak performance.
All top-end bats should have 7 to 10 straight grains as a minimum. It will provide a healthy balance of life and performance. Anything higher than ten will produce excellent performance but need more energy, whereas anything lower than seven is suitable for team cricket bats that require longevity.
As a result, one must pick between the performance and the life of a cricket bat that matches their budget. Please note that higher grain counts aren’t always great. A bat with 6-8 grains can perform equally well as higher grains one and can have longer life as well.
The Sweet Spot: It is the middle of the bat where every player looks for the ball to strike. It is the spot where most of the weight of the bat is concentrated(center of mass). When a ball hits the sweet spot, it can ensure that you can achieve a large amount of power in the shot. Different positions of the sweet spot are:
- High Sweet Spot: This is ideal for the players who play on quick, bouncy wickets. You should be strong off the back foot to choose this bat profile.
- Mid-Low Sweet Spot: This is ideal for a player who sees himself as a ‘complete’ batter. This means that the player plays on all types of wickets and needs the largest area for the sweet spot.
- Low Sweet Spot: This is ideal for a front foot player who plays on slower, lower pitches. A low sweet spot is perfect for hitting straight and made for the player who goes over the top. A lower sweet spot helps to get under the ball and lift it for hitting sixes.
- Extra Low Sweet spot: It is ideal for a front foot player to play on low and slow pitches.
Bat profile & spine: Spine of a cricket bat is the bulge at the back of the bat that provides the weight and power to the blade. Although a high spine provides meat to the cricket bat, it comes at the cost of increased weight of the bat. So it’s important to go for the right balance. Profile of a bat determines the amount of wood at the back of a cricket bat. Different types of profiles of a cricket bat:
- Full profile: This is the bulky profile for a cricket bat. In this very less amount of wood is scooped from the back of the bat giving it the power and strength at the rear of the bat. Full profile bats are less aerodynamic in pickup and are generally on the heavier side.
- Semi concave profile: In this a little scooping is done at the back of the bat to reduce weight.
- Concave profile: Concave profile bats are more aerodynamic which helps in pickup. Concave profile bats have a distinct looking spine as more wood is scooped out from the rear of the bat.
Weight of the bat: Weight of a bat is an important factor for a player to consider for playing his/her game freely. A bat with an optimum weight and balance is required to generate enough power and play some shots that require quick shot playing. Heavier bats are good for drives and cover shots while light bats are suitable for playing cut shots. Optimum weight of a bat depends on an individual player and their style of playing. However while choosing a bat one should check the balance of a bat. A well balanced heavier bat can feel lighter in hand while an ill balanced lighter bat can feel heavier.
You can also customize the toe shape, bat shape, bat thickness, and bat length apart from these particulars. You must choose the best bat manufacturer that can customise bat according to your requirements to get an ideal bat for your next game.