How to buy the right cricket bat
Your cricket bat is your partner on the pitch, and for passionate batters, there is nothing more special than picking up a brand new willow just in time for a new season. These seasoned players will know exactly what they are looking for when purchasing a new axe, but what about cricket newcomers?
There are many things to consider when trying cricket for the first time and buying a new bat. Luckily, these aspects are easy to navigate and will help you choose the right bat for your size, strength, and budget.
Follow this guide for buying the right cricket bat just in time for the summer season.
- Determine your style of play & bat shape
Bat manufacturers produce cricket bats with different edges, profiles, scallops, sweet spots, etc. These elements change how the bat is shaped and how a particular player can use that bat. Most cricket bats can be used for all game styles: tests, ODIs and T20. However, different bats are made to optimise T20 play, and this is important to know if you are going to be playing one day or tests for your new club.
How do you bat? Are you a back-foot dominant or front-foot dominant player? Bats are made to accommodate these different styles. For example, if you like to play off your front-foot then you should go for a bat with the sweet spot positioned mid-low on the bat. Conversely, if you play off the back-foot, you want to find a bat with a sweet spot that is mid-high.
- Choose the right weight
The next element is vital, as it will determine how well you handle different bowlers. Bats that are too heavy or too light both have detrimental effects on your playing style - you want to choose one that is just right for your size and strength. This is especially so for younger newcomers - a bat that is too heavy is essentially wasted money given their smaller stature. Conversely, a bat that is too light might hold you back from earning a big knock. It is important to ensure your bat is the right size for you to play a comfortable shot without limiting your run potential.
- Don’t blow your budget
Be sure to set a budget before you go to the sports store. This will help bat specialists find the right one for you and help you narrow down your options. Bats from the same producer often come in the same shape but in varying models. You may find a bat that is a particular shape you like but want to select a particular model that fits your budget.
- Find the right pickup
It’s extremely hard to find a bat with an awesome profile and low weight. People often think that a heavier bat with a large profile will hit the ball further, but this isn’t always the case. This comes back to our last point - if you can’t comfortably strike with the bat due to its weight then you probably won’t hit the ball too far.
Everybody is different when it comes to strength and physique, so the most important thing is always choosing the bat that is right for you. It can be very hard to differentiate between bat weights and whether any minor differences will hinder your playing style - so hold the bat in-store and gauge whether its weight seems right for you.
- Performance is key
There are around five grades of willow that are used to produce cricket bats. Grade one is typically the best performing willow with eight to 10 grains and only minor blemishes on the bat’s face. Cheaper bats are made with grade five willow and they tend to have more blemishes.
Performance, of course, varies from bat to bat. If you require a bat that will help you perform immediately - the more expensive grade one bat is the way to go. Otherwise, you can go for a cheaper bat, but these take longer to break in and reach their full potential.
Check out our range
Highmark Cricket has a huge range of bats to fit all batting levels, styles, and budgets. Browse our extensive range of CA, MRF, and SS bats, finding the axe that’s going to knock you a ton.