Cricket is a simple sport for which all you need is a bat, a ball and a few friends. You can have a glorious time playing in your street or nearby maidan. Even if you are in the semi-pro to pro level of playing Cricket, knowing about your primary tool of trade – the cricket bat, can help you improve your game immensely. There are several factors that make each cricket bat unique and therefore special.
Let us now take a look at the various factors that make each cricket bat unique and special.
Anatomy Of A Cricket Bat
The basic components that make up a cricket bat are the blade, handle, and grip. Cricket bats are generally made up of willow wood which is strong, durable and ideal for generating force and momentum when a batsman swings the bat.
The Cricket Bat Blade
The blade is the most important component of a cricket bat. As previously mentioned, it is made of Willow wood. The polished and new bat is often not as powerful as a well-used bat. This is because new cricket bats need to be knocked in to increase the size of their sweet spots.
The sweet spot is the area of the blade that generates the most power when hitting a cricket ball. Although they vary from bat to bat, the sweet spot is usually located from around the middle to 4/5th of the way to the toe end of the blade. A wooden mallet is usually used to knock in a new bat and greatly increase the size of its sweet spot.
Apart from the sweet spot, the blade also has the toe and edges. These are crucial parts of the bat that could result in your wicket being dismissed. Modern bats have thinner and rounded edges that can minimise the ball flying up in the air when edged.
Thus, it is important to check out reviews to find out about the best cricket bats available before deciding on your choice.
Cricket Bat Handle and Grip
In cricket bats, the handle is usually made from a separate piece of wood. This is to reduce the vibrations from being transferred to the hands of the player. It is important to pick a handle diameter that you can completely wrap your hands around in order to be able to effectively wield the bat.
The grip also plays a crucial role in the transfer of energy from your hands to the bat and onto the shot that you are playing.
Weight And Balance
Different playing conditions might offer a different set of challenges to the batsman. This makes the weight of the bat a crucial factor in deciding the balance of the batsman. Bouncy pitches will often require you to duck under the ball or lift the bat high to play a pull or hook shot. These require the bat to be bottom-heavy to generate maximum force. So be sure to play out a few practice swings with the bat to test its balance before you decide on your bat.
Maintenance And Care
Even the best cricket bats need regular maintenance. This is because a bat has to endure endless impacts with the hard cricket ball and that is bound to take its toll on the cricket bat blade.
Oiling is one way to greatly prolong the life of your cricket bat. Linseed oil is usually used oil the surface of the blade. You can usually apply one to two coats of linseed oil to the bat surface and let it dry.
Once the oil has been completely absorbed, you need to use the mallet to do one to two rounds of thorough knocking in to get the best benefits of oiling.
Toe guards are also an easy option to protect the most vulnerable bottom part of the blade. These are shockproof films that sit on top of the toe end of the bat and minimise the impact on the bat.
As a batsman, keep all the above salient features of the cricket bat in mind when you make a new purchase. It is also important to keep in mind that the process does not end when you select and buy the correct bat for your needs. It is just the beginning and you will need to put in the time and regular effort to maintain the bat in order to get the best out of your cricket bat.