How Do I Pick a Good Cricket Bat?
As we know, cricket is a pretty famous sport globally, especially in the Eastern continents. The essential pieces of equipment or most basic equipment by which someone can play this sport are a bat and a solid spherical ball. Knowing the quality of the ball is pretty straightforward. You have to consider the bounce, hardness and size of the ball. In contrast, the main confusion starts when we have to choose a "Good Quality" bat so that the batsman can play and can score more runs more effectively.
There are certain aspects that one should consider to know the quality of the bat. Some of them are considered critical, whereas some are to be there like basics.
The essential things that one should take into consideration for a good quality bat are 3 P's, which stands for "Pickup," "Ping," and "Price” to get a "Perfect" bat. In short, when 3 P's are combined, give out a 'P' which stands for "Perfect." Let's take a look at these three properties for a perfect bat one by one-
Pickup depends on the bat's weight distribution as a bat is made of two parts – the handle by which the player grips the bat and the body to hit the ball. If the weight distribution is not proper meaning, it has more weight on the body relative to the handle, then it would be harder to move the bat for shots as if there is more weight in the body concerning the handling. There will be more pressure on the handle, which would pass on to the player, holding the handle. This would increase the force to be applied to move the bat for hitting the ball. The weight distribution must be perfect, so that it can be picked up and moved around for shots quickly. You can get a good idea of the pickup of a particular bat by lifting it off and moving it around a little bit. Some people also think that if a bat is light in weight, it is suitable for playing, but it is not. If we see logically, you have to move the more lightweight bat faster to have a specific impact on the ball, whereas a heavier bat needs less speed to give the same effect on the ball. Sometimes, when your reaction time is slow, and you are not able to move the bat with a good speed, this scenario with a lighter bat would be to your disadvantage. The bat's weight depends on your relative strength, but it should not be very light, and weight distribution should be proper.
Ping shows the strength and control of the bat when hit by a ball. A bat with good ping rebounds more effectively as compared to a bat with low ping. The ping of a bat depends on the material with which it is made of. When we hit the ball with a bat, there is the collision of the ball and the bat's surface; during the collision, both the surfaces contract. If a bat has a good ping, it will contract less, which in turn transfers energy to the ball, by which the ball will be rebounded more effectively and with more speed. To check the ping quality of a bat, experienced cricketers use a cricket bat mallet which they strike on the bat's face and observe experience the reaction of the bat by which they define the ping of a bat.
Well, you go to a shop of sports equipment and see there a couple of bats and select one of them by analyzing their pickup and ping, which means your halfway to your perfect bat, but when you get to know the price, it gets out of your budget, and you get stuck up on half of your ideal bat. The main factor that comes into account is price. One easy way to overcome this by asking the owner or whoever is assisting you in buying is to filter the bats up to a special price so that you can choose the best one within your budget and get your way to a "perfect bat”.
3G’s of a Bat
With the 3 P's, we get our perfect bat, but people consider specific properties even if they are not as important; we can call these properties the 3 G’s- graphics, grain and grade. Let's take a look at why these properties are not necessary.
As we say, "Don’t judge a book by its cover," it is applied here also. We sometimes fall for the bat's excellent and colourful graphics rather than considering what's inside it. Graphics are secondary for a bat. They are just there to make the bat look good, that does not establish that the bat's abilities are also good.
People consider a bat whose face has more grains because the number of grains in a bat is directly proportional to the age of the willow tree it is made of. There is a saying that better quality bats come from old trees. It is not entirely right; instead, the age of the willow tree, which it is made of, is of minor importance if the ping, pickup and price of the bat are good. If we look practically at today's world, where there is a vast production of cricket bats going on in the market, it is not possible that all the bats can be made up from old willow trees. Still, many bats are coming from young trees but still of outstanding quality.
Bats are commonly made up of willow trees, especially English or Kashmir willow trees. These trees are graded on a scale of 1 to 5. Bats coming from high quality grade 1 trees are considered good quality bats. The primary reason to contradict this is that there is no standard guide to grade these trees. People growing them in different areas have different criteria set for grading them, so it may be possible a tree graded 4 in a particular region is considered 1 in the other part.
While looking for a good quality bat, go for 3Ps instead of 3 G's. Thus you can buy the perfect bat for you according to your requirements and within your budget.