Cricket in India is more than just a sport. With more and more cities are coming up with the state of the art infrastructure for budding cricketers, there is more opportunity for people to play with leather balls in a proper environment. If you are a batsman, the bat you choose to play with will define your entire performance. And, even if you are a bowler, you do need a decent bat to play a good inning when the team needs you.
This buying guide is written particularly for bats for leather balls. We have an extensive buying guide for you, followed by the best bats for leather balls available in India. This list includes bats from New Balance, SG, GM, SS, DSC, Spartan, Gray Nicolls, Kookaburra, among others. Read this detailed article to get yourself the bat you deserve.
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Picking the right bat that suits your style and other characteristics is crucial. The international batsmen are all very particular about their bat size, weight, grip, length, etc., reflecting the importance of fine margins in this sport. This buying guide is written with all these significant parameters in mind. It will help you know about the kind of bat you need before you go on and read the list of the best bats available.
It goes without saying that the quality and type of the wood matter a lot when you need to select a bat for playing with a leather ball. You certainly need a bat that can bear the brunt of hard seasoned balls day-in-day-out.
The first thing to consider for ensuring longevity is the willow with which the bat is made. In India, mainly two types of wood are used to make cricket bats - Kashmir willow and English willow. Willow is a special type of tree, whose wood is used to make cricket bats.
Kashmir willow comes from Kashmir, India, where the soil is quite dry. As compared to the English willow bats, the ones made from Kashmir willow are heavier. This willow is brownish in colour, and the grains on it are more embedded. Grains are the vertical lines that you can see in a log of wood and also on a cricket bat.
The sweet spot of Kashmir willow bats, which is the middle of the bat that produces a cracking sound when a leather ball hits it, is less dynamic and less powerful than English willow bats. Additionally, these bats are also cheaper than their counterparts. Therefore, Kashmir willow bats are used by junior and beginner level cricketers.
Unlike Kashmir willow, English willow is commercially grown in England only for producing cricket bats. This wood is white in colour and has a significantly more dynamic sweet spot (punch). The moisture in these bats is lower, and they are also more expensive than Kashmir willow bats.
These bats are also softer and much lighter. Being soft in nature, these bats need a little knocking before using them for batting in a match. English willow bats are definitely the ones you should buy if you are playing or wish to play cricket on a senior level. All cricket stars such as Virat Kohli, Ben Stokes, MS Dhoni, Brendon McCullum, and many more use only English willow bats.
The grains on a cricket bat are talked about a lot. They are the lines that run parallel on the front of a bat. These lines reflect the age of the wood in years. Many people mistakenly believe that the more the number of grains, the better is the bat.
The age of the wood does not mean that the bat will have a good sweet spot and ping. It is true, though, that these lines make the bat look good. The real deal with grains does not lie so much in number as in straightness.
The best grade willow tends to have lines that are more parallel to one another, and as we go down the grading, the lines start looking more crooked. The straighter lines will produce a better ping, which is the rebound effect of the bat after the ball hits the sweet spot.
Grade 3 is a good quality willow whose bats have decent performance, with an average ping. Bats from this wood can be used in lower-level club matches. They have fewer straight grains and are darker on one side. These bats are used by batsmen at the junior level.
Grade 4 English willow bats are good value for money for people beginning to play leather cricket. These bats have quite a few blemishes or knots, which the companies cover using stickers. They have slightly irregular grain patterns, and hence are naturally less responsive. These bats are good for school cricket or leisure cricket with friends.
The best Indian bat manufacturers like SS, SG, and RNS make round handle bats specifically for Indian customers. On the other hand, foreign brands like Gray Nicolls, make oval-shaped handles for the Australian and UK markets. The oval-shaped handle has a lot of benefits - better grip and better pick-up. However, holding an oval handle bat is more difficult.
Bat handles also have different widths or girths. For you, the ideal way to check the kind of width you would need is to see your hand size. Players with small hands should go for thin handles, and the players with big hands must buy bats with wider handles. An incorrect handle width can ruin your entire batting experience.
The length of the handles is another key criterion. These are mainly called short handles and long handles. Long handles are around 12.5 inches long and short handles can vary from 9.5 to 10.5 inches. Players over 6 feet height should bat with long-handle bats and shorter players should play with short-handle bats.
Unlike the length, the weight of the bat completely depends on your playing style and preference rather than your height and structure. Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, for example, is a short guy but played with a heavy bat that weighed 1.47 kilos. So, it is all about finding your rhythm with the right bat. A lighter bat moves faster and gives you more control.
A heavier bat is harder to control and is used mainly by expert batsmen or sloggers. A heavy bat can take even a miss-hit shot out of the boundary sometimes. So all in all, it is better if you start with a lighter bat and see for yourself if you would want to switch to a heavier one.
The next, and a very significant, point to consider is the height of the bat you want to purchase. Players six feet and taller simply need to go with Long Handle/Long Blade (LH/LB) bats. Others need to sift through a range of bat sizes to determine the one for them. We have simplified this guide for you by mentioning the size in accordance with the batsman's height:
The weakest part of a bat is the toe area, mainly because there is the least amount of wood there. The toe of your bat faces the least balls as most shots are played using the middle of the bat. However, the toe needs to be strong enough to play those odd yorkers by seamers. If the toe of your bat is weak, you may chip or slice it while batting.
Earlier, batsmen used to wrap the toe end of their bats using surgical tape, but now there are bats with toe guards on them by the manufacturer. This will help reduce the shock on the lower end of the bat. Additionally, it will also save your bat from moisture. Usually, the toe end of the bat is where moisture creeps in.
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Chrome Cosmic English Willow Bat (SH)
Massive Edges for Big Hits
Savage Edition Grade 1 English Willow Bat
A Savage Bat for Savage Hitting
TC 550+ English Willow Short Handle Bat
A Great Bat to Start Your Leather Ball Cricket
Player Edition Number 6 Grade 1 English Willow Bat
Make the Hard Shots Look Easy
Intense Force Kashmir Willow Bat
Best Value for Money Leather Ball Bat
Adult KB Jos Butler 300
Play and Feel Like Jos Buttler
Star English Willow Short Handle Bat
Made for the Star of Tomorrow
Hit Helicopter Shots Like Dhoni
Send Shock Waves All Over the Ground
Scorer Classic Kashmir Willow Cricket Bat
Score Runs in All Areas
This bat by GM is made from the finest grade English willow. It has a short handle of 295 mm, which is suitable for all players over 15 years old. Having massive edges is the key feature of this bat. These edges assist you in giving more power to your shot. They also help you in playing some unorthodox shots.
The Chrome Cosmic is not a super heavy bat but is a little heavier than most regular bats. The weight brings more ping, and with the sweet spot towards the lower middle level, this bat is designed to give you those big hits. Just get the ball to hit the bat's sweet spot, and the bat shall do the rest.
The Savage Edition Grade 1 bat by SG is a great bat for players at medium to senior level. The best in quality willow is used to manufacture this hard-hitting bat. There are around 8 parallel grains on the front of the bat, giving it a premium look.
This bat is ideal for drives and lofted shots alike. The punch of this bat is quite heavy, giving you great assistance in hitting shots all over the park. After purchasing, you must knock this bat lightly using a leather ball on all parts of the bat. Doing this will make your bat ready for the big games.
New Balance's TC550+ SH bat is a great bat for starting training with a leather ball, club level matches, school matches, corporate tournaments, etc. New Balance has made a name for itself in the cricketing world by producing some of the finest cricketing equipment in the market. This bat does justice to that reputation.
This bat uses grade 5 English willow with glass fibre tape all over the face. This tape gives this lightweight bat extra protection. It is a short handle bat, ideally meant for players up to 6 feet high. The large edges enable you to hit powerful shots using minimum power from your arms.
The Player Edition bat by SS is a classic bat for leather ball cricket. It will need some knocking before being ready to face those fast deliveries, but once it is ready, the balls are bound to be sent away for boundaries. It has its sweet spot right in the middle. It might need immaculate timing but a ball will stay hit if you middle it.
It is a light bag with thick edges. Such bats are designed for opening batsmen, who have to face the new ball by seamers, and all-rounders, who love slogging around the park. Additionally, this product comes with a cover for ease of carrying and storing.
This Kashmir willow bat by DSC is probably the best bat for leather ball cricket under INR 2000. It is loaded with features every batsman wants for improving his game. This handcrafted bat is lightweight and has thick edges, giving it great punch and pickup. Additionally, it has cross-weave tapes on the edges for extra protection.
This bat is ideal for training, recreational cricket, club-level matches, etc. Treble Singapore Cane Handle is used in this bat that gives more shock absorption. On top of it, the extra soft, ergonomic grip dampens any vibrations that may come through it. It is available in all sizes, from Size 1 to LB/LH/.
Kookaburra has produces this series in collaboration with the England batsman Jos Buttler. This is a lightweight bat, which is the kind of bat Buttler uses himself. There are 9-12 well-defined grains on the front of the bat, giving it a great look as well as making it an excellent bat for hard-hitting.
Jos Buttler is considered England's best white-ball batsman of all time. He has the ability to hit the shots in all areas of the park with ease. This bat by Kookaburra is designed to make that happen exactly. You will also find it easier to guide and loft the ball with ease, against both spin and fast bowling.
MRF is not traditionally a sports brand. This tyre manufacturing company gained the most popularity in cricket when it sponsored Sachin Tendulkar's bat for over a decade. That sponsorship brought them such a name in cricket that now MRF has over 350 stores selling their own cricket equipment.
Living up to its legacy, MRF has produced the Star English Willow Bat with grade 3 willow. This short handle bat has a flat front, making it an excellent choice for slog hitters. The sweet spot of the bat is also a little lower, something that match-finishers love to have.
Spartan has long been partners with arguably the best Indian captain of all time, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. This grade 5 English willow bat has around 5 grains that need knocking before being ready for the games. This bat is suitable for players pretty much in every position.
Its handle is made from imported Sarawak cane, which gives it great pickup to hit those yorkers out of the park using the helicopter shot. The thick edges and curved blade will give you more stability while playing powerful strokes.
A lot of this bat's qualities are reflected in its name. This bat is designed for all-round stroke play. Its semi-oval handle gives players more comfort and control over their shots. The zone pro grip is another striking feature that improves the feel of the shot massively.
This bat has concave sculpting, a technique that makes it possible to have lighter bats with thick edges. Such bats are engineered to give a power-packed performance and make it easier to hit difficult shots.
This size 6 Kashmir willow bat by SG is a classic beginner-level bat for leather cricket. It has all the qualities of a good Kashmir willow bat. You can use this bat for junior-level school games or corporate games. It would need some knocking before being ready to use for a game.
It has a handle made from Singapore cane, which is known for great shock absorption. The handle has been given a special 3-way rubber insertion in between splits, giving this bat more flexibility.
There is nothing like sports! Sports give you physical fitness, mental calm, and discipline in your life. Everyone, irrespective of their age, must indulge in some physical sporting activity on a daily basis. It could be cricket, football, tennis, swimming, badminton, etc. Check out these articles by my-best to get yourself some great cricket shoes, bicycle, or swimming goggles. Get these items to stay motivated to stay on the path to fitness.
Anything worth doing is worth doing well. If you want to play cricket, use the best tools that can give you more confidence. With so much variety of cricket bats available today, make sure you choose your bat well. We hope this buying guide provided you a lot of important information to make your decision easier.
No. 1: GM | Chrome Cosmic English Willow Bat (SH)
No. 2: SG | Savage Edition Grade 1 English Willow Bat
No. 3: New Balance | TC 550+ English Willow Short Handle Bat
No. 4: SS | Player Edition Number 6 Grade 1 English Willow Bat
No. 5: DSC | Intense Force Kashmir Willow Bat
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