Tips & Articles

How to Bat in Cricket

Batting in cricket involves physical and mental skills. A successful cricket batter, or batsman, defends the wicket (3 vertical rods or "stumps" staked into the ground and topped with 2 horizontal "bails") by hitting the ball and preventing the other team from scoring by knocking it down. The batsman must also quickly decide whether it is safe to switch places with the non-striker (the other batsman) and score a run. Here are a few steps to understanding how to be a good cricket batsman.

Method 1.
Select the right cricket bat. Bats differ in length, weight, and handle type; the right bat for you depends partly on your height and partly on personal preference.

The proper length depends upon your height. Get into your batting stance and hold the cricket bat next to your front leg. The top of the cricket bat should not go past your upper thigh.
The proper weight depends upon personal preference. Heavier bats provide more power, but lighter bats provide a faster swing. Take practice swings with cricket bats of different weights until one feels comfortable and controllable.
The proper handle depends upon personal preference. Bats with oval handles are stronger, but round handles are easier to grip, especially with your bottom hand. Round handles also provide additional lift when you hit the ball.

Method 2.
Prepare the cricket bat by having it knocked in. Bats are made from willow, a soft wood that is initially hardened by a mechanical press. Additional hardening improves its performance and protects against cracking. While you can knock a bat in yourself, it is recommended that the process of strengthening the surface by denting and leveling it out be done by a professional.

Rub 1 tsp. (5 g) of raw linseed oil on the bat, coating the surface evenly to promote elasticity and protect against cracking. Apply the oil either with your fingers or a cloth, using a clean cloth each time (the oil is combustible, so dispose of the cloths immediately). Let the oil soak in overnight, then oil the bat 2 additional times before beginning the actual knocking in process.
Dent the middle of the cricket bat. Use a hardwood bat mallet designed for this purpose (a cricket ball may also be used). Continue hitting the surface until it is level and the dent has disappeared. This will take about 10 minutes using a bat mallet, and about 10 to 15 sessions are needed to complete the process.

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