Bats – individuality and performance

Bats – individuality and performance

It is said that baseball is a descendant of cricket. There are some similarities and many differences in the two sports. For example, cricket bats and baseball bats have somewhat similar shapes and swings, but that is about the extent of the similarity. Whilst baseball is considered a pitcher’s game and the pitcher controls the action, cricket is a batsman’s game and they are in control of the match. While baseball has one pitcher face many hitters, in cricket one batsman faces many bowlers. And so, each sport has developed unique strategies, and for cricket most of the strategy rests with the specialist cricket bat.

In cricket the batsman hits in all directions and uses many different strokes. Cricket bats must be sturdy yet flexible. Light enough for maneuvering, yet having enough weight to really hit the ball. Batsman will use all kinds of strokes including driving, which is when they hit it similar to a golf drive. If it goes left it is on drive, right is off drive. Players may swing their cricket bats in a way that pulls or hooks across their body. Or if they want to deflect a ball from the wicket-keeper they will use a stroke called glancing. With whatever stroke they use they want to create a situation where they can score as many runs as possible.

Another part of the strategy of batsmen is how, and when, they bat in a match. Because one batsman may be in for a long time, the team captain will create a line-up to maximize each batsman’s strengths. In a sense, individual batsmen each play a unique role in the batting strategy and whether they bat early or later in a match will determine which cricket bats they use.

Players coming up in the sport will study and try out cricket bats to determine which one is best for their role in the match and their style of play. If a batsman is an all-around stroke master, he will want a cricket bat that allows a lot of flexibility and maneuvers well. Batsmen who are considered the big hitters will choose bats that have a larger sweet spot and weigh more to put more power behind the ball. It is a critical part of the strategy that batsmen choose the appropriate bats that accentuate their strengths.

Players who have reached the professional level of cricket will no doubt have spent years playing and been in countless matches. It can be assumed that seasoned players know their assets and roles in the game, and know how to select cricket bats. But for junior or novice players and for others just learning the sport, a good coach should be able to teach and observe and help them discover their role in cricket. They should also encourage young players to try different cricket bats and different batting strategies. Eventually, the young player will discover what comes naturally and will be able to develop their talents and cricket skills, enjoying the sport for years to come.

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