When selecting your bat, we suggest that you give consideration to the weight and length of the bat, as well as its handle. A bat’s pick up or balance should also be considered as this will alter bat speed and therefore your ability to play shots. You should also consider the positioning of the sweet spot – it could be high, low or in a normal position.
These are to be used as a rough guide only. Please contact us to discuss in more detail.
A lighter bat is recommended usually in the region of 2lbs7ozs to 2lbs9ozs. This is due to the faster bat speed required when facing the new ball. A heavier bat means that there will be a slightly slower reaction time, which can be the difference between playing the ball too early or too late.
A slightly heavier weight would often be required due to often needing to implement a more aggressive style, whilst still retaining the balance needed for facing faster bowlers. 2lbs8ozs to 2lbs10ozs is what we recommend.
One would generally require a very large profile to their bat so that when one hits out, the ball is sure to travel beyond the boundary. A good weight range for a middle order player would be 2lbs10ozs to 2lbs12ozs.
This depends very much on your build and what feels comfortable to you. Players tend to use bats of around 2lbs12ozs, sometimes with a longer blade(depending on height). You are very often required to stay at the crease so it is not necessarily correct to have a big, heavy bat.
These are very crucial batting positions as you may find yourself in a position where you are needed to score the winning runs. If you find that you are a pretty good timer of the ball and like the heavy bat (3lbs +) when in the throes of the final over, then a good balanced bat is crucial due to the way it improves your timing. If you feel that the bat has to be light and you cannot use a heavier bat well, we would recommend one in the region of 2lbs10ozs. Do make sure that the bat length is correct though.
Lower order batsmen should be particular about the bat they use. Being in the lower order means you need every advantage you can get. Lower order batsmen often do not have the skill that those batting up the order have and using the correct bat can dramatically improve your batting performance.
Sometimes players may find that they like a particular weight but, for instance, prefer a longer blade due to the fact this will help with back pain or if they are looking to make themselves stand up straighter. As a rule of thumb, if you normally use a 2lbs8oz bat in a standard short handle size, the weight for a long blade will be 2lbs9ozs. This is due to the extra length right at the toe of the bat. It will also feel more ‘toe heavy’ than what you are used to, as the extra length moves the bat’s ‘centre of gravity’ further away from your hands. The same principles apply to a long handled bat due to pushing the weight further away from your hands.
Note: Despite all of these recommendations, players will have different preferences. Please contact us to talk about these so that we can be sure that the bat is correctly made. The more information we have about you, the easier it is for us to make you the correct bat and ensure your satisfaction.
Bat speed is the speed that the bat travels to hit the ball. Generally the faster the bat speed, the more likely the batsman is to hit the ball with the middle of the bat. This allows a batsman to be able to make slight adjustments to a shot when the ball deviates, or when they have made a misjudgement or error in execution.
The length of the bat impacts on bat speed in several areas. The longer the bat, the further away from the hands the weight / sweet spot becomes. The further away from the hands the weight is and the heavier the bat feels. A long bat or a bat with a low sweet spot will have a slower bat speed than a shorter bat or a bat with a higher sweet spot.
A longer bat will also travel further from the top of the pickup to the point of impact. This reduces the bat speed, meaning it takes slightly longer to reach the point of impact.
Heavier bats have a slower bat speed than lighter bats. The effort required to move the bat increases as the weight of the bat increases.
A lighter bat will allow faster bat speed and increase the chance of middling the ball. A heavier bat will not be quite as easy to middle the ball with, but when you connect with the ball, it will stay hit.
This topic is one that has come up in our Cricket Bat Lore. In the thirties batsmen used very light and slightly smaller bats – their style of play differed from the style of play of the modern batsman.
A bat that has an even weight distribution will have a faster bat speed than a bat that has its weight near the toe. Put another way, this means that a heavier bat with a good distribution of weight will have a faster bat speed than a light bat with a lot of weight in the toe.
Balance or pick-up describes the bat’s ‘centre of gravity’. If the bat’s ‘centre of gravity’ is too close to the handle the pick-up is quite poor. If the centre of gravity is approximately 8 inches from the shoulder, then the pick-up should be good. We do not advocate measuring for the centre of gravity – you should test the pick up using the method described below.
To test the pick-up of your bat, hold it in your top hand and lift it using your normal pick up. If the bat feels heavy then the pick-up is not great. If it is easy to pick up and the bat does not feel heavy then you have a bat with good balance and pick-up.
A bat with a good pick-up will allow for a better bat speed than a bat with a poor pick-up.
What all this means for bat speed?
Like the selection of any sporting equipment, there is a compromise to make. For bats this compromise is between fast bat speed and having a bat that has enough middle to get the ball to the boundary.
Fast bat speed allows adjustments to a shot whist it is being made as well as encouraging all different types of shot.
Options to change the length of the bat include changing the blade length and changing the handle length. At Laver & Wood we recommend most players use a standard blade with a standard handle. The rationale behind this is a Long Handle dramatically alters the centre of gravity of the bat, which alters the pick up and bat speed. This usually means having a lighter bat to compensate for the longer handle.
Long Blades are a better option than a Long Handle. A Long Blade has an extra half an inch to an inch in the blade (more on request), and does not alter the pick up as much as a long handle does. A long blade encourages you to stand up straighter when taking guard, which may or may not help your game.
Long Handle/ Long Blade is only recommend for the very tall and possibly suffer from back problems. James Laver is 6’5” and uses a long blade, mainly because it is very difficult to get a Long Handle/ Blade that feels good.
When using our free bat sizing tool to send us bat specifications please provide as much information as possible about your game. The more information you send the easier it is to recommend the correct size, weight, balance and style of bat for you.
The sweet spot or middle of the bat is the area of the blade where you are looking to strike the ball most of the time. Using the sweet spot ensures that you achieve the largest amount of power in the shot you are playing. The middle is dictated by the profile through the back of the bat.
Most players will have a bat with the sweet spot in the normal position. This would be about 4” from the toe to 12” from the toe. A bat with a normal sweet spot will suit a batsman who plays the full range of shots and does not favour any shot in particular.
A high sweet spot is usually 5” from the toe through to 13” from the toe. This bat suits a batsman who opens or prefers playing short pitched bowling and off the back foot. With a higher sweet spot, the weight distribution is higher up the blade, meaning that the bat speed is faster. This type of bat suits those who like playing cuts, hooks and pulls.
A low sweet spot is usually 3” to 11” from the toe. This type of bat suits a player who enjoys driving the ball and playing aggressively during the final overs of a game. It is particularly suited to wickets that do not have much bounce – those that are damp or have good grass cover. The pick-up is affected due to the weight of bat being nearer to the toe.
Please note that hitting the ball regularly in the desired area will enhance the sweet spot. If you have a bat with a high sweet spot you need to be hitting the ball high on the blade regularly to get the best out of the bat.
In general we recommend a sweet spot in the normal position, but if you have a preference for a particular position then we can make the bat to your specifications.