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Ever wonder why the bats you see during cricket matches look so different? For those of you who may not know the answer, it is because not all bats are the same.

Whether a team is building an innings, repairing a top order collapse, or are in the midst of a mad dash towards the end of the innings, one thing they can’t do without is a bat. And to be effective in any one of these scenarios they must choose the right bat.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you buy a bat.

1. The feel of the bat is of prime importance; ensure you feel comfortable while handling it.

2. Know the exact batting skill you have and select the bat accordingly.

3. Choose the size which suits your batting stance.


4.Consider the weight of the bat. It is better to start with a light weight bat and gradually switch over to a heavier one.

5. Bat weights vary according to the batting order and are measured in pounds (lbs) and ounces (oz).

  • Openers use lighter bats (2 lbs 8 oz – 2 lbs 10 oz) for faster bat speed.
  • Numbers three and four (2 lbs 9 oz – 2 lbs 11 oz) for a more aggressive batting style.
  • Numbers five, six and seven (2 lbs 10 oz – 2 lbs 12 oz).
  • Numbers eight and nine are usually required to stay at the wicket so it is advisable not to have a big heavy bat.
  • Numbers 10 and 11 use the heaviest bats (3 lbs plus) especially if the point is to see the ball hitting the boundary more often or if you prefer a lighter one – 2 lbs 10 oz bat is recommended.

6. Take good care of your bat by oiling regularly and storing it properly to avoid damage.

7. Prices for bats vary and can range from Rs 900 to 12,000 for an English Willow bat. Pakistani Willow bats are cheaper ranging from Rs 275 to 625.

– Shuaib Ahmed

First published in the Adbuzzzz Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on March 4, 2007.