Tips and Techniques to Hold a Cricket Bat
The way players hold a cricket bat affects the way they play, and even a little change in their techniques alters the shot’s angle through leg-side and off-side and limits the swing distance. Therefore, each cricket player has a different method of holding a bat, according to their comfort level and correctly.
There are four grips techniques to hold a bat — V Grip, Closed Face Grip, Open Space Grip, and Don Bradman’s grip. Though every player’s basic playing method uses V-Grip, they slowly start experimenting with the different grip styles as they advanced their skill.
Let us understand in detail how the majority of players hold a cricket bat.
1. The V-Grip
The V-Grip is also called the traditional or an orthodox way to hold a cricket bat because the V-Grip is the primary method to hold a cricket bat in the right way.
The V-shape is created by placing the wrist of both hands on the back of the bat’s middle handle. To make the V shape, one needs to point the forefingers and thumb parallel to each other, forming a shape V.
The player should set the right and left wrists with a little gap from one another to balance it while hitting the ball and a distance of 8-10 inches between feet. The right-hand player needs to put their right wrist on top, while the left-hand player needs to put their left wrist on top. The grip needs to loosen up to swing the bat freely.
The wrist grip that touches the lower tip of the cricket bat handle will form more force, which is the right way to hit the vertical shots. At the same time, the wrist grip places towards the upper tip of the cricket bat will give the player more force to hit the ball horizontally. Ensures to keep a little distance between both of your hands. It should be placed equally in a balance distance to give the player maximum control and power to hit the ball. The closer the distance, the less power the player will get.
Whether you are a beginner or a professional, the V-grip can never go out of style, and it is the most used grip while playing cricket and allows the player to hit the ball on all sides.
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2. Closed-Face Grip
A closed face grip is also known as an O-shaped grip, the holding a cricket bat technique closed to a leg-side. The closed-face grip is generally adapted by that player who is well trained and has a firm grip over the bottom of the bat; therefore, it allows the player to hit the powerful shot on the leg side.
How to Hold Closed Face Grip:
- Start with the V-grip technique, then slowly wrap the bottom finger under the bat (in V-grip, only the upper side of fingers resting on the grip); it creates an O-shaped grip.
- The closed face grip puts absolute pressure on the bottom wrist and is the best grip technique to swing the shot.
The closed face grip is not advisable to hit the shot off-side; therefore, the advanced players’ technique to switch the fingers while playing the match depends upon how the bowler swings the ball. The closed face grip was the technique majorly adapted by Graeme Smith, the former South African batsman.
3. Open-face Grip
Open face grip is often called the smart way of holding a cricket bat, used by a player trying to improvise the playing style. The open-face grip technique is usually opted to speed up with run scores in the middle of the match and smartly detecting the bowler’s way who is aiming for the wicket.
How to hold open face grip: While in the middle of the match, if the player thinks that the bowler is gaming for the wicket, quickly change the rotation of the bat facing off-side.
However, the player shouldn’t use the open face grip more often or as a routine holding the bat grip technique because it might affect the playing style of leg-side shots. However, it is crucial to learn the method to deal with a yorker smartly.
The open-face grip is hard to apply when the player is performing with a vertical bat. Therefore, it is necessary to hold the horizontal bat way and quickly change to strike yorkers.
The open-face grip helps the player to deliver the best shot to the off-side. Jos Buttler, the English batsman, generally applies the open face technique to score more in the middle of the match.
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4. Don Bradman’s Grip
Often called the rotary method of holding a bat, Don Bradman’s grip style is one of the best techniques that has set the battling record so far in the history of cricket performed by the Australian greatest cricketer — Don Bradman. Don’s average test batting is 99.94, making him the greatest player ever. After his demise in 2001, his holding a bat style was named after him. Though this technique is famous among the old cricket players, modern cricket players are slowly adopting this style.
How to hold the Don Brandman’s grip: Hold the cricket bat in a v-grip style and then rotate the lower hand to place it under the bat. Then, slowly rotate the upper hand and keep it on the back of the bat’s handle. This technique is mainly used while preparing the hit ball, and the player needs to point the bat in the direction of the wicketkeeper.
However, the original style of Don’s was — he picks up this grip by pointing the bat during the pick-up stage in the direction of the slips.
The main benefit of Don’s Bradman’s grip is the player spontaneously twists the wrist gripping style and hits cross-bat shots such as the hook or the square cut. This method is widely used to avoid the wicket field catch the ball. The technique also helps the player to play leg-side shots easily. However, to master Don Bradman’s grip, the player needs to practice a lot to polish the technique.
Which Should be an Accurate Height of the Cricket Bat Grip?
The bat grip height depends upon the player’s playing technique and personal choice. For instance, some players prefer to keep their hands more pushed to the upper tip of the bat-like Adam Gilchrist, the Australian Cricketer famously known as the most aggressive player in the field. In contrast, there are other players such as Ricky Ponting, who prefers lower grip.
Beginners should start practicing holding the cricket bat in a V-Grip by placing the hands in the middle before jumping into trying different styles or experimenting their own way.
In the beginning, learning how to pick the bat and how to hold it can be a little tricky, but with proper training and practice, the player will improve their style and batting abilities. However, once the player advances the technique, it is customary to see the change in bat gripping to meet the bowler tactic, especially when the bowler throws yorkers and scores quickly. More net session hours will help the players see the changes regularly in holding the bat and eventually adapt to the one the player is comfortable with.
Main Image Source: Pixabay
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