Bat and Pad
For a young lad, it is important to get a bat of
the right size. It is a grave handicap for any
youngster to learn the rudiments of the game with a
bat of the wrong size.
A full size bat is some 35 inches long, and a good
serviceable bat weighs about 2 Ibs and 4 ounces.
What is known as a 'short handle' bat has a blade
of normal size but the handle is about one inch
Then we come to size "six" bats that are about 33
inches long, and sizes "five" and "four" that are
As a guide, a boy whose height exceeds five feet,
is big enough to use a full size bat of 35 inches.
There is no hard and fast rule that short men
should use short handle bats and tall men should
use long handle bats. The players themselves must
decide which type suits them best. However, we do
find more and more cricketers using short handle
Besides the size and length of the handle, there
are grips of varying sizes; thin, medium and thick.
Here too, the player himself has to decide which
grip is most suitable for him. One must make sure
that the rubber grip on the handle is securely
glued. Many a wicket has been lost because the
rubber grip twists on the bat handle whilst making
a stroke. Worn-out rubber grips should be replaced
Whilst choosing a bat, one must make sure that its
grains as straight as possible. If the grains are
close to each other, it means that the bat has
'power'. A bat having very few grains will last
longer but it will not have the same power.
In choosing a bat, one must be guided by its feel
and balance. It is very important how the bat feels
in your hand.
It is wise to oil the blade before using it,
especially in our type of climate. A light coating
of raw linseed oil will do and for those who want
to extract the maximum durability from the bat,
some preliminary hitting with an old ball in a sock
or rubbing the blade with an old cricket stump will
help. The bat should not be oiled too frequently. A
very light sandpapering followed by a thin coat of
oil after a day's play is adequate enough. One
should be careful not to oil the back of the blade.
Leg-guards or Pads are worn on both legs to offer
protection against injury. Whilst selecting leg-
guards, one should see that they are not very
heavy. Bulky, clumsy leg-guards will give more
protection against injury, but they will to a
certain extent restrict your footwork. One should
select leg-guards that are comfortable and fit
Leg-guards should be worn in such a way that the
straps are on the outer side of the legs. They
should not be kept hanging but properly buckled or
strapped. If the leg-guards are worn in such a way
that the straps are on the inner side, then they
are likely to hinder the batsman whilst running
between the wicket and the batsman may lose his
balance and fall.
A top-grade cricketer should discard his pads and
get new ones if the portion above the knee becomes
flappy. Apart from the untidy appearance, there is
the danger of being given out caught behind when
the ball hits this loose portion and flies to the
keeper, slips or short-leg. The sound of the ball
hitting the flap can be mistaken as that of the
ball finding the edge of the bat.
The leg-guards should be kept clean and one should
ensure that the straps are intact before the start
of a match.