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The first thing you should know before buying a bat is that bats are usually made with Kashmir willow and English willow. A Kashmir Willow bat is heavy, dry in nature, grains on them are not clear, while the English willow bat is comparatively lightweight, moist in nature, and grains on them are clear.
Many factors need to be considered while buying a perfect bat based on your batting style and level of expertise. Before we get into specifics of the bat, it is important to note that beginners can opt for Kashmir or Kashmir poplar willow or any other type of wood. The poplar willow and Kashmir willow are the most popular type of wood used for tennis ball cricket. The intermediates could opt for the Kashmir willow and the English willow is usually not used by tennis ball players. For a tennis ball, you do not need a bat that is too or too thick given the type and the duration of tournaments. Go for a bat that is lightweight and flexible.
Bats can be designed according to the position of the sweet spot to increase the value of stroke play. A sweet spot is the area of the bat that makes more effective contact with the ball. If you are a front foot player, have the sweet spot positioned mid to low. Similarly, if you are the one who loves to play off the back foot, then go for a bat that has a sweet spot positioned a bit higher.
If you are someone who plays drive shots, i.e. if you hit mostly straight shots or hard drive, then a low bat is appropriate for you. Low bats mainly concentrate the sweet spot of the bat lower down away from your hand. These bats make it easier for you to hit hard drives based on their positioning and make.
If you are someone who loves to hit on the front foot, i.e. if you hit mostly from the front foot, then go for a bat that has the sweet spot in the middle. It is generally known as the medium bat. It is great for general players and for those who love to play on the front foot. If you are someone who loves hook shots/ cuts or on the back foot, then you should go for a medium-high or high bat. This will have the sweet spot positioned up towards your hands that makes hitting those late shots effectively.
If you are the one who plays the ball late and hits a lot of cut shots, then you should choose a bat with a thicker blade. The main body of the bat is called the blade. The rear of the blade has an outward curve that provides weight and rigidity to the bat, whereas the front of the blade is flatter and provides the main striking surface.
It is also important to consider the pick-up index while choosing a bat and for different types of bat players. The pick-up of the bat is the way the weight is distributed through the bat. It normally goes from 1 to 5. Number one means it is designed for somebody who plays late ball and pushes it through the gaps rather than directly playing it for the boundary. Pick-up Index of 5 is for someone who wants to strike the ball directly.
While we make a clear distinction when it comes to selecting a cricket bat for a leather ball or tennis ball, it is important to consider the type of tennis ball used too. For a hard tennis ball, Kashmir Willow bat would be ideal, whereas, for a soft tennis ball, poplar wood bat could also work. A tougher wood bat for hard tennis ball will ensure longer life of the bat.
It is important to understand that a bat that is perfect for someone may not work for you. So, you should rather focus on your playing style and select a bat that feels right to you. There are no proven scientific theories that you must follow, use the factors mentioned above to pick a bat that feels right and falls within your budget.
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