Your grip on the cricket bat is crucial because it affects how you swing and hit the ball. There are different ways how to hold a cricket bat.
While the orthodox grip is seen as the standard, every player needs to discover the grip that suits them best.
As cricket legend Donald Bradman once said, “Every player should be allowed to develop their natural style, as long as they’re not making any obvious mistakes.”
In simpler terms, How to hold a cricket bat is a personal choice, and what works best for you is what matters most.
Below are the Best 3 Ways on How to Hold a Cricket Bat:
1. With the help of Orthodox Grip:
The first and foremost way: how to hold a cricket bat is with the help of an orthodox grip. Below are the steps explained to use for orthodox grip.
Step 1: Place the Bat
Start by laying the cricket bat on the ground with its flat side, meant for hitting the ball, facing up. There’s a ridge down the middle of the backside of the bat, called the spine, and this should be facing upwards.
Step 2: Form a ‘V’ Shape with Your Hands
Hold your hands in front of you with your palms facing downwards. Make a ‘V’ shape by bringing the thumb and forefinger of both hands together.
Your thumbs should extend sideways, forming an upside-down ‘V’ shape. Keep this hand position as you reach for the bat.
Step 3: Line Up Your Grip
As you grip the bat’s handle, ensure that both ‘V’ shapes formed by your thumbs and forefingers are facing downwards, towards the bat handle.
Make sure the point where your thumb and forefinger meet is aligned with the spine on the back of the bat blade.
You can angle your hands slightly to get more power for specific shots like cutting and pulling the ball, which helps in keeping the ball on the ground.
Step 4: Position Your Hands
Your dominant hand, the one you feel most comfortable with, should be closer to the top of the handle, while the other hand should be nearer to the bat’s blade.
Placing your hands in the middle of the handle provides a good balance of power and control. If you move your hands towards the end of the handle, it produces more power, ideal for vertical shots.
Vice versa, if you move your hands towards the blade of the bat, it gives you more control, suitable for horizontal or cross-bat shots.
Step 5: Maintain the Hand Distance
Keep a distance of about two fingers between your hands on the handle. The closer your hands are, the more power you have, but it may reduce your control.
On the other hand, spreading them further apart gives you more control but might reduce your power.
Step 6: Grip Pressure
Maintain a firm grip with your top hand while keeping your bottom hand relaxed. Imagine you are holding a delicate baby with your bottom hand; that’s how much pressure you should apply.
A loose grip allows your bottom three fingers to come away from the bat during your backswing, guiding the swing with only your thumb and forefinger for a fuller and more effective shot.
Step 7: Practice Various Shots
With the orthodox grip, you can practice and execute different types of cricket shots. This grip enables you to play cross-batted shots effectively while keeping the bat’s face square to the ball when hitting vertical shots.
This minimises the risk of accidentally hitting the ball with the bat’s edge, which can lead to being caught out by the wicketkeeper or fielders in the slips.
2. With the help of ‘O’ Shaped Grip:
The second way: how to hold a cricket bat is with the help of a ‘O’ Shaped grip. Below are the steps explained to use for orthodox grip.
Step 1: Start with the Orthodox Grip
Begin with the regular orthodox grip, which we talked about earlier. This grip has your fingers mostly under the bat when the flat side is facing down.
But now, we’re going to make a change to it. Rotate your bottom hand, the one closer to the bat’s blade, so that your fingers go fully under the bat handle when the flat side is pointing down.
In the orthodox grip, only your fingertips touch the bat handle in this position. With the ‘O’-shaped grip, your entire fingers will be underneath the bat.
This means you’ll twist the ‘V’ shape made by the thumb and forefinger of your bottom hand – turn it counterclockwise if your right hand is at the bottom, or clockwise if your left hand is at the bottom.
This adjustment will make the ‘V’ face towards the edge of the bat. So, when you hold the bat with the flat side down, the ‘V’ made by your bottom hand will now be horizontal to the ground instead of facing down.
Step 2: Use the ‘O’ Shaped Grip for More Power on Cross-Batted Shots
This ‘O’-shaped grip can give you more power when you play shots that involve swinging the bat horizontally, like the cut or pull shots.
It might feel more comfortable than the orthodox grip for these types of shots. However, be aware that it gives your bottom hand more control, which can make it tricky to play shots straight down the ground.
Step 3: Consider When to Use the ‘O’ Shaped Grip
How to hold a cricket bat while using a heavy bat: Batsmen often use the ‘O’-shaped grip when they’re using a bat that’s too heavy for them.
If you find it hard to make good contact on shots that go straight down the ground, or if you’re frequently edging the ball behind to the wicketkeeper or slips, it might be because your bat is too heavy.
In that case, you could try using a lighter bat, which might allow you to go back to using the regular orthodox grip for better control.
So, the ‘O’-shaped grip is an option to consider when you need more power for certain shots but remember it can make it harder to hit the ball straight, so choose the grip that works best for your style of play.
3. With the help of Knott Grip
The third way: how to hold a cricket bat is with the help of a knott grip. Below are the steps explained to use for orthodox grip.
Step 1: Begin with the Orthodox Grip
Start with the orthodox grip, the one we talked about earlier, where your hands are positioned in a standard way on the bat handle. Then, make a change by rotating your top hand, the hand closer to the top of the bat handle.
If your top hand is your left hand, rotate it clockwise, and if it’s your right hand, rotate it counterclockwise. Keep turning your top hand until the back of your top hand is almost facing the same direction as the back of your bottom hand.
If you’re holding the bat with the flat side down, you’ll notice that the ‘V’ created by the thumb and forefinger of your top hand should now be right side up – in other words, the ‘V’ should open upwards.
Step 2: Use the Knott Grip for Fast Bowling
How to hold a cricket bat against fast bowling: The Knott grip, named after cricketer Alan Knott, is handy when you’re facing fast bowling or deliveries that rise quickly.
This grip allows for a very fast, short swing, which is ideal for playing shots like cuts.
Fast bowling is when the bowler throws the ball at high speeds, often exceeding 87mph (140kmph), with some bowlers reaching speeds of over 96 mph (154 km/h).
Short bowling is when the bowler bounces the ball in a way that it rises to chest or head height when it reaches the batsman.
Step 3: Consider the Limitations of the Knott Grip
Keep in mind that the Knott grip has some limitations. Because it restricts the extension of your arms, it can be challenging to generate power with this grip.
It’s more suitable for playing singles or twos, where the batsmen run to each other’s end of the pitch one or two times, rather than hitting boundaries, where the ball is hit out of the field of play.
In summary, the Knott grip is a specialized technique that can be useful against fast and rising deliveries, but it’s not ideal for generating powerful shots, especially for hitting boundaries.
When you are trying, how to hold a cricket bat. Choose your grip based on the type of bowler you’re facing and the shots you want to play.
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