In a game like a cricket, where there are hundreds of different bowling and batting styles, there is no single style of how to hold a cricket bat. Instead, there are different styles of holding cricket bats, each offering unique advantages.
The grip for batting most suitable for a regular cricket bat is a grip known as Downwards Grip. Hold the bat horizontally with your wrists pointing downwards so that your hands are closer to the handle than your shoulders.
When swinging and playing shots in cricket, you need to be able to swing the bat without restriction because there is tension involved in playing most shots.
Therefore, it’s important to have a good grip for batting to make well-timed strokes. Read on to get better insights on different aspects of a perfect grip and different styles of holding a cricket bat.
Different Styles Of Holding A Cricket Bat
You can have different grips for holding a cricket bat. However, there are a few common grips, and often you will find yourself doing one of them in most situations.
There are different styles of holding a cricket bat, from the conventional V-grip to closed and open-face grips. While some grips are more suited for experts, others work great for beginners. A few popular grips are:
1. Traditional V-Grip
This is one of the oldest styles of holding a cricket bat and the most popular grip commonly used by cricketers. The main reason behind using this grip is to swing the bat without restriction, resulting in a good strike rate. V-grip has become the traditional grip in cricket and is also recognized by ECB.
As the name suggests, V-grip is achieved by making a V-shape between thumb and fingers after wrapping your hand around the handle. When you hold the bat with this grip, your hands will be one above the other, making a V-shape with the handle.
If you are trying this V-grip, make sure to place your strong hand close to the back blade of the bat.
Many cricket experts and coaches train this grip by advising you to hold the bat like an axe. It will help you start with your bat grip, but it’s always best to hold your bat in a natural way.
Another important of this grip is to line up the two Vs of your thumb and finger to get power and control in your shots.
2. Closed Face grip
The closed-face grip is ideal for people with strong fingers and those struggling with their grip. The grip is similar to V-grip, except that it keeps the top of your fingers closer to the handle.
As such, this setup is suitable for people with a very strong grip and those who wish to have good control over the bat when playing shots.
As you can imagine, the closer your fingers are to handle, the more controlling how hard you hit will become difficult. This grip is not so common, and only a few players choose to go with closed face grip because it’s more focused on the bottom hand.
The closed-face grip is tight on the bottom hand, which reduces the free movement and smooth rotation of the bat in your hand.
Holding the bat with a closed face naturally closes the arch towards the off-side, and playing towards the off-side becomes difficult. However, the likes of Graeme Smith have made successful careers with their closed-face style of handling a bat.
3. Open Face Grip
You can use this grip if your fingers are strong enough and you don’t have a problem with your grip or strength. You will discover that this grip is a bit easier than V-grip because your fingers will be off the handle. This type of grip is excellent for experienced players and makes it easy to play fast shots.
In this grip, the face of the bat is opened towards the off-side, making the off-side more accessible to the batsman. Many players use this grip to adjust to playing shots on the off-side, a simple transition from traditional grips.
Open-face grips are more popular in the shorter format of the T20Is, where batsmen try to be innovative and score faster. In addition, players like Jos Butler use the open-face grip to attack in the death overs.
These are some of the most common grips popular among modern-day cricketers. Once you get a perfect grip while holding a cricket bat, it will be much easier for you to play shots without any tension on your wrists.
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How High Should You Grip A Cricket Bat Handle?
A good grip should not be too tight and not too loose. You must find the correct balance between in-and-out wrist movements while holding the bat. In short, you need to hold it just below your knuckles, halfway up the inside or outside edge of the handle. Grip your bat between your thumb and forefinger of both hands.
It is a good idea to wrap your fingers around the handle to have better control while playing shots. In addition, your hands should be pointing towards the ground to have perfect balance.
You must firmly clamp the bat between your hands and not let it loose. Too much of a grip is not good for a person’s wrist and the bat itself, and you will be able to improve your game by doing so.
Why Does Bat Grip Matter?
The length of your bat does matter a lot when it comes to playing shots. If you want to play shots at a decent pace, you must find the right grip for yourself. Finding the perfect grip allows you to get power behind your shots and, at the same time, maintain a consistent balance between your hands during every stroke.
The tension you apply on a cricket bat during your swing depends directly on your grip. So, if you cannot get a firm grip on the bat, you might be unable to time your shots to perfection. As such, you will be unable to control where the ball goes.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the proper way to hold a cricket bat?
The proper way to hold a cricket bat is like an axe. This way, you will get a firm and easy-to-adjust grip.
2. Should I hold the bat tight or loose?
The grip on your bat needs to be tight to generate power and flexible so that you can access all sides of the ground. However, avoid holding the bat too tight, as it reduces flexibility and restricts cut shots.
3. What is the best grip for a cricket bat?
The most convenient way to get a perfect grip on a cricket bat is to use V-grip for holding a bat. It helps to generate power as well as flexibility in your shots.
4. How do you hold a bat to hit 6?
If you are going for big hits, make sure to have a solid bottom hand grip and use your bat’s long handle.
5. Should you double grip a cricket bat?
When an extra grip is applied on the bat, it thickens the handle giving a better grip. However, it depends on whether the player feels more comfortable having a double grip.
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