To become a batsman, one of the basic things is to learn is how to hold the bat in cricket. Learning how to grip a bat perfectly enables a batsman to generate control over the shots and the ball. Holding a cricket bat is a basic necessity for improving one’s batting technique.
This will be a guide for any beginner in cricket on how to hold a bat in cricket properly.
5 ways to hold the bat in cricket
|S.N||how to grip the bat in cricket|
|1||V – Grip|
|2||‘O’ Shaped Grip|
|4||Donald Bradman’s Grip|
|5||Open Face Grip|
There can be different ways to hold a cricket bat. Most cricketers choose the grip which they prefer & are comfortable in. For example, the Australian legend Donald Bradman had a very different grip than most of the other cricketers.
Some of the popular gripping techniques are as follows-
How To Hold Bat in Cricket: V – Grip
V – grip is the most conventional form of holding a cricket bat and is also the most recommended one too. Most batters prefer this style as it allows them to be in complete control of the ball and hit it nicely.
The following steps will help in holding a bat through this grip.
A normal cricketing bat has a flat side for hitting the ball and a backside. The first step would be to keep the bat on the ground with the flat side downwards.
Make a V with both your hands with your thumb while they are in front of you. The ‘V’ in both hands should be in a line with each other. For a right-handed batsman, the right hand should be in front of the left one, and for a left-handed batsman, the left hand in front of the right one.
Grip the handle of the bat, the two ‘V’s facing downwards as you do so. Your hands should be in the middle of the handle and there should be a distance of about two fingers between your hands. Your bottom hand should be relaxed and you should make sure you don’t hold it too tightly.
How To Hold Bat in Cricket: ‘O’ Shaped Grip
Many batters prefer a heavier bat which makes it harder for the orthodox ‘V’ grip to work. Such batter often opts instead for the ‘O’ shaped grip. The ‘O’-shaped grip is mostly used for cross-batted shots as it is harder to hit vertically using this grip because it relies on the bottom hand.
A famous batsman who uses this kind of batting grip is Steve Smith of Australia.
The ‘O’-shaped grip involves some changes in the orthodox ‘V’ shaped grip. So, to learn ‘O’-shaped grip, the first step would be to learn the ‘V’ grip first.
Unlike the ‘V’ grip, in which both hands formed a ‘V’ and were aligned with the spine of the bat, in the ‘V’ grip, the bottom hand will not make a ‘V’ shape. For the ‘O’-shaped grip, one will have to use all fingers of the bottom hand to hold the bat aggressively.
A player opting for the ‘O’ shaped grip must keep in mind that while it increases your ability to play through the leg-side, it may also harm a player’s ability to play through the off-side. Thus, a player using this grip should be careful of the kind of which balls he plays outside the off-stump.
How To Hold Bat in Cricket: Knott Grip
Alan Knott is often regarded as one of the greatest wicket keepers England has ever produced. But he was an important batter for the side too. During his career, he contributed important runs for his team
Alan Knott had a very eccentric personality and his batting style matched it. He held the bat in a rather unconventional manner. He was also one of the rare people who changed their batting grip and stance with change in the kind of bowlers.
The Knott grip is often used by players today as a means to hit fast-moving and bouncing balls. Alan Knott developed this technique from the conventional ‘V’ shaped grip.
To hold a bat in the Knott Grip, begin with the ‘V’ shaped grip. Then Rotate until the back of your top hand and the back of your bottom hand is in the same direction. The rotation should be clockwise if your top hand is your left hand and counterclockwise if it is your right.
Anyone using this grip should also be aware that because this grip limits your arm extension, it limits your ability to create power and hit boundaries.
This kind of grip is more suitable for a batsman who prefers making runs in single or doubles as opposed to fours and sixes.
Donald Bradman’s Grip
Often regarded as the greatest batsman of all time, Donal Bradman was someone very unconventional and unorthodox. He had his different batting grip, using which he achieved immense success and scored many runs.
Bradman believed that if there were no obvious errors, then a batsman should not be questioned on his style. He believed that just because a player follows a different style, it doesn’t make him necessarily bad.
Bradman’s technique had raised a lot of questions among the critics. But Bradman had refused to change what had worked for him and had amassed many runs using his unorthodox technique and batting style.
Unfortunately, there were not many selected matches during Bradman’s period hence we cannot see his group exactly. If he played today, his grip would have been copied by many for sure due to his success.
To get this grip too first one needs to begin with the ‘V’ grip. Once the ‘V’ grip has been done, then rotate your bottom hand under the bat. Your top hand should also be rotated with the wrist now directly behind the bat.
Bradman’s technique is often referred to as the ‘rotatory technique’. It is called so because during the pickup phase, the bat points towards the second or the third slip. Because of this, the player needs to bring the bat in a circular motion when playing a straight shot.
This is contrary to the common coaching logic which says that during the pickup phase, the bat should be facing the wicketkeeper.
This grip enables the player to hit nice cross-batted shots and hit the ball more through the ground than in the air. This grip also helps a lot in playing through the leg side but using this grip, a player might also struggle scoring in the mid-off and point region.
Open Face Grip
This is not a very common grip and is usually used by the batsman in the middle of the match to score runs at a faster rate.
This grip is very useful in hitting workers for long sixes as it allows the player to hit a yorker ball from the middle of the bat.
The open-face grip is less of a grip and more of a style. The grip required only a player to slightly rotate his bat towards the offside as the bowler is balling.
The biggest disadvantage of this grip is that it is very hard to hit the leg side with this grip. This grip cannot be used all the time and should only be used when there is a necessity to hit workers for boundaries.
A batsman’s grip is essential for him to do well. But it is also not the only thing. While the orthodox grip is most advantageous, every player should choose his style based on what seems most comfortable to him. Several greats of the game have had unorthodox styles of batting.
Examples of such players would be Donald Bradman, Steve Smith, Faf Du Plessis, Graeme Smith, Ab Devillers, and even Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
A common question regarding the grip is how high or low should you hold the grip. While it is generally suggested to hold the grip in middle, some players like Andre Russel and Adam Gilchrist prefer to hold higher as it gave them proper flow. Whereas batsmen like Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting preferred to hold it lower as it gave them more control of the bat.