Cricket Batting Tips – The Grip

Here is how to correctly grip the bat in cricket to avoid problems:

Cricket Batsman Tips – Top Hand Grip The top hand will take hold of the bat’s top part of the handle. The index finger’s top part and the thump’s top part will form a “V” with the knuckle of the index finger in line with the middle of the top part of the bat.

Playing more front foot strokes like drives and cut shots require a firm and powerful top hand follow through. If the top hand is more prominent, it generates more power than the bottom hand which produces a stable technique and correct bat angle.

The grip for the top hand should be firm on the bat. Upon impact from the ball it must not turn in the batsman’s hands while playing shots. This can cause top edges because the full face was turned toward the side and the ball hitting these edges – most of the time – seems to find hands willing to catch the ball in the field.

Adam Gilchrist and the Squash Ball. Adam Gilchrist was famous for using a squash ball, gripping it between the bat handle and the top hand. He squeezed it hard with the top hand to ensure that the bat does not turn and the hand provides all the superior force when playing shots. This was discovered only after he played a masterful 149 from 104 balls in the 2007 Cricket World Cup final in Bridgetown. This caused a huge stir as it was suggested that it was not lawful. However, no laws was breached. It was clever innovative batsmanship!

Cricket Batsman Tips – Bottom Hand Grip The bottom hand will grab hold of the bat in the region of the bottom of the handle. The thumb and the knuckle of the index finger will also form a “V”.

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Preferably only the front finger and the thump will grip the bat with the rest of the fingers only “resting” on the handle of the bat. The bottom hand should not grip the bat too tight and should only provide guidance in most forward shots. Too much power will result in shots scooping the ball in the air and miss-timing the ball because of the fact that the top hand is over powering.

There are many players using more bottom hand to generate power rather than the top hand. This is commonly referred to as bottom hand players. When cross bat shots are played i.e. cut shot, hook, sweep, the bottom hand power will play a bigger role. Batsmen can decide to make use of the bottom hand grips; completed round the bat when all the fingers grips tightly which is referred to as the “O” grip. This is not advised until the batsman is completely comfortable with gripping the bat and can master the basics. If both hands are very low on the bat then the “O” grip is used. This is discussed in the next chapter.

Cricket Batsman Tips – Hands Together The best way to grip the bat is to place it on the ground with the handle pointing to one’s feet and the toe of the bat pointing away from the feet.

Bend the elbows and lift the bat just below the waist towards the back leg. The bat should be

horizontal. The swing of the bat should be comfortable when swinging in a straight line and with the elbows bent as if one’s holding a baby. The grip must be firm and comfortable with little pressure on the front arms.

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Batsman using a high grip on the handle tend to play more front foot and ground strokes and will avoid hooking and cutting early on in the innings before they have settled at the crease and are comfortable playing across the line. Adam Gilchrist’s squash ball was also used because his grip was high on the bat and the bottom hand was gripping the bat too tightly forming the “O”.

This causes problems. Now with the squash ball the lump in his top hand forces the bottom hand to form the “V”.

Players on the sub continent playing for India, Sri-Lanka and Pakistan tend to grip the bat very low on the handle. These batsmen are naturally very “wristy”. Turning the wrists during contact can assist greatly against spin bowling to work the ball around into the gaps. These players are good playing square off the wicket.i.e. cut-, hook and pull shots. This might make it difficult to drive. However, if the bottom hand does not grip the bat using the “O” grip but rather just grip the bat with the thumb and index finger, this will definitely allow them to drive comfortably.

Once again, it is a case of mastering the basics and then adjust to what feels the most comfortable for the batsman.

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by Conrad Lotz