* Prices may differ from that shown
So, after England's recent poor performances with the bat in test matches, it looks like they could do with practicing with one of these - a thin bat. There are many different training tools and tips you can use in order to improve your batting and your concentration. This thin bat is widely available, and is a decent one, although I must say that there are ways it could be improved.
For a start, it's nowhere near as expensive as regular sized cricket bats - this is not because there's less wood used, it's more because it's not a match bat and is only for training use. You can get it for around the £30 mark and less. Initially, you may think this is a mark of poor quality, but that's not the case. The bat is made of quality wood with a quality design, and is also treated. I would still advise treating it yourself and applying the right sort of oil, tape and grip that you would find suitable for batting out in the middle, but ultimately it's not quite so important with this one unless you plan on spending hours with it in training.
When you first use it, you may wonder what the point is in having a thin bat. You'll find you miss a lot of balls to start with, and those thick controlled edges which rolled away for singles and more become either missed shots or thin edges that could easily get caught behind or at slip, gully etc. It really requires concentration to make sure you get across to the pitch of the ball and aim to hit it squarely in the middle of the bat.
And this is what it's designed to do. The whole point of the bat being thin is that it teaches you to 'middle' the ball, that is hit it with the middle of the bat. A lot of issues when batting are caused with being unable to hit the ball straight, and using this thin bat is a good way of developing a skill that is mental as well as physical. Having to concentrate solely on each ball coming down to you is paramount, and I have found that this is great for developing the concentration levels needed to play the right shots and stay in the middle for as long as possible.
It's also ideal for hand eye coordination which can help in all manner of things in life as well. The mental toughness it develops is ideal, as well as the confidence with which to progress your game. After using this bat for a while in practice, try then picking up a full sized bat - you'll find you're hitting everything bowled at you, and with control and power as well.
The downside though is the weight. The length of the bat and size of handle is the same as a regular bat are the same with this thin one, but the weight of having less wood in the bat itself does show when playing strokes, and thus using this too much can make you unused to the heavier bats when it comes to actually playing. I would much rather they manipulate this to imitate a regular bat's weight as well as the length and handle size, meaning that the only difference is the width of the bat itself.
Other than that this is a great product and one I would recommend. We use this for practice and find that it gives us a slightly sharper edge when it comes to batting in the middle. It's also good value for money compared with regular sized quality bats, so there's another bonus there. Recommended.
Middling bats or thin bats are bats which only have the inner middle and is designed as a tool for helping the batsman improve their timing as only balls hit in the middle will go anywhere.
I have used one of these bats in the nets, as they are illegal as a bat in a proper game but its use in the nets is designed to help the batsman get behind the ball and try and time his shots. The bat is a thin bat but has the same characteristics as a normal bat in terms of length and handle, but as a thin bat it is lighter than normal bats. The use of the bat does help the batsman getting behind the ball and improves technique but of course should be mixed with a normal bat as the chance of edging a ball is much lower with this bat.
The general use of the bat in my club is to bat for a while with a normal bat, then swap with a thin bat for about 5 minutes and then return back to a normal width bat. A game we sometimes play is for the batsman to play no aggressive shots and to stop being bowled because coverage of the stumps is of course much smaller.
Does it really help?
Well it does make you get across your stumps and make sure that the centre of the bat hits the ball, the general feeling is one of forcing yourself to move across the crease towards the ball rather than stay on the balls of the feet. So it helps concentration as you have less bat to use, improves foot movement and helps get your feet moving because its important to get behind the ball.
So as a tool for improving its great but I club together with a few other players and buy one because it can only be used as a training tool and they cost between £20 and £30.
<>First impression (price etc)<>
On receiving this bat i was surprised as the quality of wood. Although the wood is only kashmir it had some nice grains and looked sturdy. It picks up nicely and the stickers are very good. I payed around £20 for this bat which is fairly good considering the benefits you will get out of it.
The weight of the bat helps the ball go further when you hit it. It pings quite nicely off the middle and picks up very nicely. It helps if you put 2 grips on the handle, this betters the pick up and makes the bat feel nearer your match bat. The bat is around 70mm thick so much smaller than your match bat.
The bat seems to be holding up very well. There are no signs of surface cracks or worse. I think putting an antiscuff on is advisable as it will prolong the life of the bat in the nets. I have used against throw downs and spin bowling with a proper cricket ball and it seems fine at the moment (around 23 net sessions with it)
The middling bat really helps your technique. It makes you watch the ball and play straight which will help you in a match. After you get used to bat and start hitting it all the time you will feel much more confident with your wider proper bat. The weight being fairly heavy doesn't affect your timing when going back to the heavier bat.
A very good investment and you will feel and see the benefits after months of use. Especially good for the winter when no cricket is played.
I bought one of these bats last year at a cost of about £20. The reason I bought this bat is to learn a better technique. The benefits I have got from using this bat has been amazing. You may think it is hard with the thin-ness of the bat but once you are used to it, its just like using a normal bat.
I used this in indoor nets over the winter period. At the start it took a while getting used to but now that I have improved, it really helps your technique and once you use it in a match, you really can see an improvment.
In the mean time, its fun when you play simple games with it. They include setting two cones 5 metres apart 10 metres from you. Try to hit the ball between them.
The bat specification can be seen below:
Made from Kashmir Willow
Full Size, Short Handle
When using these training bats its recommended that you use approx the same weight as your normal match bat.
Its 75mm wide, very useful in developing ones eye judgment due to the lack of 'edges'
Made in the normal way as all our bats, completely by hand, the balance on these are superb.
Finshed to the highest standard.
Standard Mens Short Handle
These training bats are Used and recommended by Professional and Test Players.
Spend the £20 and you will have a major improvement in your game!
This is the NEW innovative Middling (thin) bat. THIN CRICKET BATS ARE CURRENTLY BEING USED BY MANY OF THE ENGLAND PLAYERS. This exctract was taken from the cricket press in August 2007. In the nets, Ian Bell - England's top scorer in each of the three games so far - has been using a thin bat and the rest of the team has gradually started trying this innovation. After Ian, Matt [Prior] got interested and now you have Owais Shah and Monty Panesar trying it out too. In fact Peter Moores is keen to have everyone use them". " Middling Bat? To improve your ball watching and batting technique. Indispensable for improving your batting skills. This bat needs knocking in.