Cricket is a sport that has worldwide appeal. The subcontinental countries have legions of fans in the tens of millions that worship the players that turn out for India, Pakistan and many more. Then you have the game’s most famous rivalry between England and Australia, and the introduction of T20 has made it even more popular around the globe. For those already in love with the game though, turning out on the weekends for their own local cricket club, the team at first rate sports decided to bring you something you are going to find invaluable; A selection of the best cricket bats on the market today.
We will look at the difference in weights, size, bow and price so that you can make the most informed decision. Our teams recommendations are some of the best on the net, and have been thoroughly reviewed and tested to bring you the best possible options. The bats we will now discuss are designed for to give you the most elite equipment, and truly the best bats on the market today. These may not be suitable for beginners or junior players, but we have more articles designed to give you the best junior cricket bats, and the best value for money cricket bats as well.
MRF Genius Cricket Bat
The first bat we bring you is by highly respected manufacturer MRF, one of India biggest commercial companies. Once they turned their attention to manufacturing cricket equipment, it was inevitable they would excel. Endorsed by one of Indian Crickets best ever batsmen, Virat Kholi, This is a supreme piece of willow that would grace any cricket pitch.
First of all make no mistake, this is a big bat, for big players. It has large thick edges and an increased sweet spot designed for player who like to play their shots. Coming in at nearly 2lbs 10 ounces, you can really get your hands through the ball, and players who have quick hand speed will love it. The balance and pick up given by this bat are also superb and delivers everything you would expect from a top line bat.
In terms of durability and wear it stands up to the most vigorous of use. The standard of manufacturing is superb, although the handle can be a little thin and sometimes the application of two grips can be advisable. Especially as this bat is designed to be swung hard and positively, so maximum support in the hand is a must.
Because this bat is large and has a high concentration of wood around the edges and the toe, additional knocking in is required. More so than a normal bat would be, but once it is done properly it is worth that little bit of extra time. Make sure you give it that time though, as this well be the only way to get the very best out of the MRF Genius.
Finally other reviews back up what our team find, with one Amazon reviewer describing it as perfect for the aggressive middle order batsmen or tail end dasher looking to slog it into the deep.
New Balance TC 1260
Next up we give you the bat favoured by two of the most explosive young players in the game today, England all rounder Ben stokes, and star batsmen Joe Root. It is made form the finest grade 1 willow, meaning you get the best in durability and quality of manufacturing, making it a must on our list of best cricket bats. Be sure to look out for it on display during the 2016 cricket season.
The 6 piece unique Singapore cane handle, makes it possibly the most comfortable bat to handle on this list of best cricket bats, and that can be crucial for the positive stroke maker. The handle is short and is designed for somebody at least 5ft 8 inches and is easily used at its best up to players of 6ft/1 to 6ft/3.
One of the biggest shocks you will get when handling this bat is how excellently the weight is distributed throughout. With such imposing edges and big sweet spot, you would expect a bulky bat that is hard to swing freely, but that is not the case. Like the modern power bat, it maximises size and strength with a superb balance that means you can really laugh into the ball, while maintaining your own technique and balance throughout shot making.
A quality bat, that is ideal for a positive batsmen, that want to be able to play proper shots, for maximum effect while also having the fall back of aggressively slogging should the need arise. The sweet spot on this bat ensures the ball will really ping of the willow be it 2 overs or 32 overs old. One of the very best cricket bats on this list without doubt. This is all helped by the mid swell on this bat, that offers a great mix of aggression and finesse.
Possibly the best reviewed bat on this list elsewhere on the internet, most players seem to be of a high level, and describe it as a bat that can even help develop their technique, as it will place and emphasis on positivity at the crease, while keeping your shape to make the most of a good technique. Words that would probably describe users of this bat such as Root and Stokes perfectly.
The Slazenger v500 is a proper elite cricket bat, designed to be one of the very best cricket bats available on the market. It is packed with all sorts of unique technology to create the best possible performance on the pitch, and deliver you the highest levels of durability, and manufacturing. All of this is backed up by the fact it is hand pressed and made from the highest quality, hand selected grade four English willow. The toe guard also helps lengthen the life of this bat, ensuring it wont crack through the bottom, even if catching a ball on the toe of the bat, Allowing a large room for error.
We all know a heavier bat can deliver more power, yet it can be hard to balance and give a very poor pickup. So Slazenger have used their IDS technology on the v500. The inertia drive system creates power channels around the sweet spot designed to give a better swing weight giving you a better chance of middling those sweet drives and cuts, and getting the desired power into them. Power is also added by this bat having a very subtle bow, giving it a strong rigid feel when connecting with the ball, and allowing you to really press hard on the front foot, be it in offence or defence. All this extra power is packed into a much larger sweet spot by use of a linear edge profile, basically meaning the wood is crafted towards the edges and middle of the bat. To be honest this is nothing new, but Slazenger decided to market it as a real point of difference, and when combined with the IDS is really is a game changer.
Extra wood toward the middle and edges usually requires some extra knocking in, but a huge benefit of this bat is that it comes pre knocked in. This shortens the work load a lot, that usually comes inevitably with a new bat, yet we gave it a little extra light knocking in anyway. It made us feel better and it can’t hurt as long as its kept light.
The IDS really works offensively, but also allows the V500 to maintain its light pick up and manoeuvrability, meaning you will not become stiff at the crease, and can get your hands through the ball with great freedom. The contoured toe just adds to the many different parts of this bat, and helps further enhance the pick up of the V500. The premium cane handle aids this by providing a more than adequate grip, and confidence when throwing your hands at wide deliveries, or stepping into drives on the front foot, or hooks and pulls of the back foot.
To sum up what makes the V500 one of the best cricket bats available to purchase, its the fact that all the impressively named technology and new innovations work so well in harmony. They have not over hyped one particular area, more tweaked and married all areas together to create a great harmony, and one you will certainly fee the benefit of during your time in the nets, or at the crease.
Kookaburra Kahuna 1500
Next up we have the Kookaburra Kahuna 1500 bat, from one of the southern hemispheres top manufacturers and one of the stand out names in cricket equipment. Offering the usual stand out aesthetic look, and bold colour scheme Kookaburra bats are known for, it certainly will help you feel unique and bold at the crease. The durability of this bat is superb and is made from the highest quality grade one willow, and hand crafted to boot. The added toe guard gives extra strength especially through the bottom end of the bat, minimising cracks and dents even if you do not quite connect sweetly with the fiercest of deliveries. It will still require the standard amount of knocking in and oiling though, as it is not pre done.
The Kahuna range is possibly their best known bat, and has been at the top of the game for 12 years, and the 1500 is no different. It has its famous large edge square edge profile offering a larger flatter bat face. When this is coupled with the Kahuna’s super spine to deliver maximum power and force. The blade also bows slightly lower on the bat, meaning this bat is perfect for looking to drive a full ball, and dig out those menacing Yorkers.
The concaved area on the rear of the bat and the high spine, help lesson the weight of this bat aiding the weight distribution and pick up offered, and also making the most of this bats sweet spot. It does not have the same larger sweet spot, like some of the other bats we have discussed, and the sweet spot can be found in the lower/middle region of the bat, the same place as it bows. This shows that this bat can be perfect for a high order batsmen with a strong technique, and who wants to show the face of the bat to the bowler when in both defence and attack, Desperate slogging and innovative shots may not get the best out of this bat, and it is more designed for the technically correct classic stroke player. Endorsed by one of the most attractive shot makers in the game, Ian Bell, this backs up the type of player that will favour using the Kahuna. The edges may also be large, but the flat face discussed earlier really helps offer a superb bat when the time comes to defend in the game.
Kookaburra of course give you their unique and innovative 12 piece handle, offering maximum support and confidence in the grip this bat gives you. The comfort in the hand given by kookaburra bats must be said, is very hard to match up with. So you can have full trust of your looking to rock onto the back foot and take on the short ball, or use soft hands to guide the ball down to third man. A single grip will be more than adequate for this bat, and suit the type of player looking to use it. All in all this is another top addition to the Kahuna range, and one that as always delivers a superb bold look, with the highest quality manufacturing and performance.
This concludes our article on the what we feel are the best cricket bats available today. There are some we missed out as they didn’t quite make the grade, so individual reviews will be coming. There is such a wealth of bats available on today’s market, that it is simply too much to cram into one article. Other names like Gray Nichols and Gun and Moore missed out on this list, despite making superb bats so make sure you keep looking at First Rate Sports for all the information you could need on some of the biggest names in cricket equipment.