David Warner disagrees with Ricky Ponting's opinion on big bats
The debate about variations in bat size and weight being advantageous to batsmen has again surfaced after David Warner repudiated former Australian captain Ricky Ponting’s statements about the necessity for regulating bat size. Warner made his stand clear as he argued against Ponting by saying that a bigger and heavier bat has both advantages and disadvantages and pointed out how his leading-edge dismissals in the Ashes prove the negative effect of thicker bats. He explained that other factors line wicket conditions and not bat size were responsible for disparity between bat and ball.
"The wickets are pretty much dictating the Test arena at the moment and a lot of batters are scoring. A lot of runs have been scored in the last 12-18 months but you can’t specifically say it’s because of the big bats, because everyone around the county and the world is scoring a lot of runs. In my mind, it’s a credit to the bat maker, because he’s told he can use one cleft of wood," Warner has stated.
The batsman who uses one of the heavier bats around, the Gray-Nicolls Kaboom bat has clarified that he uses bats depending on the conditions and where the match is played. "At the end day if people think it’s becoming an unfair advantage people will speak their opinion," Warner said.
"But we’re getting bigger and stronger as well, we’re capable of using those bats that are a bit heavy. From my point of view in Tests I use a smaller bat, unless I’m in the subcontinent when I use a heavier bat. My heavy bats might be a lot larger than other players’ bats, but it’s still the same cleft of wood," he added
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However though Warner explained that players were adapting themselves to big and heavy bats by increasing strength and fitness he seemed not to have caught on to Ponting’s main complaint. The World Cup winning captain had explained that his major grievance was not with large bats but large bats which were relatively light. Warner has mostly talked about the right and ability to use bigger and heavier bats.
In an interview last month, New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum too had spoken in favour of batsmen’s rights to choose heavier bats as long as they had the ability to wield it. "It's still wood though isn't it? Ultimately, if you can find the best piece of wood you shouldn't be penalised for that. You've still got to be able to lift them,” the Kiwi great had said.
The debate has started creating a divide with batsmen and bowlers taking opposing sides. Ponting’s call for regulating bat size has found support from pacer Josh Hazlewood, who believes restrictions should be made for the longer format.
"I'm all for it. Some of those cricket bats going around the dressing shed at the moment are unbelievably big. I think he (Ponting) has made a good point about just in Test matches."
It remains to be seen who else joins the debate and how it unfolds.