Five players who used heavy bats
- Technology pertaining to bat manufacturing has evolved leading to massive bats with thick profiles.
- Sachin Tendulkar and Chris Gayle are obviously in the list, but who else?
Sunil Gavaskar once said, “For a batsman, the cricket bat is the most important tool of his craft, and if he gets one that he is most comfortable with, it transmits itself in the manner in which he goes to bat.”
Every batsmen have their likes and dislikes in a cricket bat; the weight, balance, grips on the handle and the number of grains on his willow (age of the wood) are some important features that batsmen look for in their willow.
Players like Sourav Ganguly, Matthew Hayden, and Mark Ramprakash thrived using bats on the lighter side of the weighing scale. However, there were several players who found success by playing with heavier bats.
#1 Chris Gayle
Bat Used: Spartan CG ‘The Boss’
Weight: 1.36 kg (3 pounds)
Designed to handle Gayle’s explosive power and brute force, the CG was perfectly suited for the modern limited-overs game. It had a thick edge, a massive sweet spot and was handcrafted to Gayle’s liking.
Combined with the Jamaican’s strength, this very bat had the ability to send the leather ball way into the stands.
Chris Gayle joined hands with Spartan in 2012, and the latter created a massive bat for the opener to explode on the pitch. It started to show immediate results in the big left hander’s game.
He went on to score 175 runs in a single T-20 innings for RCB against the Pune Warriors in an IPL game. He followed it with a couple more dominating performances and ended up with the Orange Cap in the 2013 season.
Since then, Christopher Henry Gayle has become a household name in twenty overs cricket.
#2 Lance Klusener
Bat Used: SS Zulu
Weight: 1.53 kg (3.375 pounds)
A bat named after his nickname, the SS Zulu was a monster. Known to have used the heaviest bat back in his day, the South African all-rounder hit fours and sixes for fun in his prime.
The bat had a short handle and a massive face, and a three-inch blade, made other bats look tiny.
Before the bat change, Klusener was on a poor run of form. A couple of games into the change, he blasted 174 against England in a Test match in 1999 where he made a mockery of Andrew Caddick and Darren Gough.
He followed it up with a brilliant World Cup performance in the same year, where he was named as ‘Man of the Tournament’.
#3 David Warner
Bat Used: Gray Nicolls Kaboom
Weight: 1.24 kg (2.7 pounds)
Warner has established himself as one of the game’s most explosive batsmen. Possessing a bat with a dangerously large profile and massive edges, and immense power in his hands, the southpaw can clear the ropes all day long.
The sweet spot of his bat is not as big as the one on Gayle’s bat, but is as dominating as the West Indians. It offers him ideal balance and can dominate both sides of the pitch with relative ease.
The Australian has stuck with the same bat ever since his foray into world cricket, courtesy of the Hong Kong Cricket Sixes tournament. Warner and the Gray Nicolls Kaboom is a match made in heaven.
Bat Used: SG VS 319 (Hero Honda sticker)
Weight: 1.35 kg (2.97 pounds)
Sehwag’s approach to batting was based on a simple philosophy – if the ball is there to hit, hit it. The Nawab of Najafgarh used a heavy bat to match his crisp strokes.
Be it the trademark cut to get off the mark on the very first ball or the elegant but lazy cover drive to bring up a milestone, the ball wasted no time in reaching the boundary ropes after a clash with the right hander’s willow.
Some of Sehwag’s spectacular innings were courtesy of this very bat, which includes both his triple centuries. He also has an ODI double hundred and an IPL century under his belt thanks to the VS 319.
#5 Sachin Tendulkar
Bat Used: MRF / Adidas Master Blaster
Weight: 1.47 kg (3.25 pounds)
Scoring thousands of runs, a hundred hundreds, smashing legendary bowlers all across the world, Sachin’s bat wreaked havoc.
His bats had a thick profile with massive edges and were also heavily arced. The Little Master was without a bat contract until the beginning of the 1996 Cricket World Cup. At the end of the tournament, famous tyre manufacturers MRF sponsored his willow.
His sheer dominance with the heavy piece of willow psyched the bowlers so much that they even registered complaints regarding the size of his bats.
In October 2010, his bat was sold for a massive ₹42 lakh at a famous sports auction. Sachin’s bat was his partner in crime.Published 22 Sep 2016, 17:47 IST