Wednesday, February 20, 2013

New Bat for Ben

Last week at U15/U13's training Ben had a go in the nets again facing the bowling machine. Last week he did pretty well, facing at last one ball that was 65mph! This week he faced all the balls at 54mph. Again he did quite well except for when they were on Leg Stump. Dave then brought Frank in to have a look at what Ben was doing and give him some pointers. From what I could gather, Ben needed to flex his legs a little (Slight bend at the knees) and take a Leg-Stump guard. He then said for Ben to step back and across as the ball is released and then lean into or step back in accordance with what the bowler does. Not being a batsman I'm not sure if my interpretation is right, but it is kind of reminiscent of the instructions here, the bloke steps back and across his stumps before striking the ball. At one point Frank then took the bat and showed Ben what to do, having done so he then said that the bat (One of mine - Fernley Gold) was far too heavy, too heavy in fact for him let alone Ben! Talking to Frank after he said that for the way Ben bats, he needed less weight in the bottom of the bat near the toe and more in the middle, as that would give it more of a lightweight pick-up and suit Ben's batting style.

On Saturday we went to Decathlon in West Thurrock to have a look at the bats. Had a look through them all and for the most part they were all bottom heavy bats and just as I was about to give up I spotted a Gunn & Moore bat. In the end the Gunn & Moore Icon 101 looked like the best option for Ben, the description saying a light pick up with a sweet spot much higher up the bat than in most other models, almost word for word what Frank had said. At £25.00 in store for a Kashmir Willow bat I was happy to part with my cash. Ben is not a batsman - whether he'll develop into one remains to be seen, but the likelyhood is that over this season he'll do well to average 5 runs a game, so a Kashmir Willow bat if it's knocked in, should serve him for a year or two and at that price if it was to break it wouldn't be an issue.

Once home we had the stickers off it, cleaned all the glue off and got the Linseed oil on it. Over the last few days we've been knocking it in and we're aiming to get 3 or more hours done on it, if not more.
Side profile, showing that the thicker section of the bat is quite high up the bats length.
Face of the bat - with the stickers removed.
Joe, helping out with the Knocking-in.
This morning we went down to the community centre in Laindon and booked out the middle badminton court in the main hall. Meaning that, in theory the two bays either side would potentially be free, especically that early in the morning, meaning that in affect we got the whole hall for the price of a Badminton court and sure enough it worked out that way. So we (Ben, Joe and me) had a bit of a knock-about, all bowling and batting with a little running around fielding as well. Ben and I got give the bat a go and it felt pretty good, a nice balanced feel to it. Ben's bowling looked pretty good too.