MS Dhoni’s curve bat a hit with Indian players | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: T20 cricket has changed a lot of things about how the game is played. While strategies, shots and deliveries have evolved rapidly, some Indian players are reworking the shape of their bats.
Looking closely at the bats used particularly by Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant, one can notice they have pronounced curves at the bottom. This happens to be MS Dhoni’s brainchild and the adjustment is done to aid power-hitting.
TOI understands that Dhoni, who has been a mentor for Pandya and Pant, had suggested them to try round-bottomed bats to improve their T20 game.
“It was Dhoni who had first started using this kind of bat before the 2019 World Cup. And now these Indian players have started asking for this kind of bat,” Paras Anand, managing director of leading sports equipment manufacturer Sanspareils Greenlands (SG), told TOI.
It’s very difficult to understand the nuance behind the idea, especially in a day and age when players have multiple drills to improve their range-hitting.
“These bats are ordered specially for shorter formats. The players claim that it helps them access all directions of the ground while shot-making. A bat with a flat bottom prompts a relatively closed stance whereas the round-bottomed bat enables them to have a more open stance that helps them to manoeuvre the bat easily from the word go,” Anand explained.
“If one shaves the bottom and makes it round, the bat has a thicker base and has more meat at the bottom,” Anand added.
A meatier bottom is perhaps an explanation for countering deliveries hurled in the block hole. It is also learnt that the players using these bats have claimed they feel the pick-up and the bat swing is much smoother, as it replicates a baseball bat.
Pandya was struggling to go big from the word go in the T20 format since the second leg of IPL in UAE in 2021, which culminated in a poor show in the subsequent T20 World Cup. Pandya lost his place in the Indian team for four months before making a stellar comeback while leading Gujarat Giants in their victorious IPL campaign in April-May this year.
During the break, he also reworked on the shape of his bat besides working on his fitness to bowl at full tilt.
TOI has learnt that Pant, who too has struggled to keep up the momentum in T20s of late, approached Dhoni after the IPL.
“Dhoni told him to try the round-bottomed bat. He is slowly getting used to it. The curve on his bat is not as pronounced yet. But he can feel some difference,” a source said.

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