Cricket is a game of strategy, strength and a little luck. Most aspiring players or players in general, have a hard time choosing the right equipment for their games.
There is a diverse range of cricket equipment that come in all shapes and sizes. It all depends on the player and their preference to choose the most comfortable cricket bat, ball and guards.
But sometimes, comfort does not align with the requirements of the game. Cricket is a sport with many different types of equipment for different types of games.
This is a common issue with amateur cricket where players end up using the wrong cricket balls for the game. In this article we will talk on how to select the right cricket ball for any match.
How to Choose the Right Cricket Ball for your Game
Materials Used in the ball
Cricket balls are manufactured on the basis of different materials. These materials are selected on the type of game, pitch and players you are playing with. There are two main types of balls: Cork cricket balls - which are made up of leather, and tennis cricket balls.
Cork cricket balls are also known as leather cricket balls, and are popularly used in professional games. There are three types of leather balls:
- Red cricket ball - Red leather balls are strong and durable balls that are equipped during multi-day games. The color of the ball is towards the darker side so that it can be spotted with ease when players are wearing white jerseys.
- White cricket ball - White cork balls are a little lighter and are worn out easily after a few overs. These are used in games with limited overs, and are frequently changed in the game as well. The color of the ball is bright white so that it can be easily spotted around players wearing colorful jerseys.
- Pink cricket ball - Pink cricket balls are not much different from the red ones. These are equally strong and can endure a tough beating. These balls are used for multi-day and night games, and are pink to help make it easy to spot the ball during any innings at night.
Read in Detail - Difference in Red, Pink and White Cricket Ball
Cricket balls are made from cork, string and leather. Cork being the core of the ball, the leather and strings cover the cork giving it a slightly elastic bounce feature.
Though all the balls have pretty much the same make, there are two distinct types of stitchings that make a drastic difference in the cricket ball and its performance.
2 Piece Cricket Ball vs 4 Piece Cricket Ball
2 piece cricket ball is made up of the cork, string, and two sheets of leathers stitched together around the cork. These balls are light weight, and have a little more elasticity in their bounces.
Since the cricket balls are stitched with only two pieces of leather, it offers very less resistance to the air when thrown at high speeds. This leads them to swing better and give that ‘extra’ curve to the ball.
Sadly, these balls are not built to last that long, but nevertheless, they do give an outstanding performance.
On the other hand, a 4 piece cricket ball is made similar to a 2 piece, but instead of two leather sheets, manufacturers use four leather sheets to make the ball.
These four sheets of leathers are the four quadrants; inside of which the cork is wrapped and stitched. The pieces are similar to the 2 pieces, but instead there is another partition perpendicular to the equator of the ball.
A 4 piece ball does not swing as much as the 2 piece ball, but is very durable and strong to last multi-day games. Many professional test games use 4 piece balls for their durability and stability.
What is the Weight and Circumference of the ball
Next, you must consider the weight of the cricket ball too. Generally a 2 piece ball is lighter than a 4 piece one, but it all depends on the type of game you are playing, and the preferences of the players involved.
The weight plays a big factor in choosing the right ball. Lighter balls end to swing more even with the slightest pace, but heavier cricket balls are easier to control.
You can choose from the following standards:
Weight: 5 1/2 ounces or 155.9 g to 5 3/4 ounces or 163 g
Circumference: 8.81 in or 22.4 cm to 9 in or 22.9cm
Weight: 4.94 ounces or 140 g to 5.31 ounces or 151 g
Circumference: 8.25 in or 21.0 cm to 8.88 in or 22.5 cm
Weight: 4.69 ounces or 133 g to 5.06 ounces or 143 g
Circumference: 8.06 in or 20.5 cm to 81.69 in or 22.0cm
It is always good to see whether the ball fits in your hand. The smaller the ball is, the better control you will have on it. So, try to go for heavier but smaller cricket balls.
Seam of the Cricket Ball
The seam of the ball is nothing but the type of stitching at the equator of the ball. The purpose of the seam is to provide the bowler with the right grip to hold, spin or swing the ball. The seam may not seem that crucial, but it is very important for the aerodynamics of the ball.
Larger seams are a little thick and protrude from the surface of the ball a little more. These provide the bowler with a good grip, and just the right amount of air resistance when thrown at higher paces.
The thicker the seam, the easier it is to grip the ball. However, this might sometimes fail to work in your favor. On the other hand, cricket balls with thinner seams work fine, but might not offer a firm grip.
The verdict is based on how the bowler prefers the grip. In our experience, a thicker grip is more effective and comfortable.
Balance of the ball
Finally, a good cricket ball is defined by its balance. A well balanced ball is much more stable while playing. To check the balance, you should hold the ball with your index finger and the middle finger, aligned in the same direction as that of the seam, and place the thumb underneath. Now, spin the ball with the help of your index finger and middle finger while throwing it upwards.
If the ball wobbles during its spin in mid air (before you catch it), then it might not be balanced. Whereas, when you throw a well-balanced ball upward, it does not wobble and will spin in a uniform motion in mid air.
The right cricket ball can be a huge asset to any team. But before choosing the ball, it is always better to take an opinion from all the bowlers on board.
Most of the time, the ball is chosen based on the preferences of the fastest or reputed bowler, but it is vital to consider those players who have relatively smaller hands. After all, cricket is a team sport.
In conclusion, one should take a slightly heavy, thick seamed, well balanced leather cricket ball for their game. But if you are looking a ball for a harmless match for children then go for tennis balls from brands like vicky, woods, nivia.