Knocking in is the process by which the
fibres of the willow blade are compressed and
knitted together to help prevent damage from the
impact of a cricket ball. This is best done by using
an old ball or bat mallet. It is not sufficient to
hit a few balls in the nets or in the garden.
Knocking in should be done in a patient and thorough
manner and should take no less than 6 hours in total
. To a large extent, the effective life of your bat
is determined by the thoroughness of your knocking
in process. You are trying to make the toe and edges
in particular harder than when the bat was
purchased, to minimise the damage from an edged
How Do I Knock In My New Slazenger Bat?
- Using an old ball or a bat mallet like a
hammer and deflect gently off the edges the way
a ball might in a game.
- Increase the force and work the edges until
they show a rounded, compact appearance.
- Use the bat to hit short catches (i.e. very
light work on the face) or bounce a cricket ball
up and down on the face.
- Use the bat in the nets against old softer
- Use the bat in the nets against newer balls.
Causes Of Damage
It is important to store your bat wisely to
prevent the willow drying out and becoming brittle.
Ideally you should store your bat in a garage or
shed where the wood can absorb some moisture from
DO NOT leave your bat close to a central heating
radiator or fire.
DO NOT leave your bat in your car boot or rear
window where the temperature will soar.
Toe swells due to damp.
When the toe of your bat swells this has been
caused by water/dampness getting up into the wood
fibres. Avoid this by doing one of the following:
- Applying a light coat of oil to toe before
- Use of a sealant to prevent water
- Applying a toe guard before bat is used.
However if the toe of the bat is swollen there
are two alternatives:
- Place the toe of the bat in a woodworking
vice, being careful to cushion both sides of the
blade to prevent damage.
- Allow damp area to dry normally then use an
old ball to knock out the swollen area.
Edge and toe damage
The majority of bats will be damaged if the
batsman edges a quick ball or digs out a fast yorker.
The bat must be put in for repair as no willow will
withstand such impact. Knocking in properly, however
will reduce risk.
Willow is not manufactured. Surface cracks or
crazing will appear on the face of all bats after a
period of use. The knocking in period is vitally
important in minimising surface cracks. Surface
cracks do not harm the bats performance but proper
knocking in delays the appearance of these cracks.