Every great journey begins with the hero picking up and wielding his weapon. King Arthur removed his sword from the stone, but there is no documented evidence as to the technique he used. Similarly, in cricket, the grip is only a minor detail in a much larger story and, unlike Excalibur, nothing is set in stone. Having said this, there are three major grips that this article will consider: Orthodox, O-Shaped, and Knott grips. Read on to find out more about how to hold a cricket bat.

Orthodox Grip

The most common technique is the Orthodox V-Grip. To achieve this, lay the cricket bat on the ground flat side down, and create a right angle between your thumb and forefinger. Proceed to pick the bat up from the floor. It may feel awkward at first, but you can now wield it at your side and swing. Take a few swings to get a feel for the grip.

Calibrating the Orthodox Grip

You can make minor adjustments to this grip with quite a simple set up. If you have wickets nearby, remove the middle stump and stand behind and to the left of the wickets. Now attempt to drive your bat through the two stumps. If you knock it at the side, then you are not achieving a straight drive, a perfectly straight drive being the main allure of this particular grip variant. Continue this exercise, rotating your grip slightly either to the left or right (very slightly!) to find what is best for you. A handy tip: if you have found your grip, keep your hand on the bat and use a pen to mark the vertex of the V. This will allow you to readjust your grip quickly in future.

The O-Shaped Grip

Orthodoxy is not everything, and some of the greatest batters in history have used an unorthodox grip . Obtaining the O-Grip is as simple as beginning in the Orthodox grip and rotating clockwise until your fingers are fully under the bat (counter-clockwise if you are left-handed).

When you swing with this grip, it will be closer to your chest, and you will generate your power laterally. This is good for cross-batted shots (when the bower aims towards your torso), and it is especially advantageous for young children who find wielding heavy cricket bats quite difficult. That said, it may be that you have a preference for the O-Grip because your bat is too heavy. In which case, you might need to purchase a lighter one, since the O-Grip makes vertical shots more difficult.

The Knott Grip

Finally, to reproduce the Knott grip, go to an Orthodox grip and then rotate your top hand until the back of your top hand faces the same direction as the back of your bottom hand. When you lay the bat flat side down, your V should open upwards towards the ceiling. Alan Knott pioneered this technique specifically for fast bowling (above 87mph), and it is more of a return manoeuvre than a typical grip, since it is not intended to generate power.