The Spartan MSD-Warrior and the Kookaburra Ghost 300: two fairly priced bats for the choosy yet limited buyer.

A. Spartan MSD-Warrior

Spartan MSD-Warrior English Willow Cricket Bat, Short Handle

Price

At ₹ 11,000, the Spartan MSD-Warrior is perfect for the buyer who wants a quality bat but can’t afford the high-tier ones. It was created in tandem with ‘Captain Cool,’ MS Dhoni.

Materials

This model serves as an imitation of the higher models created to Dhoni’s specifications. Given this, it is built using Grade 3 English willow which isn’t that high a quality for cricket bats. The handle is covered with a textured rubber grip which gives maximum grip. 

The stickers are in-laid meaning they don’t really have a texture but blend in with the bat. The handle is made of cane with cork lining, giving it a vibration absorbent feel.

Measurements

The handle of the MSD-Warrior is short and measures only 284mm emphasizing control in all situations. The blade measures a whopping 681mm, one of the biggest blades for a bat. This is because Dhoni wants to maximize his chances of hitting the ball, be it purposely or not, so he can create scoring opportunities. 

The spine travels from the shoulder to the mid-toe, creating a duck-like ‘bill’ appearance on the toe. The swell is also lower than most bats, showing that the bat’s ‘sweet spot’ is close to the centre.

Handling

The bat, thanks to its short handle, can easily be handled even when it is close to the body. The bat weighs around 1.1kg, which is surprisingly light for its type. Pick-ups with the bat are also fairly easy because the weight is distributed evenly across the bat but most of the weight is focused near the mid-shoulder.

Availability

It’s no surprise that since the bat is created in partnership with MS Dhoni, it doesn’t take long before stocks are out whether it be in stores or in online shopping website’s inventory. This indicates just how popular the bat is and how difficult it can be to own one.

The good news is that even if stocks don’t last long, they don’t remain empty for long either. 

Popularity

A cricket bat created in partnership with MS Dhoni will be popular for as long as the game of cricket is around. Kids, amateurs, semi-pros, and casual players look up to Dhoni as the greatest cricket player in recent time, hence his popularity. Create a cricket bat with the greatest player and you have a very, very popular bat.

Cons

Since this bat is a replica of Dhoni’s official-spec bat, the materials are much cheaper. This means that the bat may break if not used properly or excessively. Proper care, as with all things, is necessary to prolong the shelf-life of this bat.

B. Kookaburra Ghost 300
 

Kookaburra Ghost 300

Price

The Kookaburra Ghost 300 costs around ₹ 11,199. Not bad for a mid-tier bat. 

Materials

The bat is created with unbleached, Grade 2 English willow and has around six to nine clear grains. The handle is oval-shaped, giving you a firmer grasp on the handle. It is made of a 12-piece Sarawak Cane which gives a “softer” grip. It is also wrapped in ‘Octopus Grip’ allowing you to have a hold of the bat no matter the speed and strength of your swing.

Measurements

Kookaburra bats are short handle bats, and the Ghost is no exception to this rule. The handle measures around 284mm, allowing for great control of swings. The blade is 610mm long, maximizing striking probability. The entire bat measures 894mm, one of the shortest bats available in the market.

Handling

The bat’s short handle and excellent profiling make it look heavier than it really is - it only weighs around 1.19kg to 1.2kg. The swell of the blade is located near the centre emphasizing powerful strikes. It also helps in the distribution of the weight across the bat. 

The bat is full-profiled, there is very little concaving. This means that you do not need to hit the ball as hard compared to other bats.

Availability

The bat is mostly available in online shopping websites since the main production facility is located in Australia. It is also sold in stores but the amount is far less than those sold online. 

Popularity

Despite the bat not being readily available, there are numerous professional players who use the Kookaburra Ghost. Some of these players are Nathan Lyon of Australia, Liam Dawson of England, and Chris Morris of South Africa.

Cons

The bat, for its price, is made of a fairly good grade of willow. However, this means that the bats need to be knocked-in before use. This process takes longer for this bat, which isn’t really a negative aspect, but seeing as that you would want to use the bat immediately and start playing, it might as well be considered as one.

C. Overall Comparison

Both bats almost cost an equivalent amount, but with Kookaburra’s Ghost using a higher grade of willow compared to Spartan’s MSD-Warrior, the best choice is to buy the Ghost. For less than ₹200, you can have yourself a higher grade-willow bat. Sure, the Spartan may have been produced in partnership with Dhoni, but that doesn’t mean that quality is assured.
 

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