What to Look for When Choosing Wicket Keeping Gear

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What to Look for When Choosing Wicket Keeping Gear

The role of the wicket keeper is quite demanding on the fitness and technique of the individual. A 50-over match can seem an eternity in the field if you are below par physically and therefore the job takes its toll on the player mentally also. As the hub of the fielding team effort, if the wicket keeper is having a nightmare game then the whole side will pay the penalty. Put simply there is no hiding place for a poor keeping performance.

To make life easier for the keeper, apart from working on fitness and technique, you should choose a pair of really comfortable pads and gloves. This might be stating the obvious but given the duration and sheer number of catches being taken in a long innings, it makes sense to go for the best gloves you can possibly afford. The higher standard of protection and greater comfort will ensure the job is less demanding and good quality gloves make ball catching a more satisfying experience.

Wicket keeping gloves are now available in a huge range of options and price points. As a basic rule there are two main areas to look at when choosing your wicket keeping gloves. The first is the quality of the leather for the rear of the glove. The softer and more flexible leather will be on the higher end gloves and this makes a real difference to comfort and feel. You want the gloves to become an extension of your hands not end up feeling like you have a pair of cymbals strapped on! That said the cheaper end of the market is perfect for the occasional keeper or club kit bag.

The design and material of the palm is the second important area to look out for when purchasing new wicket keeping gloves. There are a variety of palms on offer but the best usually offer something other than the standard rubber with an octopus, Hypertac or Hextech palm, which allow extra wear and more importantly extra grip!

Not forgetting of course that a suitable pair of inner gloves is equally as important when looking at items of hand protection. Padded inner glove palms can add comfort to repeated takes when standing up to the stumps to the medium paced bowlers or get you out of jail when receiving those awkward half-volley throws from the fielders. The inner gloves come in a variety of options, usually cotton padded, Half chamois and full chamois leather but, as with your main gloves, go for the best quality you can afford.

Wicket keeping pads are a necessity but, to be fair, a keeper worth his salt shouldn’t be using his pads to stop the ball. So leg guards really are only worn to prevent accidental blows to the knees or shins. However, they are incredibly light nowadays due to the modern materials used in their manufacture and should last for years.

Face and head protection is mandatory for the youngsters keeping up to the bails in the UK. Even an adult keeper standing up to the stumps will be more confident taking the ball under the eyes when wearing a helmet. Most equipment manufacturers have a choice of lightweight lids which can be used for batting as well. For the more serious cricketer replacing a steel grill for a titanium version saves even more weight.

What to Look for When Choosing Wicket Keeping Gear

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