English Willow vs Kashmir Willow - Which bat should you choose?

"It's not about the shoes. It's about what you do in them."
- Michael Jordan

That’s a famous quote from the G.O.A.T. of basketball, Michael Jordan himself. Every sports person strives for perfection and has the desire to be a class apart from everyone else. That is the reason they put more than 100% into every training session they do. It is all about the confidence that they carry on the field, the training ground, or in do or die matches. And the right equipment for sportspersons is like an extra limb, with which they can do wonders at their sport. The right equipment helps them with that extra confidence, enabling them to do better, stay motivated, and stay engaged with their sport, ultimately leading to greater success and satisfaction.

A player plays a pull shot with a ZAP Cricket Bat and Goves in hand

We all strive to be the best versions of ourselves, to be a level above everyone else, no matter what sport we play or what we do in life. It’s all about the confidence we carry to the field, which helps us achieve what we all wish for. And the right equipment can help us with that extra confidence, enabling us to do better, stay motivated, and stay engaged with our sport, ultimately leading to greater success and satisfaction.

When buying a cricket bat, there are so many things to look at and consider all of them together before choosing one, which makes it a very tough task. But here at ZAP, we believe every cricketer deserves to play like a champion. That's why we've created this Ultimate Guide to help you choose the perfect one for beginners and pros! With our top-quality products and expert advice, you can elevate your game and channel your inner Sachin on the field.

The Battle of Willows- Kashmir vs English:

As kids, all of us dreamed of owning those English willow bats. And why not? Those bats are premium quality, lightweight, durable, and provide excellent shock absorption; they are the top choice for professional players that we grow up watching. Whereas Kashmir willow bats are more affordable and suitable for beginners or athletes who are just starting to play the sport.

But hold on, don’t jump onto the decision, take a moment to consider these differences between the two willows:

The Sweetspot:

The sweetspot is the most crucial part of a bat. It's the area on the face of the, where the ball should ideally make contact, providing the perfect combination of power, accuracy, and control. And what better sound in the world than that of a leather ball hitting the sweetspot? So always try to middle every shot you play, and don’t forget to strike that pose!

The side on sweetspot and the front face highlighting the grains of the ZAP English Willow Cricket Bat

Look at how the sweetspot is slighly at the lower side of the bat

English willow cricket bats have a larger sweetspot mainly towards the bottom due to its soft wood that compresses more, generating a greater rebound effect. So if you’re buying your second or third bat and someone who relies more on technique and timing, choosing an English one will be a great choice. 

A side on picture of ZAP kashmir Willow Cricket bat having a slightly higher sweet spot

Look at the sweetspot, it is slightly at the higher side of the Willow

Kashmir willow cricket bats have a smaller sweet spot and a higher center of gravity, making it ideal for players who prefer a heavier bat and a vertical bat face. So, if you love swinging the bat hard to hit long sixes, getting this bat is the way to go!

One thing to keep in mind is that the ultra responsive punch of the English willows makes it easier to hit big sixes with ease, which would be very difficult for Kashmir Willow. 

NOTE: It is important to remember that the sweetspot  mostly depends on the shape and profile of your bat. 

The Grains of a Bat:

Ever wondered what those wavy lines on the surface of the bat are?

Comparison between the grains of the Kashmir Willow Cricket Bat and English Willow Cricket bat

Pay close attention to the Grain Structures of the Kashmir Willow Bat (Left) and English Willow Bat (Right)

Those are the grains of a bat. These grains are formed on the willow wood, and each grain represents a growing season of the willow. The straightness and evenness of the bat grains play a crucial role in determining the bat's performance. Bats with straight and even grains allow for better ball contact, resulting in more power and control when playing shots. It is essential to inspect the grains carefully to ensure that they are straight and even, which will help the bat perform to the best of its abilities. Generally, 6-12 well defined grains are what a seasoned pro looks for, but beginners and amateurs can go for ones which are not well defined or properly spaced.

Bat Grading:

There are multiple processes that are involved in grading a willow. Bats are graded based on their quality of willow and the number of grains on the surface. 

English willow is graded into four or five grades by brands based on the number and evenness of the grains on the bat, but at ZAP, every grade of the bat has an AAA, AA, or A rating based on the quality of a bat, with AAA being the best in each grade. This is done to differentiate between the quality of grade of the bat, within 5 grades that ZAP exclusively offers. Therefore, making it easier for you to have a proper understanding of the wood and select the quality you wish to buy.

So if you see a AAA rated bat on our website, it will be a better option than the one rated AA or A.

Grade 1:

This is the highest quality, with near-perfect grains and made from the finest quality of willow. It is highly recommended for professional players. ZAP Royal Crown is the best grade 1 bat in the market. With 120 hours of manufacturing time to produce one Royal crown and made from the top 1% of clefts, this bat has the qualities that a professional player looks for. 

The ZAP Royal Crown Cricket Bat, which sits at the Zenith of Cricket Bats

Grade 2:

These are a top-quality option for experienced players, with straight grains, minor blemishes, offering a great balance between performance and value for money. 

Grade 3:

These ones are suitable for intermediate players, including club players, with some blemishes, and not as straight grains as the higher grades, but still offer good quality and decent performance. 

Grade 4:

This grade is more of an affordable option and is suitable for beginner to intermediate players.

Grade 5:

These English willow bats are exclusively offered by ZAP and are a better option than most Kashmir willow bats available. They are the most affordable English willow.

ZAP has the best collection of all grades of English willow cricket bats, to help you choose the best bat as per your playing level. See our collection here.

Kashmir willow cricket bats are divided into five grades based on their weight and quality of the willow. Grade 1 being the best, in terms of strength, power, and durability, and usually performs at par with grade 5 English willows and some with grade 4 too. The quality of the willow decreases with grade, with grade 5 being most suitable for kids and newbies. 

Bat Length and Handles:

Cricket Bat size guide by ZAP

The size of the bat and the length of the handle are also crucial factors before selection. It is important to choose a bat that suits your height and does not exceed your waist level. Additionally, check for handle comfort and shape. It is necessary for you to test the grip of the bat, as it provides a comfortable and secure hold on the bat, preventing it from slipping out of your hand.

One more thing to take care is that bigger the size, more is the weight of the bat. And on top of this, Kashmir Willow bats have a higher moisture content in their fibres and are more dense, driving up their overall weight. And if you have both types of willows of the same side one beside each other, the Kashmir one will feel heavier. 

Other factors include are:

The side on of the a ZAP Kashmir Willow Cricket Bat and and English Willow Cricket Bat showing the bat shape, the bow length and bat profile

Bat Shape:

Bats come in various shapes and profiles, irrespective of the willow. 


These are the curve of a bat from the handle to the toe. The shape of the bow can impact the weight of a bat minimally, and selection based on the shape of the bow is more of a personal choice. Pros prefer larger bows and thicker edges for durability, but it can make the bat feel heavier.

Bat edge:

It is the thickness of the bat that contributes to the overall shape and profile of the bat. Thicker edges can provide a larger sweet spot, but also adds weight to the bat. 

The profile:

The thickness of a bat is maximum at the sweetspot. Where this sweetspot is located determines what profile the bat has. High profile bats have a higher sweetspot, middle profile bats have it at the mid position and low profile bats have it a bit on the lower side of the bat.

Both types of wood have pretty good life spans, English a bit more, but it is still very important for you to take care of your willow, so here's a Cricket Bat care guide by ZAP. Read and follow it well to keep your wooden willow protected and at max potential to perform in every game. 


ZAP Kashmir Willow Cricket Bat and English Willow Cricket bat placed beside each other with the stumps as a Support

Lastly, the cost can vary depending on the grade and type of willow used. Kashmir willow cricket bats are more affordable, with the best quality bats at around Rs. 3000-4000, while English willow cricket bats starts from Rs. 5000 and can cost you Rs. 60,000 and above for the top-quality bats. However, you can still get your hands on good quality bats for a reasonable price. Grade 2 bats start at Rs. 16,000. This price goes further down and decreases with a decrease in grade of the bat. Beginner level Kashmir willow bats can cost you around Rs. 2000-2500. Keep in mind that you must purchase a bat only based upon the level you play at. A bat can only give you confidence and comfort, it cannot teach you how to drive a ball straight down the ground like Sachin Tendulkar did. It is not necessary to buy an expensive bat if you are not a pro. Improper use can damage the bat. 

A piece of willow can surely take you game to the next level, but with the proper batting technique you can excel under any situation. Read this Cricket Batting Tips and Techniques Guide by ZAP to get well versed with the right batting techniuque. 


These were all the factors that you must look into before buying your dream bat. We at ZAP believe in making products with love, which drives us to create the best equipment that not only performs exceptionally but also inspires the athlete within. We strive to match that intensity by crafting each piece of equipment with precision and care. From bats to gloves and pads, we infuse our products with the spirit of the game, so you can feel confident and unstoppable on the field. Visit our website to see our collection of cricket equipment , carefully crafted for you whichever level you may be playing at!

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