The success of Australia's cricketers, who begin their Test series with Pakistan this week, is on the minds of researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne, who are designing a bat that vibrates less than traditional ones, writes Geoff Maslen.
The research team hopes to reduce the vibrations that result when the ball hits the bat outside its 'sweet spot'. Project leader Sabu John said the idea was to improve the performance of the bat while keeping to the rules of the game. 'The aim is to get the ball coming off the bat as fast as possible while still (being) comfortable for the batsman. It's a fine line to get that balance right,' Professor John said.
The researchers used polymer-based synthetic materials, special software and hardware and material design to study the vibration characteristics of the bat to see how they could modify the handle while keeping the traditional wood-based blade intact. The first batch of improved bats will undergo field trials early next year. Pictured is Australia's Simon Katich during the third Test match against India in Nagpur in October