This is how the 3 bats that are currently being tested are doing. If you read back through the previous posts you'll see the details about how they were knocked in and prepared. They didn't knock in that well and seemed to be falling apart after a few hours, the Indian bat being the worse of the 3 (Plain bat - red handle). You'll see via the link that the Indian bat was also damaged during one of the net sessions using plastic balls. The bat was repaired using wood glue and then covered in Extratec tape and this does seem to have done the job. My younger son Joe is using it and it's holding up fine, showing no further damage at all.
The oldest of the 3 Kashmir bats is the original Slazenger V1200, which is now approaching it's 2nd season. This has been used all last summer, over the winter (Sept-Dec) in the nets against bowling machine balls and cricket balls and then over the last 6 weeks in this seasons pre-season nets. This one had the least amount of knocking in and is doing okay. Remember this is a £12.00 bat, so it's not doing too bad.
This below is the newest of the two V1200's, bought in September, so used over the winter in the nets against plastic balls and at pre-season nets against cricket balls. We were considering buying a couple of English Willow bats which are several times more expensive (Grade 3 cheap ones), but these Kashmir bats so far are doing okay and I reckon these will see us through this season easily.
I think one of the key factors is the use of the Extratec tape and the fibre glass edging tape. One of the reasons I embarked on this exercise of testing the bats was because we had a really old Kashmir V1200 bat that had lasted years maybe 10 or more years old and three of us had used it on and off for 5 seasons and we'd bought it 2nd hand. It was eventually killed off by a Yorker right on the toe on the corner of the bat and the willow cracked along the grain right through the bat. That bat, was covered with protective tape and may have been a contributory factor to its longevity?
So, in conclusion after my fairly dim assessment a couple of months ago when I'd first started to use these bats, I'm going to have to back-track a bit and suggest that if the bats are knocked in fairly well (See previous posts - links above) and then covered with edge and surface tape, this gives what seems to be a fairly good level of protection. So, if you are someone who doesn't bat that often or well - tail-ender, these cheap Kashmir bats might be worth considering?