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How to bat
We now come
that part of cricket
many is seen as the most important skill.
However much opinions may differ upon this subject, it
certain that without batting, the game would
exist. And without scientific batting
Let us, therefore, consider,
as extended detail as
admit, the science of batting.
A correct attitude in readiness to receive the ball is
the utmost importance.
In one position,
in one only, can a player have
the use of all the muscles he will require at
critical moment. Batting, it must be remembered, is a
succession of sudden starts into activity,
intervals of rest, and not one prolonged
the standard stance and
position the beginner should proceed thus:
Supposing a line be drawn from
middle stump of
the batsman's wicket to the point at which the ball
leaves the bowler's hand, this will cross the popping
right angles; this point of
intersection is called The Guard, and may be marked by
the batsman in
way he likes best (a scratch with
a bat or one of the bails is as useful a way
A moment's consideration will show that the bat,
grounded, and held upright at
by-the-way, called the block-hole)
obstruct the passage of any ball from the bowler
This gives the batsman a fixed point from which to
judge the more
less accuracy of flight of the ball,
and at the same time affords
invaluable guide to
the correct position of the bat while
The guard may be taken at any point between the
popping crease and the wicket, at the pleasure or
the player; but the one mentioned is
the more advisable, as it gives the batsman more room
action, and at the same time a greater command
over the pitch of the ball.
the business of the bowler's umpire
correct guard to the batsman.
The guard being taken and marked, the batsman
to make ready for action.
If a right-handed man, he must stand with his right
shoulder toward his own wicket, and his left towards
right foot parallel with and just
inside the popping crease, and the toe about two or
perhaps three inches
the guard, and
somewhat advanced and pointed forwards.
The bat must
held with the face towards the bowler;
the point touching the guard, and the handle slightly
The right hand grasps the handle of the bat
inches from the shoulder and in the rear, the left
holds the handle a trifle higher up, but from the
front; the hands being thus
opposite sides of the
This is the 'position;' now
For this the player
only three Simple Rules to
To stand as upright and as easily as possible, to
balance the body on the right leg, leaving the left
free for any movement, and
turn the face easily and
naturally towards the bowler, watching him over the
must be kept well forward, the
left elbow well up.
Many good batsmen, indeed most
our very best;
having 'taken guard' in the manner described, rise to
full height - holding the bat still in the line
of the wickets - but swinging a few inches clear of
This attitude, though apparently less cautious than
the former, is
reality, in the case of an
experienced player, far more effective even for
defense, since the increased height of the eye gives
better sight of the ball, and the bat is more ready
for 'bailers,' - balls that rise high to the bails -
my opinion even gaining, in the
power of being down upon 'shooters.'
For, be it remembered, it is far easier to drop the
to raise it.
Moreover, the batsman standing upright has his
muscular powers more
his disposal than when
The player is now ready for the bowler to deliver the
ball; but something more is necessary before he
defend his wicket or strike with full effect.
The bat is merely hanging
perpendicularly in front of the wicket, in order to
in a position to block, that
stop the ball,
or strike, a further movement is necessary.
As the ball is delivered, the point of the bat
be thrown lightly and smoothly back upon the bails,
the right hand to be used as the pivot, and the left
being changed from front
rear, until the whole bat
lies in the line from the top of the middle stump to
the bowler's hand.
This position allows the batsman, by the mere dropping
of the bat
its previous position. If the call be
straight and difficult, to stop it quite as
effectually as if the bat
never been moved, with
this further advantage, that the bat strikes the ball,
not the ball the bat - a point always to
Thus offering the chance of a run,
ball might have fallen dead.
And if the ball be hitable, the bat is ready raised
So thus the batsman is enabled to wait till
moment and hit or block as seems best.
Only let him take
to heart, that if he block, he
block as late and as hard as possible.
Thus have I often seen even fast shooters turned into
capital by a good bat, to the great discomfort
A beginner should practice this action of the bat at