Page:Cricket, by WG Grace.djvu/266

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Perkins, Mr. H. M. Marshall and Mortlock, were the most expert long-stoppers at the time when long-stop was even of more importance than the wicket-keeper. The first-named had a wonderfully good return, and knew, as if by instinct, at which end there was the greater chance of a run-out. He stood rather on the leg side, and was very quick to back up sharp returns to the wicket-keeper.

SHORT-SLIP.

The qualities required to make a good short-slip are judgment, quickness and a safe pair of hands. He must have sound judgment to know how far to stand from the wicket according to the pace of the bowling, for the bowler does not always know. He must be quick to get to a ball coming low down or going over his head at lightning pace; and he must have a safe pair of hands, and be able to hold the ball even if he loses his balance and stumbles in reaching it. He should stand slightly stooping, with his eyes on the ball and the batsman; but not so near that he cannot see the ball properly, or he will miss all the quick snicks. The state of the wicket will always be a guide to a great extent, and he must be on the look-out for every change in the pace and flight of the ball.

The position used to be filled by the bowler when not bowling, to save him from running and over-exertion; but now-a-days the post is one which gives plenty of exercise, as he has to run after most of the snicks which pass the wicket-keeper. He must back up the wicketkeeper to save overthrows, take his place when he leaves the wicket, and be able to throw smartly and accurately.

Alfred Shaw was very successful in that position, and Watson and Abel are exceptionally good at it to-day. Lohmann is a marvel: he seems to be able to get to everything within six feet of him; and anything he