Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/212

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slanted sideways, the ball is rather liable to hit the edge of it and go straight up into the air. Very few batsmen play the stroke really well nowadays; indeed one rarely has occasion to use it in first-class cricket. Where the bowling is less accurate few strokes are more telling or more satisfactory to the batsman.

The long-leg hit should be made off a ball pitching rather wider than in the case of the square-leg hit, and rather short of a good length. The stroke is made with a horizontal bat, which is swept round so as to catch the ball when it is about in a line with the batsman's body. The left leg should be thrown well forward out towards the ball. When the stroke is properly made, the ball travels in a line running more in the direction of the screen behind the batsman's wicket than in that of the square-leg umpire. These two leg-hits are about the only strokes in which the batsman ought to lay out his whole strength. The usual faults in making them are either playing them too soon or too late—too soon to slow bowling, too late to fast bowling.

There is another stroke by which good-length balls on the legside can be played—the glide or glance. It has the advantage of not wasting the batsman's strength and energy. All the batsman has to do to a good-length ball on the leg-side is to put his left leg forward almost straight down the wicket, with his bat in front of it, or rather on the far side of it. The face of the bat is turned slantwise to meet the ball, which should glance off towards fine-long-leg. The angle at which the ball leaves the bat depends upon the angle at which its surface is presented to the ball. The stroke can be played at balls either on the leg-stump or outside it. If the ball is on the wicket, the left leg must be thrown rather across, much in the same way as in playing forward on the off. The bat is, of course, on the far side of the leg. In these days, with perfect wickets, the glance-stroke is very useful, as the course of the ball can be very accurately judged. It has the advantage over leg-hits that it is far less tiring. It is necessary to husband one's strength when one is engaged in continuous first-class cricket. I am inclined to recommend players to use the glance instead of the square-leg or long-leg hit. It is a very safe stroke, because the ball can easily be kept down. The glance off a straight ball is of course a very dangerous stroke for an unskilful player: it is seldom used even by the best players, and then only when they are well-set. But there is no doubt that when straight good-length balls are gently removed towards the leg-boundary by means of this stroke, the