Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/236

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sense of the word, means bringing all these means of propulsion to bear on the ball in combination, and at the highest point in their efficiency, at the moment when the ball is in the most convenient spot for so doing. Wrist-work is not essential for forcing strokes in front of the wicket, but it adds very considerably to their effectiveness. There are batsmen who hit the ball very hard in front of the wicket almost entirely by a use of the wrist. For strokes behind the wicket, the more wrist-work is employed the more effectively and easily will the desired result be attained.

The enormous amount of force which a proper application of the weight of the body can impart to a stroke may be realised by standing within a yard of a brick wall and allowing yourself to fall against it without moving your feet from their position. One advantage of wrist-strokes, such as cutting over-drives, is, as has already been mentioned, that they entail less exertion, and consequently exhaust the player less. Iti makirtg strokes in front of the wicket any waste of power, is disadvantageous in two ways. Force wasted does not come into the stroke so as to increase its effectiveness, and at the same time implies an effort which must help to tire the batsman. Incorrect timing exhausts the batsman without producing any corresponding result. It is not easy to express in words the sensation that ought to be felt, the satisfactory feelings afforded, by a correctly timed and correctly executed stroke. The prevailing feeling is, that the maximum of result has been attained with the minimum of effort.

The necessity of watching the ball has already been emphasised. No man can be a good batsman if he has not learnt to watch the ball with attention and concentration. When one comes to think of it, the flight of the ball commences the moment the bowler begins to run up towards the wicket to deliver the ball. From this moment a batsman must keep his eyes fixed, first of all, upon the bowler's hand and what it is doing with the ball, then upon the ball itself as it leaves the bowler's hands and travels towards him. There should be no break in the batsman's watchful attention from the time the bowler starts to run until the ball is actually struck by the bat; nor should the batsman feel that there is a break in the continuity of events at the time when the ball leaves the bowler's hands. If from carelessness or some other cause the batsman takes his eyes off the ball, the bowler at once has him at a disadvantage. A good bowler can soon get an inattentive batsman into two minds. He will bowl in such a way that the batsman is not quite sure whether he ought to play back or forward. However closely he watches the