Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/54

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be to let the ball arrive on the long-hop just above the bails, but that from a position nearer the wicket a full-pitch in the same spot is the more rapid and convenient. Above all, avoid sending in half-volleys or "yorkers."

One of the most senseless things a fielder can do is to throw the ball hard when there is no need. The wicket-keeper has quite enough knocking about from the bowlers without having to stop such throws. As for the bowler, his hands should be regarded as sacred. A bruised finger is liable to incapacitate him altogether.

Some people think that a fielder ought never to throw at the wicket itself, with the object of running a man out, without the help of the man at the wicket. I cannot agree with this. If there is any chance of running a man out thus, but none of doing so by co-operation, it is worth while trying to knock the wicket down with a throw. If no one is at the wicket, it is worth while having a shot at the stumps, even at the risk of a boundary, because every wicket is worth more than four runs. However, discretion must be used. George Bean has got a wonderful number of wickets for Sussex by throwing men out from cover-point.

Among other miscellaneous matters one is worth noticing. When the ball is travelling towards the boundary and the fieldsman is running in the same direction, it is customary for him to get just within reach of it and then dive forward for it as one would try to catch a rabbit, the ball being in front of him at the time. This often means a miss and consequent delay. It is far better to overtake the ball, and then, when level with it or slightly past, drop the hand a foot or so in front of it. In this way the ball runs into the hand, and there is a slighter margin for error. In the other the hand follows after the ball, and obviously cannot go farther in pursuit than the length of the arm; consequently if the hand be even an eighth of an inch behind the ball when the dive is made, there is no chance of picking it up. If the method I suggest—not that it is original—be followed, the fieldsman will find it much easier to rise into an attitude convenient for throwing. He is in a compact position at the time of picking up the ball, instead of being spread-eagled forwards. It requires some agility to pick up the ball and throw it in with almost one action, even by using the method suggested; but under the other method it is impossible.

Let us now proceed to consider the duties of fieldsmen in