It is very uncommon to see a man put in this position nowadays, because, now that wickets are good, fewer byes are let by wicket-keepers. Besides, it is impossible to spare a man to put there. Perhaps long-stop might be used with advantage in the case of very weak wicket-keeping and poor batting. In the old days it was a most important post, and men were chosen solely for their skill in it. The position might be resuscitated with advantage sometimes in school matches, though as a matter of fact a fine leg is very nearly as useful for saving byes, and can also stop snicks to leg. When a ball passes the wicket-keeper and is gathered up by long-stop it should be returned to the bowler, as there is a better chance usually of running the man out at that end. The striker cannot get such a good start as the non-striker, who can back up sufficiently to make a run to longstop almost a certainty as far as he is concerned.
Perhaps long-stop should stand slightly to the leg-side in order to see the ball as it is bowled, and to stop, if possible, any very fine snicks. He should be as far away from the wicket as he can without failing to check the single run when the wicket-keeper misses the ball. The distance depends rather on the pace of the bowler. The slower the bowler, the nearer should long-stop be
Long-stop should be a quick runner and good thrower. He must not lose his head if the batsmen are successful in running a few short runs to him. He should be on the look-out for backing up the wicket-keeper, particularly when the ball is returned from mid-off, extra-cover, and cover.
After the wicket-keeper, the most important places in the field are short-slip and cover-slip. It is the custom nowadays, when two slips are used, to place them side by side and near enough to one another to prevent, if possible, any ball passing between them. That is to say, if each stretches towards the other as far as he can, their hands almost meet. Sometimes they are put rather farther apart. Sometimes for very fast bowling a third slip is added. The ball comes slightly differently to short-slip, cover-slip, and third-slip, but for all practical pur-