Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/76

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mid-off should be rather more in a line with the wickets. Sometimes mid-off, or some other fielder, is required to go "silly mid-off" with a view to catching a pokey batsman or putting him off his stroke. The move ought not to be made unless there is a fair chance of getting a wicket and the bowlers are to be thoroughly relied on. "Silly mid-on" is also used on striky wickets for off-break bowlers. The fieldsman is within a few yards of the bat, and must look out for squalls.

Ordinary mid-off has plenty to do on either side of him, and occasionally finds it necessary to back-up the bowler and extra-cover. He must be particularly careful to back-up the bowler when the batsman returns the ball hard, for the bowler being on the move often only half stops the stroke, so that, unless mid-off or mid-on backs him up, a run results. Mid-off often has a chance of running a man out if he manages to make an exceptionally quick and clever dive to right or left; so he must practise returning the ball accurately to both wickets. As a general rule, he should stand much like cover or thirdman, always ready to start. Mr A. J. Webbe was a very fine mid-off when he fielded there; so was Mr H. Andrews of Sussex, and the Australian, Mr Alec Bannerman. Mr S. M. J. Woods, too, knows a thing or two about this position among others.


Mid-on is perhaps the best place to put a duffer, if you are unfortunate enough to have one on your side. He will do less harm there than anywhere else. Not but what a good fielder can help his side considerably at mid-on. There are plenty of catches to take and runs to save. A fast fielder can often save a run or two each time the ball is played away on the leg-side. The reason why mid-on is the place for a weak fielder is, that the ball comes straight and easy to hand there: it may come hard, but it comes without spin from the full face of the bat.

The position of mid-on varies considerably, according to the way the ball breaks, the presence or absence of a short-leg, and the style of batsman and bowler. Usually, when the bowler is breaking much from the off, mid-on is placed wider, because as the ball breaks across the wicket it tends to be played more towards the leg-side. For a fast bowler mid-on stands in farther than for a medium or slow, and nearer to a tame player than to a hitter. This, however, is the bowler's affair. Usually mid-on