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How to bat in cricket

We now come
that part of cricket which is many is seen as the most important skill.

However much opinions may differ upon this subject, it
certain that without batting, the game would simply exist. And without scientific batting tame to worth playing.

Let us, therefore, consider,
as extended detail as space admit, the science of batting.

A correct attitude in readiness to receive the ball is
the utmost importance.

In one position,
in one only, can a player have all the use of all the muscles he will require at critical moment. Batting, it must be remembered, is a succession of sudden starts into activity, intervals of rest, and not one prolonged effort.

To take
the standard stance and position the beginner should proceed thus:

Supposing a line be drawn from
middle stump of the batsman's wicket to the point at which the ball leaves the bowler's hand, this will cross the popping crease nearly right angles; this point of intersection is called The Guard, and may be marked by the batsman in way he likes best (a scratch with a bat or one of the bails is as useful a way any.)

A moment's consideration will show that the bat, grounded, and held upright at
spot (often, by-the-way, called the block-hole) effectually obstruct the passage of any ball from the bowler the wicket.

This gives the batsman a fixed point from which to judge the more
less accuracy of flight of the ball, and at the same time affords invaluable guide to the correct position of the bat while defending the wicket.

The guard may be taken at any point between the popping crease and the wicket, at the pleasure or convenience
the player; but the one mentioned is the more advisable, as it gives the batsman more room action, and at the same time a greater command over the pitch of the ball.

the business of the bowler's umpire give the correct guard to the batsman.

The guard being taken and marked, the batsman
now to make ready for action.

If a right-handed man, he must stand with his right shoulder toward his own wicket, and his left towards the bowler's,
right foot parallel with and just inside the popping crease, and the toe about two or perhaps three inches the guard, and left foot somewhat advanced and pointed forwards.

The bat must
held with the face towards the bowler; the point touching the guard, and the handle slightly inclined forwards.

The right hand grasps the handle of the bat
few inches from the shoulder and in the rear, the left holds the handle a trifle higher up, but from the front; the hands being thus opposite sides of the handle.

This is the 'position;' now
the 'attitude.

For this the player
only three Simple Rules to remember:

To stand as upright and as easily as possible, to balance the body on the right leg, leaving the left free for any movement, and
turn the face easily and naturally towards the bowler, watching him over the left shoulder must be kept well forward, the left elbow well up.

Many good batsmen, indeed most
our very best; having 'taken guard' in the manner described, rise to full height - holding the bat still in the line of the wickets - but swinging a few inches clear of the ground.

This attitude, though apparently less cautious than the former, is
reality, in the case of an experienced player, far more effective even for defense, since the increased height of the eye gives better sight of the ball, and the bat is more ready for 'bailers,' - balls that rise high to the bails - without losing, my opinion even gaining, in the power of being down upon 'shooters.'

For, be it remembered, it is far easier to drop the bat
to raise it.

Moreover, the batsman standing upright has his muscular powers more
his disposal than when stooping.

The player is now ready for the bowler to deliver the ball; but something more is necessary before he
defend his wicket or strike with full effect.

The bat is merely hanging
his hands perpendicularly in front of the wicket, in order to put in a position to block, that stop the ball, or strike, a further movement is necessary.

As the ball is delivered, the point of the bat
be thrown lightly and smoothly back upon the bails, the right hand to be used as the pivot, and the left being changed from front rear, until the whole bat lies in the line from the top of the middle stump to the bowler's hand.

This position allows the batsman, by the mere dropping of the bat
its previous position. If the call be straight and difficult, to stop it quite as effectually as if the bat never been moved, with this further advantage, that the bat strikes the ball, not the ball the bat - a point always to gained if possible.

Thus offering the chance of a run,
otherwise the ball might have fallen dead.

And if the ball be hitable, the bat is ready raised
the purpose.

So thus the batsman is enabled to wait till
last moment and hit or block as seems best.

Only let him take
to heart, that if he block, he block as late and as hard as possible.

Thus have I often seen even fast shooters turned into capital by a good bat, to the great discomfort
the bowler.

A beginner should practice this action of the bat at

For practice, a stick
quite as serviceable a bat.

Cricket Links

a slightly simplified version of an excerpt from the 'Boy's Own Book of Outdoor Sports' from 1905.

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