The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Donít lift your head on a yorker
Get close to the pitch of the ball when sweeping spinners

I am a wicketkeeper. I have problems judging the direction of the ball when keeping against the spinners. Please help.

(M. Suresh, 17, Cuttack)

Like a batsman, itís very important to watch the ball coming out of the bowlerís hand. To get a better view, you could stand a little outside the off stump.

I am an off-spinner. How do I bowl the straighter one without changing my action'

(Ravi Sen, 16, Calcutta-4)

It demands a lot of practice. Youíve got to get the basics right. Subtle changes in the grip at a later stage might help.

I am a right-handed batsman. In trying to flick I often get caught in the square-leg region. Please help.

(Debajit Sen, 17, Calcutta-10)

You are playing a little too early. Play a lot later and meet the ball under your eyes.

I am a left-hander. I wish to improve my on-side play. Will only net sessions help'

(Avirook Chakraborty, 17, Calcutta-4)

It will help a great deal. Also adjustments with your footwork or stance might benefit. Opening your stance a bit and getting across when playing back will make a difference.

I am a right-handed batsman. Whenever I try to sweep against the spinners, I end up getting caught at forward/backward short-leg. Why does this happen'

(Ranjan De, 14, Calcutta-14)

Youíre not getting close enough to the pitch of the ball. It is a must when sweeping against spinners.

Will only gym work and a fitter body, coupled with practice, help in improving oneís fielding'

(Sanjib Roy, 14, Calcutta-19)

Yes, but specific exercises concentrating on agility. A correct throwing and catching technique will also be of immense value.

I am a medium-pacer. Iíve lost pace after my coach asked me to change my action from being open-chested to side-on. Should I go back to my old action to regain pace'

(Jishu Dey, 16, Agartala)

Do what makes you feel comfortable. Obviously your coach has preferred side-on for better control. You must strike the right balance after speaking to your coach.

What are the qualities for being a good captain' Will only a cool head and clear perception of the game help'

(Roopam Basu, 19, Calcutta-12)

That will certainly be of some help, but the ability to take spontaneous and immediate decisions is of vital importance even though it may backfire on you sometimes. Another great requisite is man-management and the ability to motivate players.

I am an opening batsman-cum-wicketkeeper. Though I am strong and healthy, I cannot cope with both responsibilities at the same time. Should improving stamina and fitness help or should I take up only one responsibility'

(Murtaza M. Zavery, 17, Calcutta-16)

Initially start with what you are better off. Once your fitness has improved, try taking up both.

I am a right-hander and face difficulties tackling yorkers. I end up hitting the ball into my pads. Please help.

(Biswajit Goswami, 23, Berhampore)

Watch your backlift and donít lift your head at the time of playing the shot.

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