Start ‘Taking a Guard’
Not many players who are new to cricket know the concept of ‘taking a guard’ when walking out to bat.
Taking a guard is what you often see professional players do quickly when they get out to the middle. This process includes lining up their bat with the wickets and asking the umpire if their bats are in line with one of the stumps. If we say a batsman asks for middle stump, he will then place his bat on which he believes to be the line of the middle stump and the umpire will direct him left or right as he has the bat right on the perfect line. Then the batsman will mark this line on the pitch with the spikes on his boots. A batsman can ask for the line of any stump he selects.
The aim of taking a guard in cricket is to make sure that we are always standing in the same place whenever we bat during practice or real games. All the batsman must do is to place his feet behind the line he has made with his spikes. This will ensure that his head is always in the same position whenever he bats.
Having the player’s head and eyes in the same position for every ball allows him to learn to better judge a bowler’s delivery. The more balls you face while having your body in this consistent position, the quicker you can determine which balls you need to play at or attack and which balls you can leave or choose to defend.
Many batsmen choose a middle stump guard since it means their eyes are almost directly over the line of the off stump when they get into their batting stance. This means that any ball outside of their eye line will miss the off stump, ruling out the possibilities of being out bowled or LBW.
If you want a more detailed explanation of how to take a guard, or why certain guards may suit you better than other ones, ask your coaches and they will give you more advice and help you to work on it during practicing sessions.