Originally Posted by archie mac
I think it changed a lot with Ranji who played a lot of on side shots. Also Clem Hill was a great hooker and started his Test cricket in 1896. I agree it was considered bad sportsmanship to hit to leg but I think by 1896 it was no longer the case.
I suspect you are correct about Ranji.
It was always ok to hit a leg side ball to leg obviously but with bowling being so off side such a delivery was normally a bad mistake from the bowler as was a short delivery..
E.M.Grace was known for 'pulling' straight or even off side balls to leg - believed to be a technique learned because he was given a bat too large for him as a youngster - and this was rather looked down upon.
Ranji was the first to hit straight deliveries to leg wth a 'straight' bat.