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Got to hand it to ya

Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe walk out to bat, England v Australia, 5th Test, The Oval, 1st day, August 16, 1930 PA Photos

Back in the day, before thigh pads came into common use, towels (and a Reader's Digest) were pressed into service for leg protection. Even so, this photo (above) of Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe walking out to bat at The Oval in 1930 is surprising with its naked thumbs (and partially exposed fingers) on their left/top hands. The opposition's bowlers weren't all that fast - Tim Wall and Alan Fairfax were Australia's opening quicks - but the gloves still look more suitable to motorbike-riding than batting in a Test.

Even today the thumbs of top-hand gloves aren't padded, but the rest of the fingers get solid protection, if you go by MS Dhoni's hamburger-style bite here.

West Indies keeper Carlton Baugh's glove flies off, presumably after he took it off to grab the ball and throw it - just a glimpse of the multitasking that is routinely expected of wicketkeepers.

Not only do they multitask, they are also multiskilled. Reserve keeper Chris Read (right) helps mend Alec Stewart's gloves in Cape Town, 2000.

Sometimes even umpires need protection.

Brian Lara indulges in some glove love with Runako Morton, Mumbai, 2006. Matthew Hayden had a story about the Australians' disdain for such fancy behaviour. He writes in his autobiography: "For years, Australian teams had taken the rise out of the glove-touching fad, and to the mirth of the boys, Ricky Ponting became the first one to do it when he batted with Brian Lara in the tsunami game at the MCG. Brian raised his gloves and Ricky had nowhere to go. He knew he'd cop it from the rest of us, and he wasn't disappointed. 'Right then, so you'll do it with Lara and the rest of us get brushed - is that the deal, we said.'"

No mirth for Ponting here as England use the delaying tactic of calling for gloves in order to bat out a draw in Cardiff, 2009.

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