Okay, pet hate number one: Captains spreading their slips fieldsmen wider to cover more ground.
Only three slips, let's cover the area of four. It's like trying to cover every possible permutation of lottery numbers available each draw; You'll be there for an eternity attempting to serenade success. Can't be done. Surely it is preferable to cut one's losses and concentrate on plugging gaps where the ball is most likely to travel.
For there is not a lot worse than seeing said duke sniggering its way between slippers on the way to a preventable four runs and viewing a potential wicket going down the drain. Maybe it could be said that the duke will conjure up a good tummy rumbling laugh when it escapes down the alley way between a conventional third slip and gully. If that be the case, so be it. After all, no Captain can cover all on this field of dreams.
Thoughtful it may be of the skipper to give his slips a change of scenery every so often - variety is the spice of life, and all that - but it only puts pressure on slippers to cover more ground. It could be the difference between standing stationary or diving desperately. One, allowing the catcher the balance to attribute his talents to snaring an easily attained catch, or the other, a Hail Mary dive into the sphere of the desolation of what could have been.
Which means there simply has to be more risk of a dropped catch. Better to be certain and take a little than the possibility of losing a lot.
Spare a thought for the bowler, too. Toiling away endlessly over by over, sweat pouring off his furrowed brow only to look up and see an unnecessary abundance of oversized nooks behind the wickets. Already the heat of the day is tiring the mind and body, not to mention the heat of a Captains stare if by chance the duke isn't delivered to the precise address requested.
And then they have to suffer the distress of witnessing catches dropped off their bowling. How disheartening. Imagine the Captains thoughts if said bowler takes a wicket off a no-ball delivery. No wicket. Your choice of a plethora of pickets to lean against, though.
So how is the bowler meant to feel when he spies his Captain captaining poorly?