Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/102

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and to meet it with the bat. Directly a leg-break bowler can keep a fair length, he can cause most batsmen to scrape forward aimlessly at the pitch of the ball; and then, unless they are favourite sons of fortune, he has them in his bag. Besides this peculiar quality in the break, most deliveries of this kind have a curious dropping flight. That the leg-break does not operate in the same way as the off-break is proved by the fact that the deliveries of a right-hand and a left-hand bowler, though they may pitch on the same spot, and break across or on to the wicket from leg the same number of inches, are found by right-hand batsmen to be entirely different. A left-hander's break from leg to a right-hand bat is, of course, imparted to the ball by the same "finger-work" or "action-work" which is used by the right-hander to produce his break from the off. But besides its curly spin from the pitch, which it is hard to judge and play, leg-break bowling is difficult for two reasons. First, when a man stands ready to receive the ball, he is facing the off, and can move much more readily in that direction than towards the leg-side; to do the latter he has to alter his position considerably. He can indeed easily take a blind sweep round the leg, but in order to meet accurately and scientifically a ball pitching on the leg-side and breaking on to the wicket, he must shift his feet partially and the balance of his body completely. Secondly, he cannot see a ball pitched on the leg-side as well as one that is straight or on the off. His eyes are turned rather towards the off. To see a ball on the leg-side, which may be called his blind side, he has to twist his head round. A good-length ball pitching on or just outside the leg-stump is the most likely of all to light upon the "blind spot." Of course if it has no break on it, or if it goes away towards the leg-side, it is generally easy to punish or stop; but if it come in from leg, it requires a lot of playing. From these considerations it will be seen that good-length leg-break bowHng can be very deadly. Its weak point is that even its best exponents send down many bad-length balls, which being on the leg-side are fruitful in runs; for, curiously enough, though a good-length ball on the leg-side breaking in is perhaps the most difficult of all to play, an over-pitched or short ball on that side, with or without break, is certainly the easiest to punish.

Besides the spins that can be imparted to the ball with the results described above, there are two others possible but more difficult to master. These are rarely attempted save by a few experts, but they are worth describing. The ball may be given a twist with the fingers and wrist, so that, in its flight towards the