Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/118

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got out or extremely bothered by it. Slow over-arm, or indeed any bowlers, may occasionally try this ball with advantage. As his deliveries are about the slowest to be met with, the lob-bowler should cultivate the power of making the ball twist an immense amount from both the off- and leg-side. He should also try to get the knack, described above, of making the ball go quickly off the pitch. This is almost entirely a natural gift; but perhaps of all bowlers he is most likely to be able to acquire it by practice. Equally and in common with all others, he will have to depend considerably upon the accuracy of his pitch. He must be able to command a good length, even though part of his art is to bowl full-pitches to leg and other tempting balls. A ball bad in itself, in a certain sense becomes a good one when bowled exactly as desired with a definite object; but the art of bowling balls good in themselves should be thoroughly mastered before such tricks are tried. The chances are that a young bowler will have a good deal to contend against if he takes up lob-bowling. It stands to reason that he will not meet with much success at first. He will not be very skilful; batsmen, especially his companions, will not be in the least afraid of his bowling; he will not know how to place his field to receive catches; the fieldsmen, probably, like himself, inexperienced cricketers, will not hold catches when the batsmen make mistakes; he will lack judgment in changing pace and pitch, and have no power of imparting a deceptive flight to the ball. And all these things are more essential for his style of bowling than for any other except very slow over- or round-arm, which is practically the same as lob-bowling. If he does not get wickets, he will be sure to come in for a lot of chaff from the rest of his side for bowling "donkey-drops." Of course he will take no notice of this, but devote a certain amount of time every day to practice, with a view to turning the scale in favour of his side some day in the Inter-'Varsity match or the Gentlemen and Players. I am convinced that most batsmen fall victims to lobs, not so much by reason of the intrinsic difficulty or merit of the bowling, but on account of their own nervousness or anxiety to score. A notable instance of what a moderate lob-bowler can do is furnished by the Inter-'Varsity of 1892, when a very strong Cambridge side got out on a perfect wicket for a ridiculously small score under the circumstances. In matches where nerve plays an important part, even bad lobs are extraordinarily successful. At such times batsmen are at high tension. Nervousness affects them in two ways—they are either overcautious and hit half-heartedly, or else they play wildly and dash