Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/126

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good, all over the field. The presence of a good fast bowler, who can bowl straight, usually prevents this occurrence. It will be noticed in looking over scores that, apart from other and more marvellous performances, Richardson and Mold generally dismiss, under double figures, two or three of the batsmen who go in early on a side, and also cause the last three or four to follow one another in quick succession to the pavilion. A good batsman when he gets set can score freely and rapidly off fast bowlers: while he remains, runs must come. Then is the slow or medium-pace bowler's chance. The latter kind of bowling, if good, is not easy to score off, though fairly easy to keep out of the wicket. According to statistics, fast bowling seems to be most deadly in very dry seasons, when the ground is difficult to make perfectly smooth and has plenty of fire in it. It may be as well to repeat that a fast bowler should be very careful to bowl within his strength. By consistently bowling beyond it he cannot increase his pace much, and is absolutely sure to become stale and worn out in a very short time. Pace, at the same time, is the main thing in this case. The very object of fast bowling is to beat the batsman by the swift flight of the ball. The batsman is very apt to miss or make a bad stroke off a fast ball that bumps, shoots, keeps low, or acts otherwise than expected. An erratic fast bowler is better than none at all. One who can maintain his pace for a considerable time, and keep a good but not too monotonous length, is always valuable. Many natural fast bowlers fall into the error of being over-anxious to make the ball break, and thus are liable to spoil both pace and length. All bowlers should lay well hold of that which is essential to their style. In a fast bowler pace is indispensable, and good length highly desirable. A fairly long run has already been recommended to bowlers. This applies particularly to fast bowlers. A long run is likely to cause the batsman's attention and vigilance to flag, and tends to breed uncertainty in his mind; adds sting and force to bowling; gives the bowler time to make up his mind what ball to bowl; and contributes largely, if properly managed, to the deceptiveness of a variation of pace. The slow ball delivered after a series of fast ones, in such a manner that it looks exactly like another of them, is one of the most deadly that can be bowled. I have repeatedly seen batsmen so taken in by S. M. J. Woods' slow ball that they have finished their stroke almost before it actually pitched. Lockwood, too, does great execution with his curious change of pace. All bowlers, particularly fast ones, are recommended to bowl a few practice-balls before