Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/128

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beginning in earnest. This should, of course, be done on one side or other of the match-pitch. There is no need to deliver these preliminary balls frantically fast, to the detriment of the wicket-keeper and perhaps yourself. The idea is to loosen the arm into working order, get the measure of good length, and expend beforehand as many as possible of the erratic deliveries most fast bowlers are liable to perpetrate in their first over or two. A good captain will make an exception to allowing these trial-balls when the incoming batsman has no idea of the bowler's style or pace. A bad ball may be risked in this case. If a good one turns up first, it is the most likely of all to get the wicket. A fast bowler must be especially careful not to bowl to leg. Even if the batsman misses the ball, byes are nearly sure to result. Nothing tries a wicket-keeper more than a fast ball outside the batsman's legs. More clean-bowled wickets fall to fast bowlers than to slow or medium. Hence it seems sound to advise bowlers to bowl rather more at the "sticks" than the others should do, especially until a batsman is well set. The ball that "goes with the arm," if fast—and indeed any pace—is very deadly. Few right-hand fast bowlers try to bowl it and bowl it well. With fast left-handers it is, comparatively speaking, common, and accounts for a great many of their wickets.

Left-hand bowlers of all paces, if at all high class, are exceedingly difficult to see and to play. The natural break of a lefthander is from his right to left. He effects it in the same way that a right-hand bowler does his break from left to right, the normal off-break. Hence left-handers can and do make a speciality of the ball that breaks from leg to right-hand batsmen. The break is not quite so deadly as the right-hander's curl from leg, but it can be bowled in combination with more accuracy and precision of length. The ordinary left-hander, too, can command more break from leg than the ordinary right-hander. Not that this is altogether a point of superiority, for the best ball is not the one that breaks most but the one that just breaks enough—enough to beat the bat but not the wicket, or else to beat the centre of the bat and just touch its edge.

Left-hand bowlers are very fond of bowling balls with their natural break pitching on or just outside the off-stump. This ball after pitching is continually going away from a right-hand batsman, and unless he judges and times it to a nicety, a catch at the wicket, in the slips, or somewhere on the off-side, will probably cause his downfall. Notice that for this kind of bowling nearly all the fields are put on the off. One of the most