Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/134

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study wickets just as a general studies a map of the country where he has to fight. A general must also study the enemy, become acquainted with the number and arrangement of the opposing troops, and discover their points of strength and weakness, whether material or moral. A bowler must act likewise. He must know the men at whom he is bowling before he can bowl his best at them. He must sum up their powers and limitations, their good strokes and bad; and last, but not least, he must put himself in touch with their temperaments. Sometimes it pays to attack a man's good strokes, to feed them until he gets himself out; sometimes to go straight for his weak ones and carry the position by assault. Sometimes it pays to humour, sometirhes to force.

Perhaps it may be instructive to work, however sketchily, through a typical side of batsmen—taking, of course, the batsman's point of view. But, before doing this, a few words must be said about the placing of fieldsmen. It is the greatest mistake in the world to think that there is one fixed arrangement which is the best in all circumstances. Every man in the field must be put into position with due regard to three points—the particular kind of bowling that is being employed, the particular kind of batsman who is at the wicket, and the particular state of the ground. Nearly every bowler ought to have his field placed differently, however slightly, from every other one. It is easy enough to give plans of the arrangements of fieldsmen to suit typical fast, medium, and slow bowlers; but it must be remembered that each fast bowler requires some alteration to suit his individual style and methods, and again must admit modifications to meet the idiosyncrasies of each batsman and the peculiarities of certain conditions of wicket. It is the slight changes that make all the difference between a well and a badly placed field. Some sides which are weak in bowling have to live by their wits. With a champion bowler to put on at each end, matters are considerably simplified. The only chance for a side that has but moderate bowling at its command, is to make that bowling as good as possible by having every fieldsman in exactly the right place. No opportunity must be missed. Catches must be caught when they come to hand, and every means must be taken to bring them to hand. A really good fieldsman makes catches that an ordinary fieldsman would not attempt; he seems to turn strokes that are out of his reach into easy chances. He helps himself, and does not wait to be provided with catches straight into his hands. A good bowler—good in this particular point—