Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/272

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

position where he may find the bowHng rather slack, and consequently just to his taste; while if matters go wrong through a bad wicket or bad luck, he is just the man for the desperate measures required to set things right, and he goes in at a time when such requirements can be realised. On the whole, when a side possesses only one hitter he had better go in sixth or seventh. Here it may be pointed out that when a wicket is really difficult, good hitting pays better than good play of either sort; indeed on a real bowler wicket the more hitting is done the better. So under such conditions all the forcing bats should be moved rather higher up in the order.

Bowlers affect the arrangement in this way. If they are good for runs the sooner they go in the better, so that they may get in their runs and then have plenty of time to rest and recover before they have to bowl. Care must be taken, however, not with the point in. view to force better bats down too low.

With regard to fanciful players. Some men like a particular place in the order, and feel that they are less likely to make runs if not allowed to get this. It is a mistake to disregard such fancies entirely, for though they may be unreasonable they do undoubtedly affect their possessors' play. Unless, then, the captain feels quite certain that he is muddling his order or making his batting strength materially less effective, he does well to humour them.

The original order is of course subject to such modifications as circumstances may require during the progress of the game. For instance, it sometimes pays to send in an inferior bat, who can still bat a bit, as a stop-gap for a few minutes before time, to avoid the chance of losing a valuable player. Just before the close of play a good player going in has everything to lose and nothing to gain. His batting for a few minutes does not help to get him well s6t, and his desire not to lose his wicket is likely to make him nervous and put him off his game. A steady player who usually goes in late is the best stop-gap. Again, if a player feels unwell he should be put in later than usual, because he has time to recover somewhat, and in any case is less efficient than he is usually. As a general rule, however, it does not pay to make alterations in the first order. Indeed it is very often fatal suddenly to upset the usual arrangement. The batsmen feel like fish out of water, and go in thinking—as they ought not to be doing—about other things than playing the ball. The order should not be altered without good reason.

A captain should keep an eye on matters while the other men