Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/276

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their back-play; some, again, though not many, who are strong in every direction. Again, batsmen differ in temperament, some being impetuous and hasty, others dogged and patient. All these points must be noticed and studied, and every piece of information used against the batsmen,—for each style of batting has certain inherent weaknesses. Forcing bats are liable to be bowled out in attempting their usual strokes at good-length balls, or may often be got rid of by judicious feeding of their best strokes. Defensive players are often best treated with a tricky slow bowler, for they can be frequently "diddled" or humbugged out. Forward-players are naturally weakest at those bowlers who should be played back—for instance, at slow left-handers, leg-breakers, or lob-bowlers; back-players should be plied with bowlers who should be played forward, and so on.

But it must not be forgotten that a captain has to work with a limited amount of material. He has only a certain number of bowlers at his command in a match. What he has to do is to make the best possible use of what bowling he has. When the innings begins, the first question he has to decide is, with which two bowlers to commence the attack. He should be guided by one or two considerations. As the main object is to get a wicket as soon as possible, he should choose those two bowlers who are most likely on the particular wicket to get one or both of the two incoming batsmen out. With regard to the batsmen, enough has been said to show the kind of reasoning to adopt. As to the wicket, certain bowlers are more suitable than others on certain wickets. For instance, a fast bowler cannot do himself any justice unless he can get a foothold. He is best suited for hard wickets. On dead wickets slow bowlers are generally easy, because their deliveries come so slowly off the pitch that the batsmen can watch them. Medium-pace bowlers are the best upon dead and upon wet wickets, because they can generally manage to stand, and because they have enough pace to prevent the batsman stepping back and doing what he likes with good-length balls. On sticky or difficult wickets, in general, good slow or medium-pace bowlers are the most suitable, because they can bowl difficult balls with plenty of break, without sending down loose deliveries that give the batsmen chances of scoring without having to endanger their wickets. It is a great mistake to use a leg-break bowler much on a sticky wicket for this very reason. In any case, the two bowlers to go on first are the two that are most likely to bowl best under the existing conditions. Now, in most cases they will be the two recognised