Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/279

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257
CAPTAINCY.

pace right-hand. This is, of course, absurd. The proper procedure is to select the best man of four totally different kinds, provided there is in each kind a bowler who comes up to a certain standard. I think that an eleven ought always to contain two medium-pace bowlers—one right-hand, the other left—for medium-pace bowlers are the most generally useful. Then it should contain the best available fast right-hand bowler, and the best available slow bowler, either right or left. These four should be selected without any reference to their batting, if their bowling reaches a certain standard of excellence. When the choice lies between two men of equal bowling but unequal batting or fielding ability, the choice would naturally fall upon the better bat or field. In making up an eleven where the limited area of selection precludes the possibility of getting a first-rater of each class, the aim should be to supply the deficiency in one class or the other by including the best bat who can bowl fairly well in the style that is lacking. By this means the required variety in the attack is secured without weakening the batting of the side too much. It sometimes happens that no really good bowlers are available. Under these circumstances selection committees often make the mistake of including purely as bowlers players who are really no better bowlers than several already selected as bats. It is far better to strengthen the batting than to include as bowlers men who are not really bowlers, but who by a curious process of misjudgment are regarded as such simply because they cannot bat.

But to return. The changing of bowling is one of the most difficult duties of the captain. It requires great judgment and the closest attention to the game. Anything more useless than for the captain to put on bowlers for . equal intervals without any reference to the game is inconceivable. The very virtue of a change is to meet some observed requirement. Consequently, if a captain retires to the long-field, leaves things to take care ot themselves, amuses himself with extraneous thoughts, or goes to sleep, he is scarcely likely, when he does think fit to order a change, to choose the right one.

The object of changing the bowling is twofold: first, to rest the stock-bowlers or the bowlers who are for the occasion doing most of the work; secondly, to try what a new kind of bowling will do towards getting rid of a batsman who seems at home with that being employed at the time.

A change of bowling should be rather differently made in each of these cases. Supposing a captain has only two good bowlers upon whom he can rely to get the opposing side out, he must