Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/282

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

change from any other. Sometimes it is useful to put on the worst bowler on the side for an over or two, just to see if the very badness of his balls will not get a wicket. The great thing is, never to allow the batsmen to get settled. When the bowling seems on the point of being collared, there is nothing better than to ring the changes quickly on all the bowlers on the side. Any change is better than none when two batsmen seem to be thoroughly at home.

When a bowler is bowling maiden after maiden without getting any one out, it sometimes pays to take him off, sometimes not. A bowler who is doing this may be either bowling so well that the batsmen cannot score off him, or he may be continually beating them but not hitting the wicket. In this case there is no objection to his being kept on, unless he may be taken off with the hope that the batsman will have a hit at a new and less accurate bowler, and so be liable to get himself out. On the other hand, maidens may mean that the bowler is bowling just well enough to keep down the runs, but not well enough to beat the batsmen. In this case he had better come off, as he is simply bowling the batsmen in instead of out. It must not be forgotten that batsmen who know what they are about often refrain from punishing a bowler as severely as they might when they feel at home with his deliveries, for fear of his being taken off and another less suitable to them put on instead. This is the meaning of "nursing" the bowling. Such tactics may easily be detected and defeated by a watchful captain.

A very common mistake is to take off a bowler once and never put him on again. I have often seen a good bowler given too long a spell to begin with, then taken off and never given another turn the whole innings through. It nearly always pays to get the best bowlers on again as soon as circumstances justify it. For instance, if your best bowler cannot get either of the first two batsmen out, and a change is made in favour of an inferior bowler who succeeds in taking a wicket after an over or two, it is a mistake to keep the latter on for long in the hope of his getting several more wickets. It should be remembered that the inferior bowler has probably succeeded purely because his deliveries differed from those of his predecessor, and not through any intrinsic merit. The first bowler should be restored after the change-bowler has had an over or two. Of course here, as everywhere, the captain must be guided by his judgment and discretion. If the change-bowler bowls better than the first one, by all means keep him on, but do not forget the first bowler.