Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/283

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261
CAPTAINCY.

One of the very best changes is a slow leg-break bowler; but unless he is a very good one, he should only be kept on for a few overs at a time. Batsmen treat such bowlers much as trout do a cast of flies: they either rise at once or never. So a leg-breaker generally gets a wicket in the course of three or four overs or not at all. Quite a moderate "leg-toss" bowler is a very useful change, as indeed is even a bad lob-bowler. The point is to use such material just enough and no more.

When a side is furnished with only a little bowling, but that little very good, the problem before the captain is so to arrange his changesi. that he gets the best value out of his valuable material. On the other hand, where there is plenty of bowling, none of which is at all good, the aim should be to increase the value of each bowler by never letting the batsmen really get hold of him. In the former case, changes should be made principally to rest the good bowlers; in the latter, for the sake of the change itself, as likely to make the moderate bowling as difficult as possible for the batsmen. Naturally these two conditions of changes of bowling often cross and combine. This is especially the case when a side is neither particularly strong nor particularly weak in bowling.

It will be seen that a captain in making his changes must take into consideration not only what the bowlers are doing, but how the batsmen are playing. Some captains seem to know by intuition exactly when a change should be made. I think the way to cultivate this power of being inspired, as it were, with the right course to pursue, comes from a close and continual sympathy with the bowlers. A captain should identify himself with his bowlers, so that he is all the time bowling in the spirit himself. He then has more or less the right feeling towards the progress of the game, and can manage his bowling in a telling manner. The faculty of putting himself in other people's positions is one of the most valuable for a captain to cultivate.

That a captain should himself be a bowler is usually considered unadvisable. The idea is, that he is likely to bowl either too much or too little. There is something in this. We all know, especially in club cricket, the captain who goes on to bowl at one end and remains a fixture there, any changes being made at the other end. This "bowlomania" is absolutely fatal in a captain, and is very difficult to cure. Then there is the captain who, though a good or useful bowler, cannot be persuaded to go on at all, or at any rate as often as he should. Obviously such a captain allows shyness or modesty, or a fear of being considered a "bowlo-