Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/284

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maniac," to weaken the bowling strength of his side. This is a mistake.

Now, as a matter of fact, a man ought to be the very best judge in the world of his own value as a bowler, and consequently ought to know better than any one else when to go on and when to come off. If a man is a good judge of cricket, and can cultivate the faculty of regarding himself and his own cricket dispassionately, there is no reason why he should not be both a bowler and a good captain. In some ways it may be an advantage for a captain to be a bowler, because the fact that he has a practical knowledge of the art of bowling is likely to give him in a fuller degree that theoretical knowledge which is necessary as alone providing many of the principles for the management of bowling. From this point of view the all-round man is perhaps more likely than any other to have a sound knowledge of the game, for he has a practical as well as a theoretical knowledge of it. Hence an all-round man is not unlikely to make a good captain.

We have seen that in managing bowling a captain has to regard both the opposing batsmen and also the state of the wicket. In arranging his field he will still have to regard both those points and the character of the bowling in addition. The proper arrangement of the fieldsmen in particular places must vary according to the kind of balls the bowler is delivering, the state of the wicket, and the stroke the batsman is making or likely to make. The truth of this can very easily be demonstrated, but it is very inadequately recognised. It is the commonest occurrence in the world for captains to have their fields placed without any reference to the variation of conditions. Not a few have a general idea that differences should be made to suit slow, medium, and fast bowlers. But it is quite the exception to see states of wicket and peculiarities of batsmen properly taken into consideration. The variations that should be made are sometimes slight, but it is just the slight variations that make all the difference in the world. Having a fieldsman in a place where he is not needed instead of where he is needed, may mean the loss of 50 or 60 runs that might have been saved. Placing a man a couple of yards too near in, may mean that half-a-dozen catches which might have come to hand are allowed to go untouched. The arrangement of the field is essentially a matter of detail, and it is the omission to provide for one detail that often makes all the difference.

The case is this. The objects of arranging fieldsmen at all