Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/482

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arm bowling came in, the sum-total of bowlable balls was again increased. An under-arm bowler can make the ball twist—that is, curl off the ground—but he cannot make it break or bump; a round-arm can make the ball twist from leg and break somewhat from the off and also cause it to swing across the wicket; an over-arm can do all these things and also make the ball bump. All three kinds differ in the flight of the ball in the air and in its manner of coming from the pitch.

Naturally a batsman had to know more strokes as the number of balls to be played increased; so the development of batting must have gone hand in hand with that of bowling. The change from under- to round-arm was begun by Mr John Willes in 1822, and the style became general about 1827. F. W. Lillywhite was the great exponent of the innovation. He and a bowler named Broadbridge were so good that Sussex was able to play All England on level terms. Those must have been good days! But, apart from its gradual adaptation to the requirerhents of changes in bowling style, there is one great landmark that separates the old batting from the new—the appearance of Dr W. G. Grace in the cricket world. In 1865 W. G. came fully before the public that has admired and loved him ever since. He revolutionised batting. He turned it from an accomplishment into a science. All I know of old-time batting is, of course, gathered from books and older players, but the impression left on my mind is this: Before W. G. batsmen were of two kinds,—a batsman played a forward game or he played a back game. Each player, too, seems to have made a specialty of some particular stroke. The criterion of style was, as it were, a certain mixed method of play. It was bad cricket to hit a straight ball; as for pulling a slow long-hop, it was regarded as immoral. What W. G. did was to unite in his mighty self all the good points of all the good players, and to make utility the criterion of style. He founded the modern theory of batting by making forward- and back-play of equal importance, relying neither on the one nor on the other, but on both. Any cricketer who thinks for a moment can see the enormous change W. G. introduced into the game. I hold him to be, not only the finest player born or unborn, but the maker of modern batting. He turned the old one-stringed instrument into a many-chorded lyre. And, in addition, he made his execution equal his invention. All of us now have the instrument, but we lack his execution. It is not that we do not know, but that we cannot perform. Before W. G. batsmen did not know what could be made of