Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/96

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three overs in succession consisting entirely of medium-pace balls. Occasionally an entire over of slows might be delivered. An excessive use of fast balls should be avoided, because the extra effort required to increase pace is a considerable strain upon a bowler's strength. This caution is particularly necessary in the case of boys. Boys are very fond of bowling beyond their strength—anything for pace. And this is frequently the cause of the early deterioration and failure of many a promising youngster. Boys cannot be too strongly advised never to bowl beyond their strength. If they want to practise change of pace, let them rely chiefly on balls slower than their ordinary ones. The faster balls should be few and far between. Even men, by thus husbanding their strength, will be able to bowl for a much longer time. It is for this reason that I advise the medium-pace bowler never to try more than one fast ball in an over. I once asked Tom Richardson why he did not bowl "yorkers" more frequently. He replied, "The extra yard or so is too much effort. I want to last the season out, sir." Now the extra effort Richardson has to make to turn a good-length ball into a "yorker" exactly corresponds to that required of a medium-pace bowler in order to bowl a fast ball.

When a bowler wants to send down a ball slower than usual, he holds the ball less tightly, and in such a way that, in delivering it, much of the action, instead of taking effect on the ball, is wasted on the air; or else he checks his action imperceptibly, in a way impossible to describe. Mr S. M. J. Woods, before he took to making his looo runs a-year, used to change his pace in a most marvellous manner. Lohmann, too, had reduced the trick to a fine art. Some bowlers in changing their pace raise the arm above, or drop it below, its usual height. This was a favourite device of Alfred Shaw, which frequently made the batsman wonder what was going to happen, and thus put him into two minds. Every bowler must work out the idea for himself. If he masters the art of changing his pace, his side will have frequent cause to bless him when the sky is brazen and the wicket smooth and hard as vulcanite.

Now we come to "break," and how it is effected. The accepted meanings of the terms off-break and leg-break have been explained. For the sake of convenience, all bowlers are regarded as right-hand. There is no difficulty in applying to left-handers what is said about right-handers. "Break" is the result of a spin which, previously imparted to the ball, takes effect when the ball meets the ground. It is analogous to the "side" on a billiard--