CricketArchive

A profile of Jack Hobbs
by Dave Liverman


Player:JB Hobbs

Jack Hobbs is a strong candidate for the greatest batsman ever, with a career that was interrupted by the First World War, but still resulted in 197 centuries. Although growing up in Cambridge, he played for Surrey, and became the consummate opening batsman, with a solid defence and a powerful attacking game, showing mastery of most strokes. He was known as one of the best runners between the wickets in the game, especially with his regular opening partners, Hayward and Sandham for Surrey; Rhodes and Sutcliffe for England. He was remarkable in his ability to play high quality bowling on bad pitches, especially Australian sticky wickets. He was also a splendid fielder, running out many from his favoured position in the covers, and a respectable fast- medium change bowler.

"He had all the gifts of a great batsman. They included the qualities of understanding and sensitivity to a degree that made him unique. Others scored faster; hit the ball harder; more obviously murdered bowling. No-one else, though, ever batted with more consummate skill than his, which was based essentially on an infallible sympathy with the bowled ball. Although he could improvise with quite impish virtuosity, it is no exaggeration to say that frequently - even generally - the spectator felt that the stroke he played seemed so natural as to be inevitable - or as if a choreographer had designed it as the rhythmically and poetically logical consequence of the bowler's delvery." (From Jack Hobbs - profile of 'the Master' by John Arlott)

(Article: Copyright © 2003 Dave Liverman)



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