Farmer White

JOHN CORNISH WHITE, the leading amateur slow bowler of the day, was born at Holford, near Taunton on February 19, 1891. Educated at Taunton School, he, as a boy, enjoyed the advantage of being coached by the late E. J. Tyler, and from that Somerset professional he considers he learned much of what he knows about bowling. He has been a regular member of the Somerset eleven singe 1913 and captain of the side during the past two years and never once since the war has he failed to take a hundred wickets during the season. In addition to possessing much power of spinning the ball and great command of length, White uses his brains as much as any bowler of the present time. Given a wicket at all tricky, he spins the ball and, pitching on the leg stump to go across, never gives the batsman any peace. His faster ball on the bad wicket is well disguised, for he makes no difference in the pace of his run up to the wicket. On the hard wicket which gives the bowler no help, White depends mostly on flight, a slight swerve in the air, and a slow ball well outside the off-stump to which is imparted real finger-spin. With a certain wind to help him, White swerves late and makes the ball dip. With any wind against him, he will make the ball swerve and he is one of the few bowlers who can control the swerve so that the ball does not do too much. A most unselfish cricketer, White, who has captained Somerset extremely well, will give the star bowlers the end they prefer while he keeps the batsman unhappy at the other wicket. The value of White in Australia as a rest bowler will never perhaps be realised except by those who have played in the recent Test matches: whenever there has been a wicket, to use, and he has had his chance, he has taken it. As a number 9 bat, even on a very strong side, he is courageous and on a weak side may turn round a game by good hitting. As a ground field he is fair; as a catcher he is very good for he never misses an easy catch and brings off some good ones.

© John Wisden & Co