Question: Bedser achieved five ten-wicket matches in his 51 Tests, or a very good ratio of one in ten - how many bowlers with at least 50 Tests have as good or better a ratio as this?
Spider says: Actually there are only three who have a better ratio than Bedser's 9.8% - Dennis Lillee (10%), Richard Hadlee (10.5%), and Muttiah Muralitharan (16.7%). Of players with at least twenty Test appearances, Sydney Barnes is well ahead with seven from 27 Tests, or almost 26%. If we reduce the threshold all the way to ten Tests, then Tom Richardson has the best ratio with four out of 14 for almost 29%.
Q: How about Bedser's 15 five-wicket innings in 51 Tests, how does that fare?
A :With players who appeared in at least 50 Tests, the same three players manage to best Bedser - Murali (an astonishing 66 in 132 Tests, or a ratio of 50%), Hadlee, with almost 42% (36 in 86 appearances) and Lillee, 23 in 70 Tests for almost 33%. With a reduced threshold of 20 Tests, then once again Barnes is top with a scarcely believable 24 5-fers in only 27 matches (almost 89%). Barnes is also top with a threshold of ten Tests, with Richardson a close second with eleven 5-fers in 14 Tests. England's Bob Willis has most 5-fers without a ten wicket match, with 16.
Q: How about in Ashes Tests?
A: For those with at least 20 Tests (Bedser had two 10-wicket hauls in 21 Ashes Tests), only four bowlers have a better ratio of 10-wicket matches than Bedser - Hughie Trumble, Johnny Briggs (both three in 31), Shane Warne (four in 36) and Dennis Lillee (four in 29). As for 5-fers in Ashes Tests, only Lillee (11 in 29), Grimmett (11 in 22) and Barnes (12 in 20) head Bedser's seven in 21.
Bedser has excellent best Ashes match figures of 14 for 99 - who can beat that?
Actually only three players can beat that - the famous Jim Laker figures of 19 for 90
, Wilfred Rhodes 15-124
and Fred Spofforth with 14-90
. England all-rounder Billy Bates also took 14 wickets
, at a cost of 102 runs.
Bedser took eleven wickets in his first Test - how many others have managed eleven or better on debut?
Bedser's eleven on debut has been bested by only four players in the history of Test cricket - Narendra Hirwani
and Bob Massie
each took 16, and Fred Martin
and Jason Krezja
both took 12 on debut.
Q: How about in First-Class cricket - where does Beder stand in regards to career wickets?
A: Bedser took 1924 wickets in his career, just behind Jim Laker in 39th place overall. Pride of place goes to Wilfred Rhodes with 4204 wickets.