Originally Posted by Monk
How do Snow and Botham compare as bowlers? Would it be possible to argue for Botham's inclusion instead of Snow?
Statistically, Trueman is the only English bowler comparable with the statistical great fast bowlers (Marshall, McGrath, Ambrose, bowling averages close to 20). I know stats aren't everything etc.
Larwood is rated very highly, in spite of him figures. Not sure how to classify SF Barnes and those other early era guys.
England really haven't had many truly great fast bowlers, whereas Australia have had Lindwall, Miller, Lillee & McGrath (and Spofforth/Turner if we want to go back to ancient times), and the WIs have had, well, you know all of them. I guess the truly great aren't that common.
Alan McGilvray makes a good point when he selects his ATG England team in 'The Game Goes On', page 217 ;
Freddie was certainly a fine bowler and it is difficult to leave him out. But he did not have the same strike power that Alec Bedser, in his prime, and John Snow had. Bedser had marvellous control of the ball, and got plenty of wickets against perhaps the best batting side Australia has fielded. Snow had that rare capacity to make the ball rise sharply off a good length, and for all Freddie's fire and fury, Snow was simply a better bowler.
Botham could easily sit at No.7-8 in the batting order and add greater batting depth to the order as well as be a fabulous swing bowler.
But really, it is hard to go past the strike-power of Snow. It is possible to make a good case that John Snow was the best England quick of the modern era.