Rvd, with the greatest of respect, it all sounds like a lot of 'what ifs' and excuses, and potential that was never fulfilled.
- The first series I'll give you as decent. Just coming into the side - can't really say a bad word about it.
- However, when talking about the Timeless Test, you mention Larwood's 3/82 and 3/34, however all the English bowlers were flourishing. Tate got 3/40 & 1/12, Rhodes got 2/35 & 4/44, etc. It wasn't a difficult day to be an English bowler.
- For the next Ashes, you argue the First Test was a batsman's pitch, yet the Australian's made scores of 122ao and 66ao. Jack White
(who indeed) took a sterling 4/7, Tate was also once again in the money with excellent match figures of 5/76.
- You refer to Larwood's massive workload throughout the rest of the series. However, the second test shows Maurice Tate bowled a shade under 50 overs in the fourth innings, having already bowled 21 in the first. In the third test, Larwood's 'workload' further decreased as he managed two less overs for the match. Tate once again had a 46-over inning in the first, and matched it with 47 overs in the third. In the fourth, Tate again bowled a tremendous amount more (22 overs throughout the game) and ended with four wickets. However, the star of the show was without doubt Jack White who bowler over 120 overs, nabbing 13 wickets in the process. Larwood was given a back seat. As for the fifth, Larwood was again outbowled, in overs and figures. As you suggested, the Australians batted incredibly slowly at 1.80 runs per over. However, it wasn't Larwood who took on the extra bowling. It was again Maurice Tate, who bowled 62 overs in the first innings, and George Geary, another fast [medium] bowler, who bowled 71. Tate against bowled more in the final inning to take his overs to the game to 100 - an extraordinary achievement for a fast bowler.
- He was once again outbowled by Maurice Tate in the South African series, again in both workload and overall figures. He was also outbowled by 41-year old leg-spinner Tich Freeman, who ripped through the poor South African side, who [with the exception of Bruce Mitchell] had no-one we would consider in an ATG side.
- The 1930 Ashes was much the same. Outbowled by Tate again, as well as newcomers such as Ian Peebles.
- I won't refute any comments you made on the bodyline series as I am firmly of the belief it was quite easily his greatest series. He bowled excellently, by all accounts. But one series doesn't make the greatest bowler of all-time. Maurice Tate would be turning in his grave.