It is not straight forward exercise. It has varied over time and even gone back and forth.
India, for example, produced weak batsmen (against world class pace attacks) for most of the first half of their cricket history. They still do if we stop looking through the coloured spectacles of the shorter formats which do not punish ill equipped batsmen enough.
Similarly, there was a time when England produced the best finger spinners (particularly left arm) in the world and this lasted for a very very long period of time viz Rhodes, Verity, Peel, Briggs, Blythe, Laker. This hasn't now been true for decades.
Because of the lateral movement in the air and off the wicket in the English conditions they also produced great medium pacers and the best openers in the history of the game. Thus barnes, Tate, Bedser were the world's greatest swerve and swing bowlers for the first sixty years of the 20th century while Hobbs, Sutcliffe, Hutton dominate the list of openers for about the same period. Again this monopoly is finished.
West Indies, after a weak start like most newbies, consolidated into a staggering batting line up in the fifties and sixties with an attack that had some fast, though not always accurate bowlers, and a couple of world class spinner. Twenty years later they had started producing fast bowlers in numbers that were enough to send a pair to most of the leading Test nations and still have a pair left at home :o) The batting continued to be strong.
This was to soon fall apart and both world class fast bowlers and batsmen suddenly stopped appearing among the debutants.
Thus any list one tries to may need some qualifiers.
1. Generally the wickets with pace and bounce will help nourish bowlers with pace and leg spinners. The batsmen brought up here will be, relatively speaking, freer stroking batsmen strong off the backfoot. Australia showed that for a long time till the wickets started changing in character somewhat in the last 3-4 decades.
2. The wetter and heavier ambience and, relatively, softer and greener wickets will produce bowlers with lateral movement both in the air and off the wicket. These conditions will reward fast medium bowlers and many may find the extra effort to reach real pace not commensurate in rewards. The batsmen will tend to be, relatively, more cautious and prefer to play off the front foot more.
3. Dry and dusty tracks will allow spinners of all hues to prosper and will prove the death knell of pace bowlers. The batsmen will be stroke players and will play spin and medium pace (without excessive lateral movement) like champions but flounder against real pace, on pacy bouncy tracks and against good lateral movement.
4. On the hard, dry wickets with some bounce, as the West Indies used to have traditionally, the batsmen will turn out to be stroke players who will play well off the backfoot as well as any body. Bowlers of real pace will be the one's to get something out of these wickets. Medium pacers will be put to the sword.
As the shorter format has become more and more important financially in the game, the wickets, which were earlier differentiated based on how they assisted (or defeated) the bowlers, are now beginning to move to a more common look of batsman friendly wickets. The Test wickets are not always the same but in many countries the character of the surface has changed, mostly to favour the batsman. Thus it is going to become more and more difficult to predict what will come as far as bowling talent is concerned in the years to come. One thing can be predicted though, unless the Indian board gets its act together and moves towards more sporting wickets, this one country will produce poor bowling attacks in all varieties, fast, medium pace and even spin. The batting standards will fall alongside with batting averages fattened on 'pata' wickets against mediocre attacks making it impossible for batsmen to know how useless they are going to be in different conditions and against better attacks.
Last edited by SJS; 14-01-2013 at 07:10 AM.