Jeff Thomson took 200 wkts at 28.00 in 51 Tests. If you just consider these stats, it looks a pretty ordinary career compared to Lillee, Hadlee, Imran, Ambrose, Walsh & Marshall.
However, if you remove his first Test in 1972 in which he took 0-110 off 19 overs (he played with a broken foot but didn’t tell anyone in case he got dropped), and only consider his career before he had the sickening collision with Turner in 1976, he had the following record:
15 Tests, 78 wkts @ 24.10 (5/0), SR 46.8
After his pace reducing shoulder injury, his record was:
35 Tests, 122 wkts @ 29.59 (3/0), SR 55.1
Is it fair to say that Jeff Thomson would have been one of the greatest bowlers ever if not for this unfortunate accident when he was only 26?
Some quotes about Thomson:
"He frightened me, and I was sitting 200 yards away" (Keith Miller)
“Thomson's raw pace had left nerves shattered”
“Thomson struck Lloyd so hard in the groin that his protective box was turned inside out”
“Denness noted Lloyd's reaction when he returned to the dressing room after one innings. Within seconds his body was quivering. His neck and the top half of his body in particular were shaking. He was shell-shocked.”