View Poll Results: On the subject of Malcolm Marshall, do you consider ...

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  • ... he was EITHER the best bowler of all-time OR the second-best after SF Barnes

    25 41.67%
  • ... someone other than SF Barnes was better than him

    33 55.00%
  • I have no real interest in cricket history so I don't have much of an opinion on him

    2 3.33%
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Thread: Do you consider Malcolm Marshall...

  1. #31
    Spanish_Vicente sledger's Avatar
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    Not a lot between Barnes and Marshall imo, but I'd pick Marshall as being marginally ahead.

  2. #32
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    I don't know about anyone else, but Barnes and Lohmann are treated by me totally differently because of the fact that Barnes was a 20th-century player and Lohmann a 19th-century one.

    That Lohmann was the best bowler of the 19th-century is, to me, highly likely. That he was one of them is beyond question. However, I've always been happiest to draw a line at 1899 (the turn of the century is the most convenient place, though obviously some of the changes which form the reason for the desire for the line-drawing were gradual) and say that anything then and before is something I'm only keen to compare with itself, and likewise from 1900 onwards.

    Any player from 1899 backwards I'm happy only comparing with other players from 1899 backwards.
    Hmm - Barnes' and Lohmann's careers overlapped yet you feel unable to compare them

  3. #33
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    They overlapped, but hardly by a lot. Lohmann is listed as 1884-1896, Barnes played just 4 First-Class matches in that time and just 6 in the 19th-century.

    I've never considered Barnes a 19th-century player at all, though doubtless had he been backed stronger by someone who recognised his rare talent and was willing to make allowances for his 60-years-ahead-of-time personality then he would have been.
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  4. #34
    International Regular Beleg's Avatar
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    Ambrose, Donald and possibly Akram a wee bit better. But it's the difference between Chicken Tikka Masala and Chicken Masala Tikka.


  5. #35
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredfertang View Post
    History treats Barnes surprisingly kindly in my view. That he was a very good bowler can’t be doubted but he did get nearly half of his test wickets at less than 10 apiece (and had it not been for Herby Taylor that average would have been considerably less) against a South African side that great grandpa Dickinson would have treated with the same disdain as the current generation treats Bangladesh.

    His wickets against Australia (and arguably he missed the series involving the strongest Australian sides of his era) and Yorkshire (who he only bowled against 4 times in championship cricket) cost about 22 and 26 each so rather different

    As for Maco he was undoubtedly a great – a shorter man with a magnificent action, terrific pace and a lethal breakback – a latter day Harold Larwood – but not quite as good
    It is indeed funny how it's much harder to be taken seriously dissecting the careers of legendary figures as opposed to modern players. If someone played 27 tests in this era, half against Bangladesh and half against test-standard sides, it would be a story of a player who was never 100% proven or an unfulfilled talent, rather than the greatest bowler of all time. I seem to remember SJS doing some similar analysis on Sunil Gavaskar's career and coming up with some similar trends that made him appear less legendary than the scripture reads, but his status means he's immune to all such reasoning.

    Maybe that's why i try to just not compare players across eras at all.
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    The Filth have comfortably the better bowling. But the Gash have the batting. Might be quite good to watch.

  6. #36
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    As I say, I don't think comparing SA of 1912 to Bangladesh is fair. WI of 2007 would be a better comparison. Actually possibly not even that; possibly more WI of 2000. A team with many excellent players but who were just not allowed to play because their opposition was of such tremendous calibre.

    And as I've also said, if Barnes had played all Tests during his time as well as regular cricket for a First-Class county, he'd have played 40-odd Tests, 300-odd First-Class games and would almost certainly be irrefutably the greatest bowler in history. The only reason he didn't do this was because of attitudes ahead of his time - nothing at all to do with ability.

  7. #37
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    As I say, I don't think comparing SA of 1912 to Bangladesh is fair. WI of 2007 would be a better comparison. Actually possibly not even that; possibly more WI of 2000. A team with many excellent players but who were just not allowed to play because their opposition was of such tremendous calibre.

    And as I've also said, if Barnes had played all Tests during his time as well as regular cricket for a First-Class county, he'd have played 40-odd Tests, 300-odd First-Class games and would almost certainly be irrefutably the greatest bowler in history. The only reason he didn't do this was because of attitudes ahead of his time - nothing at all to do with ability.
    Think about it Dicko. It's not that far from the case of someone like Shane Bond, only more extreme. Someone plays 20 tests against quality sides averages 21.5. He also plays seven tests against a particularly weak side and averages around 10. Due to weird selection policies, injuries, retirement, whatever, he doesn't play any more test matches. If someone emerged and did that over the next few years, would you consider him the best bowler of all time?

  8. #38
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Bond's case isn't comparable to that though - as I say, Bond's average against Test-class sides is 26.5. And for the last time - SA of 1912 weren't comparable to either Bangladesh or Zimbabwe that Bond faced.

    Aside from the fact that Bond doesn't have the ability to do something no other bowler has ever done - ie, bowl fast Leg-Breaks.

  9. #39
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Bond's case isn't comparable to that though - as I say, Bond's average against Test-class sides is 26.5. And for the last time - SA of 1912 weren't comparable to either Bangladesh or Zimbabwe that Bond faced.

    Aside from the fact that Bond doesn't have the ability to do something no other bowler has ever done - ie, bowl fast Leg-Breaks.
    Obviously, that's why i said a more extreme example. Take the Bond reference out of my post and it still completely stands.

  10. #40
    Hall of Fame Member FaaipDeOiad's Avatar
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    Difficult comparison to make. I prefer Lillee, Hadlee, McGrath and Ambrose as bowlers, though. Also Holding, but that's mainly an aesthetic thing.
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  11. #41
    International 12th Man Rant0r's Avatar
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    hard to compare blokes you haven't seen, not even television footage

  12. #42
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rant0r View Post
    hard to compare blokes you haven't seen, not even television footage
    Bingo.
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  13. #43
    International 12th Man Rant0r's Avatar
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    well at least a lot of us would have seen hilights of the 70's and 80's pace era

    don't think anyone has seen barnes

  14. #44
    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rant0r View Post
    hard to compare blokes you haven't seen, not even television footage
    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat View Post
    Bingo.
    Read a book
    You know it makes sense.

  15. #45
    International 12th Man Rant0r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archie mac View Post
    Read a book
    yes i will read someone elses opinion in order to make my own BRILLIANT!

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