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Thread: SF Barnes

  1. #256
    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJS View Post
    On someone swinging the ball before Bart, who knows. There were those who might have bowled leg breaks like Barnes and managed to bowl one that swung in and then moved away. It would be noticed only if it well directed as well as on a length. In anyevent it would have been an accident rather than design.

    Someone mentioned Warne's ball to Gatting as a sign that he could bowl the same delivery as barnes did, well I wonder why we call it the "Ball of the Century" in that case - if it was so common place in Warney's armoury. Warne himself, in the interviews says, "it just happened" just one of those things.

    I think there is a reason for no swing bowlers and that lies in the history of bowling.

    We will discuss this in detail in the history of cricket thread but here I would say that, probably, since spin and break off the wicket was what bowlers used most to deceive batsman as far as lateral movement is concerned (length and line taken as given) all budding bowlers started with grips that gave them maximum chance of achieving the maximum rotation on the ball to get the maximum lateral movement after pitching. It is difficult to imagine a possibility when it has never ever existed. Its possible that some bowler, or even a kid in a park, bowled a ball that moved in the air and no one took notice. What counts is for someone to do it, even accidentally, and then perhps repeat it and then realise what was happening, then try and find what was happening, try to and eventually master it in the manner Bart King did. There is no record that anyone before ever did it.

    Its quite like with Bosanquet and his tennis ball. He just happened to 'notice' a phenomenon and worked on it. It may have happened before him sure its possible, but if no one did anything about it - it doesn't count
    I just wonder if someone did it on a regular basis before but it was called something else other than swing? Interesting is all.

    As you say as King was the one who could do it on a regular basis he is the father of the art.

    Some say it was not Bosanquet but Reggie Schwarz who came up with the googly. I have not seen much research into this claim but would change cricket history if correct
    You know it makes sense.

  2. #257
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Can't remember off hand where I read it but some writer back before the war wrote that candidates for the first bloke to have actually bowled a googly were a bunch of 1880's Australians Tom Horan, Joey Palmer and Jim Phillips - there's no doubt that Bosanquet perfected it playing "twisti twosti", which is what made him think about it - the Aussies probably didn't twig that the ball going the other way was because they turned their wrists round further - I expect they thought the ball had hit a stone instead

  3. #258
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    Quite possible on those old pitches...

    We must also remember that there were plenty of spin bowlers in Barnes' day. Including exponents of the new found googly. So if cricket writers of the era were inclined to categorise him a spin bowler there were plenty around to be compared to.

    But he wasn't. He was something apart and as he was given the new ball I'd favour calling him a new ball bowler but with an uncanny power of spin.

  4. #259
    State Regular L Trumper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by watson View Post
    Then how do you account for the testimonies by Hollowood and Cardus?

    There is no trickery or ambiguity in their langauge. They are plain and specific in their words.
    Apart from you and kyear2 , no one really seems comfortable calling Barnes a spinner. Besides there were lot of changes to bowling in the meanwhile. During his playing time, there was never a consensus regarding Barnes being a spinner, even though man himself identified as spinner. Considering that I'd hesitate to label him one way or other.


  5. #260
    International Captain Migara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJS View Post
    NO that's not the basic difference between them . . . there is much more to it.

    1. Barnes bowled with the new ball, Kumble didn't.
    2. Barnes was one of the best new ball bowlers in the history of the game - not Kumble
    3. Barnes moved the bal very sharp and very late in to the batsman - Kumble couldn't
    4. Barnes made the ball move very sharply off the pitch from leg stump to hit the off stump - Kumble's leg breaks turned negligibly if at all.


    Not to mention that Barnes bowled with great success both at home and away including against Australia - not Kumble.

    They were a bit different
    And possibly Barnes' sty;e was more succesful with a new ball while Kumble's was with the old ball
    Member of the Sanga fan club. (Ugh! it took me so long to become a real fan of his)

  6. #261
    International Captain Migara's Avatar
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    Looking at last few pages I notice that people are believing cricket hostorians writings as biblical truths. To say the least they are filled with idioms and verbal splendour, more lokks like short stories than technical reports. One have to take out the cream toppings to see the cake.

    1. Barnes was a medium fast bowler? No he wasn't. Pace of early bowlers were notoriously overestimated by cricket historians. Just look at the clip at "British Pathe" where Arthur Morris is bowling. Morris was regarded as "fast", but his run up, action and physique never warrants such pace. To most of the fast medium bowlers of that era, keeper stood up. What was Barnes pace more like? I'd say military medium or just above. Just bit quicker than Kumble, bowling around 100-105k (still damn fast for a spinner).

    2. Did he spin it? Certainly yes. Did he spin it long? May be not on a today's road, but on substandard pitches of 1900s must have been a night mare.

    3. Did he swing it? Yes, must have, but only when bowling the seam up, which would have swung in and hit timber. Did he swing and spin it? No, only superman who can do it, because it defies lwas of physics. But he must have got some serious drift.


    So I decided to give a go at the nets. Unfortunately, I have no clips, but this is what I found. I bowled with an action of a normal medium pacer, and turned the rolled the ball out of the back hand.

    a. It drifts awful lot with this action.
    b. nswing of faster ball looks similar to drift, but batsman hardly has any time to adjust when he's lulled in to security of slow leg cutters
    c. Batsmen found bowling with a new ball difficult to face than an old ball due to bounce it produced

    So I understand, Barnes did this with a front of the hand type action, which would allow still more drift (Legspinners front of the hand legbreak generally drifts alarmingly than stock ball)
    Last edited by Migara; 02-02-2013 at 06:36 PM.

  7. #262
    International Captain watson's Avatar
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    I thought that this essay was quite interesting

    More on how SF Barnes spun his leg break

    I have long been mystified by the legendary success of SF Barnes, and have (so far) failed to find any definitive description of his bowling methods.

    But from the scattered clues I now believe that Barnes stock delivery, the medium paced leg-break, was spun from the front of the hand (palm facing the batter) by using the ring finger of his right hand to flick the ball off his index finger.

    In a description I read in 100 greatest bowlers by Phil Edmonds and Scyld Berry it was said that Barnes held the ball with his index, middle and ring fingers along and touching the seam, and that he could bowl off breaks and leg breaks without much change of action - but that the leg-break was his usual and most devastating delivery.

    It seems clear from pictures and written accounts that Barnes bowled from the front of his hand (palm facing the batter) so that a conventional leg-spinner's bac-of-hand leg-break is not a possibility. And a front of hand delivery would usually imply that Barnes bowled leg-cutters - a delivery in which spin is imparted by cutting the fingers across the left hand side of the ball as it is released. However this is not probable, because leg -cutters have never been very much use except as surprise variations, and anyway Barnes denied in interviews that he bowled leg-cutters - he said that he spun the ball.

    To spin the ball implies that the ball is gripped with the fingers when spin is imparted - not that (as with a leg cutter) the fingers are scraped down the edge of the ball at the moment of release.

    But if Barnes actually spun a leg-break from the front of his hand, then this would generate very little spin, due to the normal anatomical restrictions on movement in that direction. Technically, the wrist rotation depends on forearn rotation - and the action of supination from the starting position of having the middle finger pointing upwards, the forearm rotation which generates off spin has a much larger range of movement (about 180 degrees) than the action of pronation which generates leg spin (probably less than 90 degrees).

    So Barnes must have flicked the ball with his fingers. Specifically, from this (and other) photographs it looks as if Barnes has his ring finger curled along the seam so as to flick a leg break off his index finger:

    Sydney Barnes | England Cricket | Cricket Players and Officials | ESPN Cricinfo

    This is a different kind of finger flick from that used by Jack Iverson or Ajantha Mendis - since Iverson and Mendis use the middle finger to flick the ball off the thumb.

    Because the middle finger is longer and stronger than the ring finger, I assume that Iverson and Mendis were able to impart more rapid rotations on the ball than Barnes. However, in order to flick a leg break off the thumb, the bowler must rotate the wrist so that the thumb faces towards first slip (roughly). This means that the ball is delivered almost from the side of the hand, which reduces its pace.

    Barnes method enabled him to deliver the ball with the palm almost facing the batter, so enabling him to bowl at a brisk medium pace (and open the bowling). Together with Barnes supreme accuracy and the bounce due to his height and upright action, the moderate leg spin was devastating.

    I presume that Barnes off break was delivered in an almost conventional fashion, except that the ball was gripped between index and ring fingers, instead of the usual grip between index and middle fingers.

    Alternatively, it is possible Barnes could have rotated his wrist and flicked an off break/ googly from the back of his hand using his ring finger - but I would guess that this would have been easy for the batter to pick since the googly would have been visibly delivered from the back of the hand, and also much slower.

    If it is correct that Barnes flicked his leg breaks off his index finger using the ring finger then this might explain why apparently nobody has been able to copy his action (except, according to his own account, Ian Peebles, early in his career - although Peebles did not explain the nature of his action, merely that he used the same method as Barnes).

    It is remarkable that Barnes ring finger, a finger which is usually weaker and harder to control than other fingers, could generate sufficient power and exert sufficient control to yield the kind of results Barnes achieved; and that the finger joints could stand up to the strain of so much bowling for so many years.

    The Doosra: More on how SF Barnes spun his leg break
    Last edited by watson; 02-02-2013 at 06:42 PM.
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  8. #263
    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Migara View Post
    Looking at last few pages I notice that people are believing cricket hostorians writings as biblical truths. To say the least they are filled with idioms and verbal splendour, more lokks like short stories than technical reports. One have to take out the cream toppings to see the cake.

    1. Barnes was a medium fast bowler? No he wasn't. Pace of early bowlers were notoriously overestimated by cricket historians. Just look at the clip at "British Pathe" where Arthur Morris is bowling. Morris was regarded as "fast", but his run up, action and physique never warrants such pace. To most of the fast medium bowlers of that era, keeper stood up. What was Barnes pace more like? I'd say military medium or just above. Just bit quicker than Kumble, bowling around 100-105k (still damn fast for a spinner).

    2. Did he spin it? Certainly yes. Did he spin it long? May be not on a today's road, but on substandard pitches of 1900s must have been a night mare.

    3. Did he swing it? Yes, must have, but only when bowling the seam up, which would have swung in and hit timber. Did he swing and spin it? No, only superman who can do it, because it defies lwas of physics. But he must have got some serious drift.


    So I decided to give a go at the nets. Unfortunately, I have no clips, but this is what I found. I bowled with an action of a normal medium pacer, and turned the rolled the ball out of the back hand.

    a. It drifts awful lot with this action.
    b. nswing of faster ball looks similar to drift, but batsman hardly has any time to adjust when he's lulled in to security of slow leg cutters
    c. Batsmen found bowling with a new ball difficult to face than an old ball due to bounce it produced

    So I understand, Barnes did this with a front of the hand type action, which would allow still more drift (Legspinners front of the hand legbreak generally drifts alarmingly than stock ball)
    Arthur Morris the left handed opening batsman? Or is there another AM who was a fast bowler?

    If it is AM the batsman, comparing his pace would be like showing the next generation a film of Martin batting and saying how bad the batsman of today were

  9. #264
    International Captain Migara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archie mac View Post
    Arthur Morris the left handed opening batsman? Or is there another AM who was a fast bowler?

    If it is AM the batsman, comparing his pace would be like showing the next generation a film of Martin batting and saying how bad the batsman of today were
    Arthur Mold, I beg your pardon.

    Arthur Mold | England Cricket | Cricket Players and Officials | ESPN Cricinfo

  10. #265
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    I've seen film of Mold. If its the same one mentioned here then its risible making a judgment abt his pace from that. He was just mucking around in a net attempting to prove he wasn't a thrower. Abt as authentic as saying Mitch Johnson was a spin bowler if the only surviving film of him was the net he had at the WACA the other day.

    Back in the day fast bowlers cracked heads and broke fingers like they still do. You can only do that if you have the requisite speed. Unless you're desperate enough to argue that humanity's bones were chalkier back then and using your feeble grand father as evidence.

  11. #266
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the big bambino View Post
    I've seen film of Mold. If its the same one mentioned here then its risible making a judgment abt his pace from that. He was just mucking around in a net attempting to prove he wasn't a thrower. Abt as authentic as saying Mitch Johnson was a spin bowler if the only surviving film of him was the net he had at the WACA the other day.

    Back in the day fast bowlers cracked heads and broke fingers like they still do. You can only do that if you have the requisite speed. Unless you're desperate enough to argue that humanity's bones were chalkier back then and using your feeble grand father as evidence.
    ........ I'm afraid there are a few on these boards who do the same - the thing I find remarkable is the way that plenty of people whose opinions are listened to and accepted by them express the view that Frank Tyson was ****ing quick.

    That said Neville Cardus, who saw Mold, Larwood and Tyson bowl, and described all three as quick, is condemned as some sort of incurable romantic who actually knew nothing about the game

  12. #267
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    Believe me Fred when it comes to deciding who to believe - Neville Cardus or someone who writes off the game's entire past bcos he saw an old clip of Arthur Mold - I think I know who's opinion I'll trust.

    The idea that bowling speeds must have improved bcos the game has evolved is an easy mistake to make. But lets test it over the time span most would be familiar. Since the 1970s pactically every athletic record has been broken. So, if the argument is to be sustained, we must now bowl faster than anyone who bowled in the 70s or 80s. If anyone believes that then they should be happy to explain why they think Peter Siddle is faster than Jeff Thomson for example. I'd find that entertaining.

  13. #268
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the big bambino View Post
    Believe me Fred when it comes to deciding who to believe - Neville Cardus or someone who writes off the game's entire past bcos he saw an old clip of Arthur Mold - I think I know who's opinion I'll trust.

    The idea that bowling speeds must have improved bcos the game has evolved is an easy mistake to make. But lets test it over the time span most would be familiar. Since the 1970s pactically every athletic record has been broken. So, if the argument is to be sustained, we must now bowl faster than anyone who bowled in the 70s or 80s. If anyone believes that then they should be happy to explain why they think Peter Siddle is faster than Jeff Thomson for example. I'd find that entertaining.
    .... and of course were there a shred of merit in that sort of argument then someone in the last hundred years, it seems to me anyway, would have emulated Albert Trott and hit the ball over the Lord's Pavilion

  14. #269
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    It seems the modern skeptic believes in the bravado of his own opinion. Imagine if he had actual stats and figures? Why I bet he could extrapolate into the past and discover a time when mankind was so weak he couldn't even propel a ball 22 yards.

    [sarc off]
    Last edited by the big bambino; 03-02-2013 at 05:46 AM.

  15. #270
    International Captain Migara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the big bambino View Post
    Believe me Fred when it comes to deciding who to believe - Neville Cardus or someone who writes off the game's entire past bcos he saw an old clip of Arthur Mold - I think I know who's opinion I'll trust.

    The idea that bowling speeds must have improved bcos the game has evolved is an easy mistake to make. But lets test it over the time span most would be familiar. Since the 1970s pactically every athletic record has been broken. So, if the argument is to be sustained, we must now bowl faster than anyone who bowled in the 70s or 80s. If anyone believes that then they should be happy to explain why they think Peter Siddle is faster than Jeff Thomson for example. I'd find that entertaining.
    Yeah, what a brilliant analogy! Comparing the some one midway with his pace with the quickest!. and BTW Akthar and Zahid were quicker than Thompson, and Lee was as quick as him. 3 is to 1 over 40 year time period. Now how would it be 100 years back!.

    And people who take cricket historians as prophets might disagree. But seeing is believing than reading 3rd party accounts. Arthur mold with such a fat belly and round arm action bowling at 90mph must be a big joke. Come on guys! And keepers of yester year taking stumpings off fast medium bowlers! Keeprs of those days must have been mutated kind to have such quick reflexes to take a 130-135k ball down the leg side. Phew!
    Last edited by Migara; 03-02-2013 at 05:54 AM.

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