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Thread: Where does Alan Davidson sit amongst the pantheon of great fast bowlers?

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    International Regular stephen's Avatar
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    Where does Alan Davidson sit amongst the pantheon of great fast bowlers?

    Alan Davidson | Australia Cricket | Cricket Players and Officials | Cricinfo.com

    Where does AK Davidson sit amongst the all time great fast bowlers?

    His test match career was a decade long, he finished with one of the greatest averages of all time, he was a genuine allrounder (although more of the Hadlee type than the Miller or Sobers type) and had one of the best economy rates of all time.

    Why does it seem that he is always left out of discussions about the greatest fast bowlers of all time?

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    State Vice-Captain Blakus's Avatar
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    Sits just outside the top 10 fast bowlers for me.

    For 5 years from 1958 onwards, he was absolutely brilliant averaging just under 20. Didn't do to much outside those 5 years however, so suffers in the longevity stakes.

    Personally always find it hard to separate between him and Lindwall for a berth in the Aussie all time XI. As an allround package, there are few better than him.

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    Global Moderator Teja.'s Avatar
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    Over Lillee, Over Lindwall, Under McGrath, would make it to my Aus XI.

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    International Coach morgieb's Avatar
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    The fact that he averaged <20 for most of the career (where most people who did that didn't play after WWI), and all the guns had quit by his peak, means he's probably one the best to play. I agree with the notion that he was underrated.
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    Above Lindwall and below Lillee and McGrath.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    His career at the top was incredibly short - just 5 years really and then at 33 he was gone - I don't suppose it helps that the series that he played in so successfully were either fairly dull or remembered for other things (the tied Test in 60/61 and the throwing controversy of 58/59) - but his record speaks for itself and he signed off appropriately taking a wicket with his last ball in Test cricket

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    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    Yeah, despite his amazing average, the brevity of his career really precludes him from being considered amongst the truly top tier of great bowlers IMO.
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    International Captain Migara's Avatar
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    Why did he retire at 33 from tests and at 34 from FCC?
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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Migara View Post
    Why did he retire at 33 from tests and at 34 from FCC?
    I presume its the usual one for Australians of that vintage that as he was, essentially, an amateur cricketer, that family pressures etc meant he had to get on with earning a living

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    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    Got a feeling there may have been an injury concern as well? Would have to go check though. Really, back then (actually, these days as well), 33 was pretty long in the tooth for a quick - the end comes pretty quickly for most of them around that time.

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    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    From The Don's foreword to Davidson's autobiography:
    "Regretably, and all too soon, the chapter is closed. And yet I cannot help agreeing with Alan's decision to leave the stage whilst his ability and reputation stand so high in the public image.

    He could have gone on. Another English tour was virtually certain and many more dazzling performances. But in this exacting world the claims of a business careeer cannot be delayed too long nor can the family commitments be overlooked, especially when an increasing number of international tours* seems to be forthcoming.

    On the field of play only the individual fully appreciates how each passing year makes it just a little harder to get fit and stay fit, and just a little easier for muscles to tear instead of stretch. And Alan was rather prone to injury and mishaps so that he fully understood the hazards.
    "

    * - at the end of the book, Davidson devotes half a chapter to spelling out in detail how players in his time actually lost money to go overseas on a tour, as well as the attendent problems of being able to hold down a job, and losing seniority/chances for promotion.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    I dug out the book as well - it really was an age of innocence wasn't it? - not even bothering to endorse any cricket equipment either - I presume he didn't actually have to buy his own kit/equipment but tbh wouldn't be totally surprised if he did

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    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    The notion that he was above Lillee and Lindwall is quite strange. Contemporaries of Davidson never rated him above Lindwall and when Lillee retired there was no mention of Davidson being considered in the same class as FOT.

    When Benaud picked the best team of his period in the game, he could not find a place for Davo.

    Having said that, he was a quality player and should be mentioned in the top drawer of fast bowlers. Davo was always a hero of mine as his autobio was one of the first cricket books I read
    You know it makes sense.

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    Global Moderator Teja.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archie mac View Post
    The notion that he was above Lillee and Lindwall is quite strange. Contemporaries of Davidson never rated him above Lindwall and when Lillee retired there was no mention of Davidson being considered in the same class as FOT.

    When Benaud picked the best team of his period in the game, he could not find a place for Davo.

    Having said that, he was a quality player and should be mentioned in the top drawer of fast bowlers. Davo was always a hero of mine as his autobio was one of the first cricket books I read
    I'm considering his allround abilities when keeping him in my Aus XI. As bowler's alone, Slightly under Lindwall, still over Lillee.

    I've always been a little bitter about Lillee being rated as highly as he is, I know there is more to cricket than statistics and all that, but considering it was a bowler-friendly era, his average compared to bowlers like Garner and Marshall and even bowlers like Imran and Hadlee and modern bowlers like McGrath, Ambrose & Donald is great but not phenomenal.

    I admit I've never had the pleasure of watching Lille bowl and my opinion of him is probably unreasonable. Could anyone shed a light on his average? Did he decline sharply and continue playing or was it an injury?

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    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    sigh. that's me out of this thread. Really, when someone says that they're 'bitter' about how a player is rated by those who played with him and saw his career in full, and then says in the same breath that they never saw him play themeselves and haven't done much research on their career, what do you say.

    The simplest way to put it is that your question is the same as someone is a few years saying "I'm bitter about how Tendulkar is rated, and always prefer to have Sehwag and Dravid in my team. When you look at his record in a batsman friendly era, compared to Kallis, Ponting or Jayawardena, its great but not phenomenal". It would be an equally inaccurate statement.

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