Handy players both, there. Would have been quite a test to bowl to guys as good as those! :)
I've bowled to a few guys who can bat, too (I don't know who the best you've bowled at are, but Matt Maynard and Chris Rogers are probably the best for me, and only in the nets).
As for me, the ones you'd most likely know would be guys like the Waughs, Mike Bevan, Greg Blewett, Boof Lehmann, Dizzy Gillespie and that's in match conditions. I trained with the SA senior side as part of being with the U/19's side so have bowled to Boof and Blewwy quite a bit.
Maybe. I respectfully disagree. On a good deck, most bowlers become fodder for guys who can play.
And believe me, you've got to be pretty good (sort of Tendulkar-in-good-form standard), even on the most batsman-friendly pace-and-bounce of pitch (ie not too slow and not too fast), to consistently hit a bowler consistently bowling at the top of off for more than 4-an-over if you don't use your feet.
Yeah but you have to look at his bowling in context. I'm not saying he bowled well purely because others did bad and somehow, relatively speaking, he bowled well. I'm saying he was bowling to a guy who was on the rampage belting all and sundry to and over the fence on a perfectly flat pitch. Considering that from what I actually saw in his bowling, he bowled quite well.
If you ask me, every Indian bowler should be devestated with the World Cup final. Just because 57 is better than 87 is no excuse. If everyone had gone for 57, India would still have been chasing nearly 300 (assuming there were a normal number of leg-byes) and would have been decidedly second-favourites.
The other side of it is that 300 would probably have been only just not gettable on that pitch. 260-280 probably wouldn't have been enough to win unless the team defending bowled well.
No-one is saying that it's completely okay to concede that much. What I'm saying is that in certain conditions, it can be acceptable.
Maybe I'm unrealistic about settling for mediocrity, naturally I have never experienced the ride up the cricket feudalism (the best I've done is Exeter Seconds), but if someone keeps telling you that under 5-an-over's OK, you'll start to believe it.
There are so many disputable premisses in that argument that the conclusion is a tad shaky.
The only other explanation for the sudden increase in scoring-rates in the last 2 years or so in one-day-cricket is the batsmen have suddenly got better, and I don't really think that's likely. So unless bowlers have lowered their standards, there is only one explanation: medium-fast bowlers (who can stop batsmen using their feet by having the 'keeper stand-up) have been alienated, and bowlers of fast-medium who can be attacked by the use of feet have been preferred, so accuracy has been degraded in use, and your only chance is if you get a pitch which enables you to move the ball.
Batsmen may not have gotten 'better' per se but there is certainly a changing attitude towards batting. Batsmen are looking to score more quickly, take more risks etc. and it's paying off. This, I think, is borne by the fact that even though were seeing many more high scores, we're also seeing more of the sub-160 scores. If your explanation were true and it was only the bowlers who have changed, we'd more of the much higher scores m'thinks.
There has also been a trend to having more in the way of specialists in the ODI sides. The 'bits-and-pieces' allrounders are being phased out in favour of specialist bowlers who, naturally, have more pace. So there are less of the medium-fast bowlers out there. Plus, with the ne quick bowlers like Brett Lee and Shoaib on the scene, everyone wants to have a really quick bowler in their team. So the specialist swing bowlers are pushed further away from international teams. I wrote an article on the death of swing bowling a few months back and how this has resulted in batsmen ill-equipped to deal with good swing bowling so I know where you're coming from on this one, mate. :)