Barnes in this match revealed himself once more as one of the most remarkable bowlers that this country has ever produced. He has a positively wonderful command of the leg break.... His great height makes it difficult for the batsman to follow the flight of the ball. He is useful on every kind of wicket, whereas few bowlers of his pace are able to bowl on a sticky wicket. - JACK HOBBS, 'My Cricket Memories' (1924)
With Miller in the team as the first change pace bowler there is no excuse for not playing both O'Reilly and Warne.
O'Reilly was comfortably the best and greatest bowler of his generation, and Warne was possibly the best and greatest bowler of his generation. The fact that they are very different leggies with O'Reilly employing a unique grip on the ball to spin it at pace is an added bonus.
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I imagine Grimmett to have been very similar to Warne. O'Reilly was a little different to Warne and Grimmett. .
If you are to have two leggies in the team (which Miller in the top 6 does allow), it's better in my eyes to have Warne & O'Reilly or Grimmett & O'Reilly, but not Grimmett and Warne.
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Last edited by Coronis; 28-01-2013 at 09:49 PM.
My theory is that O'Reilly was the better bowler per se, in that his style and method of bowling could take wickets against everyone. There's an anecdote on Maurice Leyland's Cricinfo profile that's pretty telling:
Grimmett, on the other hand, had the multitude of variations - he was a mystery spinner - meaning he could absolutely tear through weaker sides, but he had a tendency to be found out a little against top opposition (not unlike an Ajantha Mendis or Sunil Narine). O'Reilly was the more consistent of the two.If he knew himself to have the measure of the great O'Reilly, who was no paper tiger, he also retained the respect of one master for another. Describing an over of fearsome hostility, he said: "First he bowled me an off-break, then he bowled me a leg-break; then his googly, then a bumper, then one that went with his arm . . . ."
"But that's only five, Maurice. What about the last one ?"
"Oh, that," said Maurice deprecatingly. "That was a straight 'un and it bowled me."
I absolutely love Grimmett and his six variations of the flipper, but O'Reilly was the more successful bowler overall.
While we're on the subject of Aussie leggies, I believe I did read somewhere that Hobbs thought Mailey > Grimmett and O'Reilly, whilst others thought Mailey was crap compared to the two (Bradman I think?)
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