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Thread: Best Bowling Combination Possible

  1. #46
    International Vice-Captain kyear2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eds View Post
    And we don't agree, hence the posts arguing as such. It's definitely not "dissing him" to suggest he shouldn't be in someone's top five - he has 78 Test wickets @ 28.35.



    To be one of the greatest bowlers of all-time you need to dominate all levels. Larwood was extremely effective during the bodyline series, but at the end of the day, the likes of Marshall, McGrath, Ambrose, Lillee, Donald, Holding, Garner etc. were all better at taking more wickets for less runs. And that's what cricket's about.

    You could argue his stats are tainted by a number of factors (Bradman, for one), but looking at other bowlers from the same timeframe, such as Gubby Allen (81 @ 29.37), Ken Farnes (60 @ 28.65), Bill Bowes (68 @ 22.33) and George Geary (46 @ 29.41) - they've all got extremely familiar records. Why do we not consider Bowes an ATG? Or Farnes?

    I'm not arguing against the impact Larwood/Jardine/bodyline had on the game, and I rate the aforementioned duo higher than most, I'm just speechless you could even consider him as one of the best bowlers ever. Just doesn't sit well with me.

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    All a bit too much romatacism imho.
    Aus. XI
    Simpson^ | Hayden | Bradman | Chappell^ | Ponting | Border* | Gilchrist+ | Davidson3 | Warne4^ | Lillee1 | McGrath2


    W.I. XI
    Greenidge | Hunte | Richards^ | Headley* | Lara^ | Sobers5^ | Walcott+ | Marshall1 | Ambrose2 | Holding3 | Garner4

    S.A. XI
    Richards^ | Smith*^ | Amla | Pollock | Kallis5^ | Nourse | Waite+ | Procter3 | Steyn1 | Tayfield4 | Donald2

    Eng. XI
    Hobbs | Hutton*^ | Hammond^ | Compton | Barrington | Botham5^ | Knott | Trueman1 | Laker4 | Larwood2 | Barnes3

  2. #47
    International Vice-Captain kyear2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike5181 View Post
    Gilchrist would bat six, surely?
    You still loose quite a bit with Gilchrist/Imran over Sobers/Gilchrist additionally five specialist bowlers are a bit of over kill considering Sobers is still in the team and at the expense of a specialst bat (Richards or Tendulkar)

    Can't think of an example in history where a great team depended on 5 specialist bowlers at the expense of a genuine batsman. Australia tried it a couple of times with Gilly, but only in extreme conditions and always reverted back afterwards.

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyear2 View Post
    And correspondingly weakens the batting with Imran batting at 6.
    Best Bowling Combination Possible
    not
    List the bowlers you'd pick in your ATWXI for the thousandth time
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  4. #49
    Eds
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyear2 View Post
    You still loose quite a bit with Gilchrist/Imran over Sobers/Gilchrist additionally five specialist bowlers are a bit of over kill considering Sobers is still in the team and at the expense of a specialst bat (Richards or Tendulkar)

    Can't think of an example in history where a great team depended on 5 specialist bowlers at the expense of a genuine batsman. Australia tried it a couple of times with Gilly, but only in extreme conditions and always reverted back afterwards.
    The point of this thread is to find the best possible bowling combination(s). Batting is irrelevant.

    But on that note, playing five specialist (harsh on Imran's [and even Marshall's] batting) bowlers would be possible mainly because of Bradman.

    EDIT: Cribb WAC.
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    International Vice-Captain Monk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince EWS View Post
    Best Bowling Combination Possible
    not
    List the bowlers you'd pick in your ATWXI for the thousandth time
    Yeh, but surely for the sake of the discussion, you're fitting them in to a team setting somehow?

    Which is why most people pick four, then have Sobers as an extra. Therefore discussion on whether you include Imran as fifth option is somewhat relevant.

  6. #51
    International Vice-Captain watson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monk View Post
    Yeh, but surely for the sake of the discussion, you're fitting them in to a team setting somehow?

    Which is why most people pick four, then have Sobers as an extra. Therefore discussion on whether you include Imran as fifth option is somewhat relevant.
    If you want to consider the batting component while selecting the best possible bowling attack then we make the assumption that a top 6 consisting of Hobbs-Hutton-Bradman-Lara-Tendulkar-Gilchrist would make enough runs to defend. For the sake of argument we'll say enough runs is about 350.

    You also then make the assumption that Imran-Marshalll-Lillee-Warne-Murali would then knock over the opposition's batting order for less runs, on any type of wicket, even though their top 6 would be about as strong.

    The advantage of playing 3 quicks plus Warne and Murali is that the attack has maximum potency on a variety of wickets. On a flat track that gives the fast bowlers absolutely nothing you really need 2 high-quality spinners operating at both ends to bowl-out a high-class team twice in 5 days. At least I think so.
    Last edited by watson; 06-10-2012 at 05:29 PM.
    Tendulkar - M.Waugh - Ponting - Richards - Dhoni - Bevan - Kapil Dev - Hadlee - Akram - Garner - Muralitharan

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  8. #53
    International Vice-Captain Monk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by watson View Post
    If you want to consider the batting component while selecting the best possible bowling attack then we make the assumption that a top 6 consisting of Hobbs-Hutton-Bradman-Lara-Tendulkar-Gilchrist would make enough runs to defend. For the sake of argument we'll say enough runs is about 350.

    You also then make the assumption that Imran-Marshalll-Lillee-Warne-Murali would then knock over the opposition's batting order for less runs, on any type of wicket, even though their top 6 would be about as strong.

    The advantage of playing 3 quicks plus Warne and Murali is that the attack has maximum potency on a variety of wickets. On a flat track that gives the fast bowlers absolutely nothing you really need 2 high-quality spinners operating at both ends to bowl-out a high-class team twice in 5 days. At least I think so.
    Surely you're not arguing an ATG team without Sobers? At very least he'd play ahead of either Lara or Tendulkar....

    I agree with you on the two spinner thing, I'm a big fan. Taking in to account all of cricket's history, two spinners should really be included.

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by uvelocity View Post
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    International Vice-Captain kyear2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monk View Post
    Surely you're not arguing an ATG team without Sobers? At very least he'd play ahead of either Lara or Tendulkar....

    I agree with you on the two spinner thing, I'm a big fan. Taking in to account all of cricket's history, two spinners should really be included.
    I disagree, 6 batsmen (one of who can bowl a bit) and four front line bowlers (3 fast and 1 spin) is the mold from modern history to be succesful, especially the post covered pitches era. The era of two spinners as a winning combination, outside of some special circumstances or on some roads in the s/c are a part of the nostalgic past.

    Also fully agree, Sobers was a better bat than Sachin and Lara, no argument.
    Last edited by kyear2; 06-10-2012 at 09:20 PM.

  11. #56
    International Vice-Captain watson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monk View Post
    Surely you're not arguing an ATG team without Sobers? At very least he'd play ahead of either Lara or Tendulkar....

    I agree with you on the two spinner thing, I'm a big fan. Taking in to account all of cricket's history, two spinners should really be included.
    You can leave out Lara, Tendulkar, or whatever random player I might have thought of at the time, and put Sobers in if you like.

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eds View Post
    And we don't agree, hence the posts arguing as such. It's definitely not "dissing him" to suggest he shouldn't be in someone's top five - he has 78 Test wickets @ 28.35.

    To be one of the greatest bowlers of all-time you need to dominate all levels. Larwood was extremely effective during the bodyline series, but at the end of the day, the likes of Marshall, McGrath, Ambrose, Lillee, Donald, Holding, Garner etc. were all better at taking more wickets for less runs. And that's what cricket's about.

    You could argue his stats are tainted by a number of factors (Bradman, for one), but looking at other bowlers from the same timeframe, such as Gubby Allen (81 @ 29.37), Ken Farnes (60 @ 28.65), Bill Bowes (68 @ 22.33) and George Geary (46 @ 29.41) - they've all got extremely familiar records. Why do we not consider Bowes an ATG? Or Farnes?

    I'm not arguing against the impact Larwood/Jardine/bodyline had on the game, and I rate the aforementioned duo higher than most, I'm just speechless you could even consider him as one of the best bowlers ever. Just doesn't sit well with me.
    I've never been one of those people who look at the stats much as they can often be twisted and turned to prove just about any point. As I said, his FC stats were exceptionally good and there is a fairly large gulf between them and his test stats which, as you yourself pointed out, do not necessarily tell the whole story. I could pick someone like John Ferris and his stats are just incredible, but in all honesty, he could just be an over-hyped version of Ajantha Mendis for all we know. I find actual accounts of how good a player is to be a better measure on the whole.

    This isn't really about picking the best players for an all time XI and I don't see how you could tell someone that Larwood isn't good enough to make a fictional side. By all accounts he was very quick and accurate and I think we can probably guess that he could bowl a reasonably accurate bouncer. He's also considered an ATG by most people and if I remember correctly he was even picked for an England All-time XI on Cricinfo. If someone wants to pick him ahead of another player on the basis of his skills for this exercise, I don't see why they shouldn't be able to. There is reasonable evidence to support his quality as a bowler from plenty of eyewitness accounts.
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  13. #58
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    Larwood had an atypical career, even for the time period.

    He debuted in 1926, only two years into his first class career, and took the wickets of Macartney, Gregory and Collins in a draw, attributed to a flat pitch and the match being 3 days long. (Australia selected an XI of batsmen and all rounders, Mailey and Gregory the only specialist bowlers). Not an easy lineup to bowl out, when Jack Ryder is at 9. Its worth noting after 4 matches the series was still locked at 0-0.

    The fifth game was a Timeless Test, and Larwood took 3/82 as the Australians batted ridiculously cautiously (1.98 per over). In the second innings he doubled his match tally - 3/34 as the Australians collapsed to Larwood and the spin of Wilfred Rhodes.

    He then took 1/27 against the West Indies, before being unable to bowl in the second innings, returned from injury in the third Test and took 2/46 and 3/41, then got shipped over to Australia for the 1928 Ashes. In the first Test he took 6/32 and 2/30 on a batsman friendly pitch (Larwood himself had just made 70 with the bat) as England won by the small margin of 675 runs. The second and third Tests both had him pay around 40 runs for each wicket, and in the fourth and fifth - with his workload - he was undoubtedly struggling, taking 1/150 each time. It is, however, worth noting that the last game went into an 8th day, and every pitch they played on was incredibly conducive to batting. Think India vs. Pakistan in 2005 style roads. Every game had a 500+ score.

    He came back to England and took 8/186 for the series against South Africa, and then started the 1930 Ashes with 2/21 from 20 overs in the match - although he missed the last day due to gastro. He missed the second match but came back for the Third - Bradman's 334. Wisden had this to say:

    [...] Geary's bowling had no terrors at all while Larwood still looking very drawn as the result of his illness, had not the stamina to bowl at his full pace and was terribly expensive. [...]

    He then missed the Fourth, ostensibly due to his illness, but was brought back again for the Fifth. Funnily enough, having been unwell for a while, he still didn't perform. He added returns of 1/139 and 1/132 to his 2/21 for the series.

    The next summer he 'played' in only one Test - a rained out affair against New Zealand that brought only 71 overs of play, and then he went off to the 1932 Ashes. His match returns:

    10/124, 4/102, 7/126, 7/150 and 5/142. 33 wickets in 220.2 overs, at a cost of less than twenty on the hard, batting tracks of Australia against Bradman's Australia.

    And then he was never selected again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyear2 View Post
    I disagree, 6 batsmen (one of who can bowl a bit) and four front line bowlers (3 fast and 1 spin) is the mold from modern history to be succesful, especially the post covered pitches era. The era of two spinners as a winning combination, outside of some special circumstances or on some roads in the s/c are a part of the nostalgic past.

    Also fully agree, Sobers was a better bat than Sachin and Lara, no argument.
    I'd say having the two greatest spinners of all time at your disposal qualifies this as "exceptional circumstances".
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  15. #60
    Eds
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    Rvd, with the greatest of respect, it all sounds like a lot of 'what ifs' and excuses, and potential that was never fulfilled.

    - The first series I'll give you as decent. Just coming into the side - can't really say a bad word about it.

    - However, when talking about the Timeless Test, you mention Larwood's 3/82 and 3/34, however all the English bowlers were flourishing. Tate got 3/40 & 1/12, Rhodes got 2/35 & 4/44, etc. It wasn't a difficult day to be an English bowler.

    - For the next Ashes, you argue the First Test was a batsman's pitch, yet the Australian's made scores of 122ao and 66ao. Jack White (who indeed) took a sterling 4/7, Tate was also once again in the money with excellent match figures of 5/76.

    - You refer to Larwood's massive workload throughout the rest of the series. However, the second test shows Maurice Tate bowled a shade under 50 overs in the fourth innings, having already bowled 21 in the first. In the third test, Larwood's 'workload' further decreased as he managed two less overs for the match. Tate once again had a 46-over inning in the first, and matched it with 47 overs in the third. In the fourth, Tate again bowled a tremendous amount more (22 overs throughout the game) and ended with four wickets. However, the star of the show was without doubt Jack White who bowler over 120 overs, nabbing 13 wickets in the process. Larwood was given a back seat. As for the fifth, Larwood was again outbowled, in overs and figures. As you suggested, the Australians batted incredibly slowly at 1.80 runs per over. However, it wasn't Larwood who took on the extra bowling. It was again Maurice Tate, who bowled 62 overs in the first innings, and George Geary, another fast [medium] bowler, who bowled 71. Tate against bowled more in the final inning to take his overs to the game to 100 - an extraordinary achievement for a fast bowler.

    - He was once again outbowled by Maurice Tate in the South African series, again in both workload and overall figures. He was also outbowled by 41-year old leg-spinner Tich Freeman, who ripped through the poor South African side, who [with the exception of Bruce Mitchell] had no-one we would consider in an ATG side.

    - The 1930 Ashes was much the same. Outbowled by Tate again, as well as newcomers such as Ian Peebles.

    - I won't refute any comments you made on the bodyline series as I am firmly of the belief it was quite easily his greatest series. He bowled excellently, by all accounts. But one series doesn't make the greatest bowler of all-time. Maurice Tate would be turning in his grave.

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