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Thread: Best Bowling Combination Possible

  1. #61
    Dan
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    Tate and Larwood were totally different bowlers however. In all likelihood, the similarities end in saying they were both Englishmen who bowled seam up.

    I'm a fan of Tate (especially having read Ray Robinson's fantastic account of him in Between Wickets), and I would argue he is an ATG bowler in his own right. But he was employed to bowl a lot of overs, off a shorter run and at far less pace than Larwood. Geary, according to a quick wikipedia search, was also in the workhorse mould - he wasn't an out-and-out quick being called upon regularly exceed his normal workload.

    In terms of 'what ifs' and 'potential', does that not rule out Barry Richards and Mike Procter from calculations? They both had one good series and dominated domestic cricket and have their names thrown up into ATG contention.

    Just as a statistical aside (because I hate stats picking and whatnot), if you remove his returns from the two games he played ill, his average drops to 25.67 - ahead of the Allen's and Voce's, and not that far inferior to Bowes and Tate of his era. Obviously it is meddling with statistics, so take it with a grain of salt, but very rarely these days do you see bowlers playing when sick.

    Most of the time when you evaluate someone's career, when it had been ended well before the player retired, it comes down to a lack of performance or form that drove them out of Test cricket. In the case of people like Larwood, Verity (who was tragically killed in the war), Procter and Richards - who were more victims of circumstance than performance - the underlying situation obviously has to be taken into account. You often hear of the latter two being cut off in their prime by Apartheid, but rarely is a similar methodology applied to the two former.
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  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by rvd619323 View Post
    Tate and Larwood were totally different bowlers however. In all likelihood, the similarities end in saying they were both Englishmen who bowled seam up.

    I'm a fan of Tate (especially having read Ray Robinson's fantastic account of him in Between Wickets), and I would argue he is an ATG bowler in his own right. But he was employed to bowl a lot of overs, off a shorter run and at far less pace than Larwood. Geary, according to a quick wikipedia search, was also in the workhorse mould - he wasn't an out-and-out quick being called upon regularly exceed his normal workload.
    Yes, I agree. It was my point exactly. Larwood was in the same side as two seamers in the 'workhorse mould' which in turn limited his workload. He also had Wilfred Rhodes there who could bowl all day. My point was you gravely exaggerated the workload Larwood had during that series in particular.

    Quote Originally Posted by rvd619323 View Post
    In terms of 'what ifs' and 'potential', does that not rule out Barry Richards and Mike Procter from calculations? They both had one good series and dominated domestic cricket and have their names thrown up into ATG contention.
    I'm not ruling Larwood out by any means. I consider him an ATG (however loose the term may be). I also consider Richards and Proctor in such a class. However, there's a tremendous difference between that level, and the level of being the greatest bowler ever. That's what I was getting at.

    Quote Originally Posted by rvd619323 View Post
    Just as a statistical aside (because I hate stats picking and whatnot), if you remove his returns from the two games he played ill, his average drops to 25.67 - ahead of the Allen's and Voce's, and not that far inferior to Bowes and Tate of his era. Obviously it is meddling with statistics, so take it with a grain of salt, but very rarely these days do you see bowlers playing when sick.
    That's arguably the best point you've made, if truth be told. But as you say, it's "not that inferior" to bowlers that are not even thought of as ATGs in some corners of the site (Bowes most certainly isn't). Surely the greatest bowler of all-time would be far and away in front?
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    State Captain harsh.ag's Avatar
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    The reason I thought it would be best to limit this to a 4-bowler combination was to not turn this thread into a debate regarding the all-rounders. That, however, seems too restrictive, especially for people who want 2 spinners in the side. For them, let's assume that they are picking either Miller, Imran, Procter or Botham (or somebody else) in the side, without either them or anybody else going into details regarding their all-rounder. Sounds good?

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    Also, do many of you think, like me, that a great corridor specialist pacer, like Hadlee, McGrath or Ambrose, adds a lot of value to the team?


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    Yes, but only if they are paired with genuinely fast, more attacking bowler at the other end.
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by harsh.skm View Post
    Also, do many of you think, like me, that a great corridor specialist pacer, like Hadlee, McGrath or Ambrose, adds a lot of value to the team?
    What makes an ATG fast bowler is that they can bowl at the off stump at will - and fast.

    In other words a fast bowler who lacks the control to be a 'corridor bowler' is not an ATG fast bowler.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rvd619323 View Post
    Tate and Larwood were totally different bowlers however. In all likelihood, the similarities end in saying they were both Englishmen who bowled seam up.

    I'm a fan of Tate (especially having read Ray Robinson's fantastic account of him in Between Wickets), and I would argue he is an ATG bowler in his own right. But he was employed to bowl a lot of overs, off a shorter run and at far less pace than Larwood. Geary, according to a quick wikipedia search, was also in the workhorse mould - he wasn't an out-and-out quick being called upon regularly exceed his normal workload.

    In terms of 'what ifs' and 'potential', does that not rule out Barry Richards and Mike Procter from calculations? They both had one good series and dominated domestic cricket and have their names thrown up into ATG contention.

    Just as a statistical aside (because I hate stats picking and whatnot), if you remove his returns from the two games he played ill, his average drops to 25.67 - ahead of the Allen's and Voce's, and not that far inferior to Bowes and Tate of his era. Obviously it is meddling with statistics, so take it with a grain of salt, but very rarely these days do you see bowlers playing when sick.

    Most of the time when you evaluate someone's career, when it had been ended well before the player retired, it comes down to a lack of performance or form that drove them out of Test cricket. In the case of people like Larwood, Verity (who was tragically killed in the war), Procter and Richards - who were more victims of circumstance than performance - the underlying situation obviously has to be taken into account. You often hear of the latter two being cut off in their prime by Apartheid, but rarely is a similar methodology applied to the two former.
    An average of 25.67 is a very good average for a fast bowler. But it is nothing out of the ordinary. If Larwoood were born in the West Indies, and played during the 1970s-80s he would be just another quick queing up behind Andy Roberts.

    What sets Larwood apart from the rest of the pack is pure luck - in other words, right man, right place, right time. Not his ability to get a cricket ball from Point A to Point B any better than 20 or so other fast bowlers from history.

    Fred Trueman, John Snow, or Bob Willis could have done exactly the same job that Larwood did in the 1930s. No problem at all.

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