View Poll Results: The better bowler of the two

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  • Ian Botham

    4 16.67%
  • Keith Miller

    19 79.17%
  • both were equally good bowlers

    1 4.17%
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Thread: Ian Botham vs Keith Miller

  1. #1
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend smalishah84's Avatar
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    Ian Botham vs Keith Miller

    Who was the better bowler of the two?

    The question came up in the ATG teams thread and one of our members suggested we have a poll to find out.

    Thoughts?
    And smalishah's avatar is the most classy one by far Jan certainly echoes the sentiments of CW

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  2. #2
    Cricketer Of The Year Hurricane's Avatar
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    I mean the inevitable question is which Ian Botham - him at his peak or when he was not at his peak.
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  3. #3
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend smalishah84's Avatar
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    Overall career

  4. #4
    International Vice-Captain Monk's Avatar
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    If I was given a choice between the two of them for a team, I'd choose Miller. Just.

    Miller is more of an enigma. I get the sense that if he was a batsman only, his average would've been much higher. He once scored 280* in a FC match. And if he was a bowler only, and if he concentrated (and cared more) about his pace bowling, he'd be one of the top 5 quicks ever. There is an air of unfulfilled enigma about Miller, and I get the impression he could have gotten a lot more out of his ability. But, even as it stands, he was a great.

    Botham, at his peak, was incredibly good. Belligerent. Seemed to have a bit of that charisma, bluster and magic that wins matches. Warne had that too. Botham probably played for too long, so his raw stats look unimpressive. But at his peak, he was quite possibly the most balanced all rounder ever, in terms of combining high level batting and bowling at the same time.


  5. #5
    Cricketer Of The Year Hurricane's Avatar
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    I am not going to answer the question because I never saw Miller bowl. I saw Botham on telly enough times. However it was largely when he was at the end of his career. He wasn't much chop. Basically just bland medium pace. Hidden throughout his deliveries however was a bag of tricks. He would typically try something different every couple of overs sometimes even using a slightly different bowling action as his variation.

    Love his autobiography - has a story about how him and the other kids in the junior side he was in would bowl to local gents for tips. After two or three overs they would bowl one at this pocket hoping to hit his wallet. If they heard a nice thud then they would keep on bowling full tosses and half volleys to maximise the tip. IF they heard a bunch of loose change they would say there were tired and would fake an injury. I like that they could hit the guy's wallet at will when they tried.

  6. #6
    Eyes not spreadsheets marc71178's Avatar
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    Botham - actual performances (for a relatively long period - compare his output over the first 55 Tests with Miller's career and there's no contest) rather than suppositions. If he'd done this then I think he'd have been this doesn't actually count for anything in my book.
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  7. #7
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend smalishah84's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monk View Post
    If I was given a choice between the two of them for a team, I'd choose Miller. Just.

    Miller is more of an enigma. I get the sense that if he was a batsman only, his average would've been much higher. He once scored 280* in a FC match. And if he was a bowler only, and if he concentrated (and cared more) about his pace bowling, he'd be one of the top 5 quicks ever. There is an air of unfulfilled enigma about Miller, and I get the impression he could have gotten a lot more out of his ability. But, even as it stands, he was a great.

    Botham, at his peak, was incredibly good. Belligerent. Seemed to have a bit of that charisma, bluster and magic that wins matches. Warne had that too. Botham probably played for too long, so his raw stats look unimpressive. But at his peak, he was quite possibly the most balanced all rounder ever, in terms of combining high level batting and bowling at the same time.
    Monk, don't you feel that rating on unfulfilled potential would be jumping the gun a bit?

  8. #8
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    This particular comparison is even more fraught than normal. In Botham's case his peak was so far removed from what he became that averaging him out is meaningless - and Miller's back injury affected him at random points throughout his career, not just at his peak, so you have to make a different allowance for him. I never saw Miller either, but he must have been a great bowler. As to Botham I watched his entire career and for a few years he was just awesome

  9. #9
    International Vice-Captain Monk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smalishah84 View Post
    Monk, don't you feel that rating on unfulfilled potential would be jumping the gun a bit?
    Yep. Indeed.

  10. #10
    International Vice-Captain watson's Avatar
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    Botham's best years were 1977-82 before his back injury. They make for a good comparison with Keith Miller because of the number of Test matches played;

    Ian Botham (1977-1982)
    Tests = 54
    Balls = 12767
    Wickets = 249
    Best = 8-34
    Average = 23.32

    Ian Botham (1982/83-1992)
    Tests = 48
    Balls = 9048
    Wickets = 134
    Best = 8-103
    Average = 37.84

    Keith Miller (1946-1956)
    Tests = 55
    Balls = 10461
    Wickets = 170
    Best = 7-60
    Average = 22.98

    If you look at Botham's bowling average pre-injury it would suggest that he was on a par with Keith Miller as a bowler. Botham took 79 more wickets but I assume that is merely a reflection of the fact that he bowled 2306 more balls, and didn't have Ray Lindwall and Bill Johnston to compete with.

    However, when all is said and done I still think that Keith Miller is the slightly better bowler because of the quality English batting line-up he repeatedly bowled against. From 1977- 1979 Botham bowled mainly at teams decimated by Kerry Packer's WSC. This tends to skew his figures even further and leave us with a relatively small window of about 3 years (1979/80-82/83) whereby we can make a proper judgement of his best potential.

    Ian Botham then becomes even more of an enigma than Keith Miller.
    Last edited by watson; 16-10-2012 at 05:39 AM.
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  11. #11
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend smalishah84's Avatar
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    fair point

  12. #12
    Eyes not spreadsheets marc71178's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by watson View Post
    If you look at Botham's bowling average pre-injury it would suggest that he was on a par with Keith Miller as a bowler. Botham took 79 more wickets but I assume that is merely a reflection of the fact that he bowled 2306 more balls, and didn't have Ray Lindwall and Bill Johnston to compete with.
    Merely a reflection, or might it have to do with the fact he took wickets a lot quicker?

  13. #13
    International Coach Ikki's Avatar
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    Overall...Miller, and I am not sure it's that close. Miller was on par with Lindwall at times - probably the best bowler of his era. Miller's ratios show him to be top tier ATG level; but what makes him lose marks is not bowling enough and that probably has to do with his back problems. When asked to, he could bowl long spells and superlatively - like when he was asked to lead the attack in the 1956 Ashes.
    Last edited by Ikki; 16-10-2012 at 08:45 AM.
    I think there'll sooner be another Bradman than another Warne. - Gidgeon Haigh

    [Warne is] the greatest bowler ever produced in this entire world - Muttiah Muralidaran

    [Warne is] the greatest bowler of all time - Glenn McGrath


    In my opinion Shane Warne is the greatest cricketer who's ever lived - Ian Botham

    Warne is the greatest cricketer to pick up a ball ever.
    And is the greatest bowler I have ever laid eyes on. - Brian Lara

  14. #14
    International Debutant Jager's Avatar
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    One of the funnier joke threads. Botham can only dream of being in KRM's league
    Oh for a strong arm and a walking stick

  15. #15
    International Vice-Captain bagapath's Avatar
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    in the 140 year long history of test cricket only one man has scored 14 centuries and claimed 27 five wicket hauls. no one else even came near 10 hundreds/10 five fers.

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