I posted on another thread a comment that Bradman was basically a victim of his own success whenever someone tries to deconstruct his career. Statements were made about the dubious class of the bowlers he faced inspite of the fact no other Aussie batsman of the era got even half his average. That contradiction made me suspicious and led me to think a proper rating of the class of bowler he faced had to be made without the distorting impact his own efforts had on them.
I then reviewed the selected averages of Eng's immediate post war generation in the 40s/50s and noticed their statistical advantage over their counterparts in the 20s/30s was close. Maybe it could be explained by one group having to bowl at a man who averaged almost 100/innings while the other group didnot.
It would be beyond my patience and resources to compare every bowler from 1920-1959 so I selected a representative group of bowlers for comparison. So i set a few parameters. I'd only look at DGB's pre war competition as I agree that immediately post war Australia had easily the best side. I only compared English bowlers as they were our main competition in both eras. Though I will make some comments about the SA side that DGB faced and maybe the WI one too. I picked the best pace bowlers from both eras for comparison. One day I'll do the spinners. I believe it is justified in picking these groups, whom I'll identify shortly, as they were the men Eng relied on to beat Australia in both eras. Therefor I think a general point can be made from comparing these specific bowlers.
Conveniently these men identify themselves quite easily. I picked men who played atleast 6 tests v Australia. That seems a fair cut off point and the men who achieved that number are generally recalled by cricket's historians while those with fewer generally are not.
The post war group are Bedser, Bailey, Brown, Statham, Trueman and Tyson. If I have to explain Brown's presence then all I can say is that he qualifies. After all he bowled medium pace against Auatralia after the war instead of his formerly preferred leg spinners. Don't believe that his inclusion is a none too subtle attempt to inflate the figures of this group. On the contrary. His inclusion actually brings down the overall bowling averages of this group.
The pre war group is Tate, Larwood, Geary, Voce, Allen, Bowes and Farnes.
Btw if anyone knows the exact no. of runs Bradman scored off each bowler he faced in tests I'd appreciate it if you show me the data.