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Thread: O'Reilly vs Barnes? Who was the better bowler? Also want to discuss their styles.

  1. #1
    International Coach mr_mister's Avatar
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    Jun 2015

    O'Reilly vs Barnes? Who was the better bowler? Also want to discuss their styles.

    Tiger identified as a leggie but everyone says he bowled at medium pace off a long run and Syd goes down as a medium pace bowler but historians suggest he actually bowled "fast-spin"

    So basically they end up having similar bowling styles... at least in my head.

    Anyway, who was better? It seems like they were comfortably the best pre-WW2 bowlers to have existed.
    cricket rules brah

  2. #2
    Hall of Fame Member weldone's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    Barnes was absolutely unparalleled in his era.

    O'Reilly had an arguably better legspinner as his Australian bowling partner.

    I think the answer is Barnes. He didn't need the googly afterall.
    "Cricket is an art. Like all arts it has a technical foundation. To enjoy it does not require technical knowledge, but analysis that is not technically based is mere impressionism."
    - C.L.R. James

  3. #3
    International 12th Man Kirkut's Avatar
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    Jan 2013
    Mumbai <--> Arlington, TX
    Clarrie Grimmett

    I would go for Barnes though.
    Last edited by Kirkut; 18-05-2016 at 11:27 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Not sure who was the better or greater spin-bowler but they were similar in key ways. Both bowled at medium pace, and both were finger-spinners, not wrist spinners like Benaud or Warne.

    That is, their stock leg-break was delivered with a violent flick of their third-finger against the ball. However, O'Reilly gripped the ball between his third-finger and thumb, while Barnes gripped the ball between his third-finger and index finger.

    Because O'Reilly and Barnes both bowled out of the front of their hand there was no need to pivot on their front foot like conventional spin bowlers. Therefore, they could drive the crease like conventional pace bowlers and bowl relatively fast; fast enough to open the bowling for their respective countries. In the case of Barnes it likely that he bowled at around 70 mph / 115 kph.

    The Tiger that Bowled like a Mouse and The Mouse that Kicked like a Mule.

    .......The general consensus is that Bill O’Reilly bowled quickish leg breaks, googlies (bosies) and top spinners. In fact he himself describes his bowling as ‘medium slow’. He bowled from a thirteen pace run-up and the above photograph shows that he had a very long delivery stride suggesting that he came in more quickly than many spinners who use a short delivery stride*to help*them get height and a pivot over the front leg. In his time, O’Reilly, opened the bowling for the Australians in a number of innings.......

    It is also a consensus that O’Reilly did not turn the ball a great deal. It seems to Third Man that from the photographs of the grip yesterday he produced his revolutions by flicking the ring finger upwards with the palm facing the batsman for the leg-break. He thus may have sacrificed the extra revolutions imparted by a flick of the wrist.

    With this method, turning the hand with palm to midwicket produces the top-spinner and moving the hand slightly further round with the palm facing back to mid-on for the right hander produces the googly.

    The unorthodox grip might also have produced less obvious changes in orientation to effect the three deliveries described above. The difference between leg break, top spin and googly could have been minimum, helping with disguise but reducing turn. In fact the energy of the rotations would have brought the ball down and forwards in a preponderance of topspin.

    The direction of the seam for the leg break would have been just off-straight (say towards first slip rather than gully) and just finely to leg rather than to backward shot leg for the googly. This topspin would have produced a relatively high degree of ‘dip’ thanks to the Magnus Effect and therefore would have produced a relatively high bounce or ‘kick’ as described by Hammond and others.

    More on how SF Barnes spun his leg break

    I have long been mystified by the legendary success of SF Barnes, and have (so far) failed to find any definitive description of his bowling methods.

    But from the scattered clues I now believe that Barnes stock delivery, the medium paced leg-break, was spun from the front of the hand (palm facing the batter) by using the ring finger of his right hand to flick the ball off his index finger.

    In a description I read in 100 greatest bowlers by Phil Edmonds and Scyld Berry it was said that Barnes held the ball with his index, middle and ring fingers along and touching the seam, and that he could bowl off breaks and leg breaks without much change of action - but that the leg-break was his usual and most devastating delivery........

    The Doosra: More on how SF Barnes spun his leg break
    Last edited by watson; 18-05-2016 at 03:59 PM.

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