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Thread: The Standard Of Fast Bowling

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    International Coach howardj's Avatar
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    The Standard Of Fast Bowling

    Does anyone else think that the standard of fast bowling in world cricket is alarmingly poor? Unlike a few years ago - with players like Wasim, Waqar, Ambrose, Walsh, Donald, Pollock (at his peak) etc - there seem to be very few quality quicks. Sure, guys like Lee, Akhtar and Lawson have the odd good burst, but it's not sustained. Even in Australia, especially with McGrath's decline, the cupboard is worringly thin. Must be great to be an opening batsman these days.

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    Too much cricket is one possibility. With the stupid idea of back to back tests with two days gap in between means its increasingly hard to bowl to your full ability over the matches. Guys like Lee and Shoaib don't seem to be able to play a series of test matches without getting injured

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    I disagree.

    This thread should be called 'The alarming improvement rate in pitch conditions and batsmen that is performing a strong influence in bowlers ability to take wickets and bowl economically'

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    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    Has McGrath gone downhill?


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    First Class Debutant nookie_lk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. P
    I disagree.

    This thread should be called 'The alarming improvement rate in pitch conditions and batsmen that is performing a strong influence in bowlers ability to take wickets and bowl economically'
    well....its not completely true becuase if u take bowlers like Vass they bowl in wickets which dont give any hope to fast bowlers...and they take wickets and economically. but i agree that some fast bowlers perform poorly becuase of batsmen frendly pitches.
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    this subject was the subject of some discussion by the ENG commentators during the recent series ENG v WIN - I think it was Nasser & Beefy.............

    subject = decline of good seam bowling.................
    outcome =
    * too much workload - not enough break re back to back Tests......
    - too much cricket in too short a time frame re INT calendar - esp ODI series.........but can't blame the cricketers for following the money & trying to make hay while the sun shines..........

    * 'standardisation' of 'batter friendly' pitches as general playing condition throughout the game....great run fests for the spectators but little to encourage / develop seam bowling beyond cannon fodder levels.........comments made they'd rather see a low scoring game of 180 - 220 runs & a contest between bat & ball, than the 280 - 300+ run fixtures that just as often end as an anti climax if the 2nd innings gets too far behind the RRR...........& ceases to be a 'competition'........

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Son Of Coco
    Has McGrath gone downhill?
    The answer to this is certainly no, his bowling in the Sri Lanka series was exactly the same as it was in the MCG Test last Ashes. He's not changed at all.
    However, we have seen a loss in bowlers who could exploit all conditions (Donald, Ambrose, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Walsh, to name a few).
    We have not seen an improvement in batting with regards pace of scoring - the fact that bowlers such as McGrath, Pollock, Warne, Murali and Chaminda are bowling every bit as economically now as they were 5 years ago (if not more economically) sugests to me that it has simply been a case of good bowlers retiring and newer bowlers being less capable with accuracy.
    We have, beyond question, seen an improvement in bat-technology, not entirely sure when that started.
    We have, equally beyond question, seen fewer pitches that turn or move off the seam - not just in Test and ODI cricket, but domestically in England and Australia, too. Not sure about anywhere else.
    In England, I can say quite safely and surely that this change started in the summer of 2002. Worldwide it started round about then. Don't know when it may have started in various other domestic competitions.
    The amount of international cricket played is almost certainly having some effect - just about everyone agrees there's too much, no-one is making any steps to cut down on the amount.
    But IMO this, along with bat-technology, is a minor influence.
    The basic fact of the matter is, bowlers who have come into international cricket over the past 3 or 4 years haven't been anywhere near as good as some who have been lost to the game. At either bowling accurately or being penetrative.
    The rise in the typical Test scoring-rate and the rise in the average ODI total is a result of this.
    And IMO the game is made less appealing. Sadly, more people than not just seem to want runs, runs, runs.
    There are a handful of bowlers around, playing regular internationals, today who I regard as good international bowlers - and not all of them have good averages. Most bowlers on most international sides are not of Test or ODI class.
    The situation is not helped by the presence of substandard sides (Zimbabwe post-WC2003 and Bangladesh) and the recent regularity of joke-ODIs against non-regular sides.
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    Groundsmen are expected to prepare a pitch that will go the distance and give the batsmen a chance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scallywag
    Groundsmen are expected to prepare a pitch that will go the distance and give the batsmen a chance.

    as discussed elsewhere - a 5 day pitch does not have to be a feather bed for all 5 days.................likewise a result pitch can be a 5 day pitch & not deteriorate inside 3................

    IMO.............
    Day 1 = early & regular seam & swing - decreasing as the day goes on, but also good pace & carry.........
    Day 2 = even pace & carry = best batting conditions.....
    Day 3 = introduction of turn in the arvo...........
    Day 4 = more turn as the day goes on, pitch starting to slow & keep a bit lower....
    Day 5 = ideal for spin & the pitch varying in pace & bounce to offer some assistance for good line & length seam bowling (so long as is not dangerous in length)...........

    bowlers advantage particularly AM Day 1 & PM Day 5, batsmen on top PM Day 2 - AM Day 4, honors even elsewhere.........

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    IMO the pitches have a lot of influence re current standards of seam bowling - in so much as if the bowlers are learning their craft on flat decks, they do not learn the variety of skills to be able to advance their skill levels........

    likewise the mentalilty of bowling on flat decks is now different - seam bowlers are only 'expected' to be penetrative with the new ball - otherwise to try & 'contain' the RR as opposed to 'strike' for wickets..............a different role as a result of the ODI match fests - esp when you factor in fatigue & injuries into the equation..............let alone back to back Tests.......

    in this current environment seam bowlers are looking to preserve their fitness etc to be able to play as much as possible / required re their income..........

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    Quote Originally Posted by anzac
    IMO the pitches have a lot of influence re current standards of seam bowling - in so much as if the bowlers are learning their craft on flat decks, they do not learn the variety of skills to be able to advance their skill levels......
    well I think the flatter the wickets are that bowlers are learning to bowl on, then eventually skills in variations (cut, slower balls etc) and the positioning of the seam in the right place HAVE to be improved in order for them to get results. That was a problem in England...a few years back counties were playing on pitches ideally suited to the seam bowler (one exception was back in 1990, a year which the game went TOO far in favour of the batsman)...so you would get bowlers of the likes of Phil Newport (just as an example) who looked great in the county game, but as soon as they got to the international stage, they looked pretty average. This was the big problem with England for a long time. The authorities have brought things in to help with the standard of pitches (docking points...jigging the bonus point system around to encourage higher scoring etc) and I think in general the pitches have got better...and this could well be a reason why England now have arguably a pace bowling attack that ranks up there near the top in the world...coz the bowlers have had to graft a bit harder for results in the CC.

    Class bowlers will tend to succeed quite a lot even on flat pitches, if they have learnt the approriate skills (or naturally have the approriate skills) to do so,

    So for me, the flatter the pitch(esp on the first 3 days) the better (ideally offering some decent bounce,and later on some turn)

    Quote Originally Posted by anzac
    likewise the mentalilty of bowling on flat decks is now different - seam bowlers are only 'expected' to be penetrative with the new ball - otherwise to try & 'contain' the RR as opposed to 'strike' for wickets..............a different role as a result of the ODI match fests - esp when you factor in fatigue & injuries into the equation..............let alone back to back Tests.......

    in this current environment seam bowlers are looking to preserve their fitness etc to be able to play as much as possible / required re their income..........
    these tactics are pretty much the tactics that have been used for however long I have watched test cricket...i dont think much has changed in that way.

    Infact, with true express bowlers(ie. bowlers who dont used traditional swing), the role as become even more aggressive with the 'advent' of reverse swing, in that much wicket taking can be done with the old ball by your 90mph plus bowlers....that wasnt really the case say 20 years ago (the one exception being WI's).

    Containment has always been a part of test cricket,and will continue to be so
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    Hall of Fame Member Smudge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Son Of Coco
    Has McGrath gone downhill?
    As the team's main pace strike bowler, I expect he would get choice of ends, so may well have gone downhill in recent matches if the ground had a slope....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Voltman
    As the team's main pace strike bowler, I expect he would get choice of ends, so may well have gone downhill in recent matches if the ground had a slope....
    Which international grounds have slopes? I can only think of Lord's, and that is left to right anyway...
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    Quote Originally Posted by steds
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