• Welcome to the Cricket Web forums, one of the biggest forums in the world dedicated to cricket.

    You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join the Cricket Web community today!

    If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.

Best Bowling-line up that played togather


International Regular
So, which are the best bowling attacks a team possessed, where all the bowlers in the said attack played together?

My top three are:

1. Holding, Croft, Garner, Roberts
2. Imran, Wasim, Waqar, Qadir
3. McGrath, Lee, Gellispie, Warne

Edit: Thanks Fiap for the WI clearence.
Last edited:


Virat Kohli (c)
Sodhi, Salvi, Patel and whomever else Arjun thinks should lead India to victory against Pakistan :D

a massive zebra

International Vice-Captain
England must have regularly put in a top notch bowling lineup in the 1950s. Such depth, with greats such as Trueman, Statham, Tyson, Laker, Lock and Wardle all competing for places.

Black Thunder

School Boy/Girl Captain
yep without a doubt the Windies of the early 80's.
All of those original 3 mentioned are great, but i'd have this current Aus bowling line-up in front of the one around 1999 which had Lee in it.

Back in 99, Lee was bowling better than Kasper, but Gillespie was still a bit green back then. McGrath then is about equal to now, but Warne is a much better bowling now then he was then. Warney had a bit of a poor patch in the late 90's/early 00's - if i recall correctly (someone may want to check - i can't be bothered) Warne went four consecutive calender years averaging in the 30's each year around about that time of his career.....

They're probably the three genuinely four-pronged star attacks.

And don't forget some of the English bowling line-ups over time which may not have had four champions, but did have two or three with some solid support. Same with Australia when Lillee and Tommo were together, but more noticeably in the 50's when Miller, Lindwall, Davidson, McKenzie (??), and Benaud (??) were all around that time (actually i'm hazarding abit of a guess with McKenzie) - couldn't tell of the top of my head though....
Last edited:


Cricket Web Staff Member
I've always thought Pollock, Procter, Barlow, Goddard, Trimborn, Lance, Chevalier must have been pretty darn good, personally.
Bedser, Statham, Trueman, Tyson, Lock, Laker couldn't have been shabby, either (never played together - Tyson directly replaced Bedser and it aroused considerable consternation).
Not sure if Holding, Garner, Marshall and Roberts all played together (had this discussion with Dave Lewis a while back), certainly if they did Roberts would've been past his peak and Marshall wouldn't yet have reached it. Not like it'd have been shoddy, though.
I'm always amazed, though, when I think of Lindwall, Johnstone, Miller, Toshack, Davidson and Benaud - who if they didn't ever play together must have come darn close.
Come to that, Lillee, Thomson, Walker, Gilmour can't have been shoddy, either - though Thommo is rather overrated and was only at his searing best for a year or two and otherwise was a bit above average. O'Keefe slotted in of times, too, but we're talking about making an attack stronger, here. :p
To be fair to him, though, there were certainly worse bowlers who played for Aus in the decade after him.
Last edited:

Black Thunder

School Boy/Girl Captain
if you want to look at great teams/bowling or batting combinations etc,. i think you have to look at it over at leat an 18 month period. In some respects this is where the Aus 48 team gets let down a bit in terms of talking about great teams, but that is a bit harsh on them because of the difference in scheduling now as compared to them.

The two periods where Australian bowling has been strong was around 2000 and currently. The exact periods would be November 1999 to April 2001 - this comprises 17 tests starting at Pakistan in Australia through to the Indian series just period to the Ashes tour. These are the performances during that time:

Bowlers - Inns - Ave - Wkts
B Lee (AUS) - 14 - 16.07 - 42
GD McGrath (AUS) - 34 - 18.61 - 82
CR Miller (AUS) - 14 - 23.08 - 38
JN Gillespie (AUS) - 14 - 23.09 - 33
DW Fleming (AUS) - 14 - 25.13 - 31
SCG MacGill (AUS) - 8 - 31.31 - 16
SK Warne (AUS) - 24 - 36.09 - 45

The big thing to notice from there is the changing of the line-up. Only McGrath played in all 17 tests during this period, while Warne's 12 was the only person to play in more than half the tests during this period. Also not the lack of influence of Warney during this period, taking just 1 5-for, along with a mid-30's average.

Compare this to the performances of the current team from the 18 months prior to this test - compromises 20 tests from the start of the Zimbabwean series (where Hayden got the world record):

Bowler - Inns - Ave - Wkts
GD McGrath (AUS) - 22 - 19.04 - 51
MS Kasprowicz (AUS) - 25 - 23.74 - 47
SK Warne (AUS) - 24 - 25.07 - 75
JN Gillespie (AUS) - 36 - 25.79 - 67
AJ Bichel (AUS) - 8 - 34.38 - 16
SCG MacGill (AUS) - 16 - 43.59 - 27
B Lee (AUS) - 7 - 49.86 - 14

And you've got to reckon the struggles during the Indian summer last year when McGrath and Warne were out while Gillespie was battling injury. If you look at our main four bowlers, there is clear defined group of bowlers (GM, MK, SW and JG) were as compared to the first group it's really not clear what Australian best bowling quartet was. And the bowling group over the past 18 months has been much more consistent then the group during 99-01.

But, at the end of the day with that poor Indian series (even if Gillespie was the only guy in there, and only playing half-fit) maybe you do have to give it to the 99-01 bowlers at the moment. If you look at their overall record during each 18 month period from Nov99-Apr01 Australia averaged 24.7 (exceptional) compared to the 28.0 over the past 18 months.

But do remember, this current group are getting stronger and stronger and eventually you'll be able to discount that Indian series (I stand by the fact you need to compare teams over at least 18 months). And over the last 12 months (11 tests) when the bowling quartet has hardly changed from the current four, the Australian's are average a sublime 23.0 with the ball as a team and i can't see that increasing too much - both NZ and Ashes tours i'd say will be lowish scoring.... These four guys could end up building quite an imposing record.

And on a footnote i wanted to check Warney and his mid-career downpatch. During 1998-2001, he averaged 33.16, 32.97, 33.06 and 31.18 over those four calendar years.


Hall of Fame Member
Beleg said:
1. Holding, Marshall, Garner, Roberts
Just a pet peeve, but that bowling lineup never played together. Marshall made his debut in Roberts' final series, and they never appeared side by side in a test lineup. For the best Windies lineup you'd be better off looking at Holding, Garner, Croft, Roberts from before Marshall's time.

Anyway, that one is up there, as is the current Australian lineup and the Pakistani side from late in Imran's career. One which is often overlooked is the Australian bowling lineup from the mid 50s, which had three of the great Australian post-war bowlers in Lindwall, Davidson and Benaud playing together, although admittedly Lindwall was reaching the end of his career and Davidson was young.

Another great bowling lineup is the England side of the early 50s, with two greats in Bedser and Trueman opening the bowling, Bailey as the third seamer and Lock and Laker as the spinners. You don't get much better than that.

Black Thunder

School Boy/Girl Captain
how bout this for a great bowling line-up:


Ray Lindwall (228 wkts at 23) 1945-60
Keith Miller (170 wkts at 22) 1945-56
Ron Archer (48 wkts at 27) 1952-56
Ian Johnson (109 wkts at 29) off spinner 1945-56
Richie Benaud (248 wkts at 27) 1952-64
Bill Johnston (106 wkts at 23) 1947-55

Would that be the only instance post WWI of a team having 5 bowlers who have all taken 100 wickets at an average in the 20's??? Along with a handy all rounder at FC level who didn't do too badly at test level.

Black Thunder

School Boy/Girl Captain
Richard said:
No Ernest Toshack!!!!!
he didn't play in that test. In fact he didn't play in the 50's at all.

BTW, being an Aussie we prefer to call him Ernie ;)
Last edited:


Cricket Web Staff Member
Oh, right, it was just 1 game? (sorry, didn't check the link)
Guess that Tosh couldn't get into the side was an indicator (though I guess he'd have played above Archer - maybe he was injured?)

Black Thunder

School Boy/Girl Captain
Richard said:
Oh, right, it was just 1 game? (sorry, didn't check the link)
Guess that Tosh couldn't get into the side was an indicator (though I guess he'd have played above Archer - maybe he was injured?)
doubt it. he finished up in 1948, and that particular test was in 1954. Archer was a quality FC all rounder who had limited opportunities but did well at test cricket. Probably liken him to a bowling version of Simon Katich at the moment.