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Best ever medium pacer?

Matt79

Global Moderator
Who do people think is the best medium/medium-fast bowler, either at the moment, or ever?

Some possible candidates would include Alec Bedser, Fazal Mahmood, Glenn McGrath, Terry Alderman, and many more I can't think of right now.
 

Barney Rubble

International Coach
McGrath, by a fair distance. Most of the other greats had genuine pace - certainly faster than the 78mph McGrath bowls these days, anyway.
 

Top_Cat

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McGrath isn't medium pace. He bowls in that 130-135km/h zone very deliberately. He can still crank it past 140km/h when he wants to (last time I saw him do it would have been mid last year) but he's on the record as saying he doesn't because he gets less lift off the deck.

Best medium-pacer I've seen would be Terry Alderman or Angus Fraser.
 

a massive zebra

International Vice-Captain
Alec Bedser held the wood over Don Bradman for a short period of time with his leg trap and generally dealt with the best batsman in most opposing sides very effectively. That's good enough for me.
 

C_C

International Captain
Well medium pacer would be someone in the < 85mph category for me ( whether bowling deliberately in that range or that is their top speed).
As such, its a two-horse race : Hadlee and McGrath.
 

Autobahn

State 12th Man
Wouldn't that be Fast-Medium?

The problem is many people term anything that isn't fast as medium.
 

C_C

International Captain
Autobahn said:
Wouldn't that be Fast-Medium?

The problem is many people term anything that isn't fast as medium.
Well i dont think the term medium pace/express pace/fast-medium/medium-fast/fast/slow-medium are all that well supported by speed readings. For i've seen some people associate slow-medium with 60mph deliveries while some do it for anything below 75mph.

My understanding would be this :

express : 95+mph consistently ( Holding, Akhtar, Waqar, Thommo,Lee, Patrick Patterson, etc.)
fast : capable of 95mph+ bowling but usually in the 90-95mph group ( Donald, Ambrose in his 20s, Lillee, Imran, Roberts, Croft, Bishop, Hall, Trueman, etc.)
fast-medium : capable of 90+mph stuff but mostly in the high 80s zone ( Flintoff, Wasim, Walsh,Srinath,Gillespie,Garner,Sobers,Willis etc.)
Medium-fast : capable of high 80s or sometimes in the low 90s stuff but mostly in the mid-low 80s zone ( McGrath, Kapil,Vaas,Botham, Hadlee, Pollock, Sarfaraz,etc.)

Medium - incapable of high 80s/low 90s - usually hits mid-low 80s when going 'flat out' and operating in the low 70s category ( Pathan today, Kallis, Fleming, Amarnath, etc)

Slow-medium : almost never exceeds 80mph, usually operates in the high 60s/low 70s range at best (Cronje, Ganguly,etc).

Ofcourse, this is a rough understanding - not all bowlers fit their categories ideally - Wasim could churn out 95mph stuff and trouble the quickest of batsmen(such as Ritchie Richardson) when he chose to but most of the time he was content bowling in the high 80s. McGrath can crank out 90mph stuff but mostly chooses to stick ot the mid-low 80s zone. But i feel that in my rough approximation of the speed definitions, the bowlers i put in their categories 'fit' that category better than any other. My inclinations usually are to lump express and fast into one category and medium-medium-fast-slow medium into another while more or less keeping fast medium seperate. Why i dunno, call it a natural inclination. Maybe i see the world of cricket in 4 gears ( fast, fast-medium, medium and slow/spin).Ofcourse, i dont believe much in speed being a factor that makes a bowler good - speed can be a weakness to some batsmen but nowhere close to movement in my opinion so i tend to use the generic term 'pacers' more than anything else - i basically view the word 'pacer' to be 'anyone who isnt a spinner'.
 
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Autobahn

State 12th Man
C_C said:
Well i dont think the term medium pace/express pace/fast-medium/medium-fast/fast/slow-medium are all that well supported by speed readings. For i've seen some people associate slow-medium with 60mph deliveries while some do it for anything below 75mph.

My understanding would be this :

express : 95+mph consistently ( Holding, Akhtar, Waqar, Thommo,Lee, Patrick Patterson, etc.)
fast : capable of 95mph+ bowling but usually in the 90-95mph group ( Donald, Ambrose in his 20s, Lillee, Imran, Roberts, Croft, Bishop, Hall, Trueman, etc.)
fast-medium : capable of 90+mph stuff but mostly in the high 80s zone ( Flintoff, Wasim, Walsh,Srinath,Gillespie,Garner,Sobers,Willis etc.)
Medium-fast : capable of high 80s or sometimes in the low 90s stuff but mostly in the mid-low 80s zone ( McGrath, Kapil,Vaas,Botham, Hadlee, Pollock, Sarfaraz,etc.)

Medium - incapable of high 80s/low 90s - usually hits mid-low 80s when going 'flat out' and operating in the low 70s category ( Pathan today, Kallis, Fleming, Amarnath, etc)

Slow-medium : almost never exceeds 80mph, usually operates in the high 60s/low 70s range at best (Cronje, Ganguly,etc).

Ofcourse, this is a rough understanding - not all bowlers fit their categories ideally - Wasim could churn out 95mph stuff and trouble the quickest of batsmen(such as Ritchie Richardson) when he chose to but most of the time he was content bowling in the high 80s. McGrath can crank out 90mph stuff but mostly chooses to stick ot the mid-low 80s zone. But i feel that in my rough approximation of the speed definitions, the bowlers i put in their categories 'fit' that category better than any other. Ofcourse, i dont believe much in speed being a factor that makes a bowler good - speed can be a weakness to some batsmen but nowhere close to movement in my opinion so i tend to use the generic term 'pacers' more than anything else - i basically view the word 'pacer' to be 'anyone who isnt a spinner'.
Agree with you there but i should point that people's speeds will change over time due to injuries and such for example i would have put Botham, Dev and Pollock at the start of their careers as Fast-Medium whereas obviously they have dropped pace so much that they move into the medium fast group.
 

C_C

International Captain
Autobahn said:
Agree with you there but i should point that people's speeds will change over time due to injuries and such for example i would have put Botham, Dev and Pollock at the start of their careers as Fast-Medium whereas obviously they have dropped pace so much that they move into the medium fast group.
True- i think i tend to hold the view of their speeds according to how they bowled for much of their career. Gillespie for eg had the first couple of years that was blazingly fast- in the Lillee category. But most of his career he's been fast-medium, so i am inclined to put him in there).
 

chris.hinton

International Regular
C_C said:
True- i think i tend to hold the view of their speeds according to how they bowled for much of their career. Gillespie for eg had the first couple of years that was blazingly fast- in the Lillee category. But most of his career he's been fast-medium, so i am inclined to put him in there).
h
 

archie mac

International Coach
Again, not sure if he was medium or leg spin; one SF Barnes.


If we don't consider the above I will have Tate just in front of Bedser
 

oz_fan

International Regular
I'm gonna include anyone who bowls usually in the mid 80mph or below.
I would have as a top 5:
1. McGrath - taken most wickets as a pace bowler in test cricket.
2. Hadlee - superb accuracy and a wicket taker.
3. Bedser - was a challenge for Don Bradman.
4. Pollock- underrated. Has taken close to 400 wickets at an average close to 20. At one stage he averaged under 20.
5. Botham/Dev - Both took a lot of wickets and could be devastating.
 
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C_C

International Captain
3. Bedser - was a challenge for Don Bradman.
While Bedser was an excellent bowler, the supposition that he posed a challenge for Bradman is not really indicative of how good (or bad) a player he was. For one, Bradman found Larwood to be quite a challenge too and Larwood isnt exactly the greatest or finest of very fast bowlers.
Often batsmen or bowlers have a bogey guy who is quite adept despite not being an excellent or earthshattering player.
Lara had a problem with Bichel despite Bichel not being a very good bowler himself. Tendulkar had a problem with Cronje ( who's # of dismissals of him ranks second in the list for tests!).Bowlers too, often have a bogey-man : Warne wasnt very successful against Hooper.Sometimes there is just an 'X-factor' aspect to it too.
 

Matt79

Global Moderator
Bedser's claims to greatness extend a fair way beyond troubling Bradman - although that's not a bad claim either - he was the backbone of Surrey through the 1950s and the Nottingham 7s were against a post-Bradman Australian team (but with Morris, Hasset, Harvey, Miller, etc still going strong).

That said, his record outside of England is nowhere near as special as his record at home.
 

Matt79

Global Moderator
Bichel's an alright bowler - he's brave and was pretty successful in some limited opportunities. His WC in 2003 was awesome. But I take your point about him not being a great bowler, yet still posing big difficulties for particular great batsmen, like Lara.
 

social

Hall of Fame Member
Batsmen that faced McGrath, Pollock pre-ankle injury, Aldmerman pre-shoulder injury, Hadlee etc would undoubtedly take issue with their classification as medium pacers.

At worst, these guys were all sharp, albeit slightly below express, and much quicker than, say, Hoggard.

For mine, medium pacers are people like Bedser, Max Walker, Fazal Mahmood, Sid Barnes. These are guys that had great control over line, length and movement out of necessity as they had no pace to fall back on.
 

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