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Test bowling - Danny Morrison v Chris Martin

Who was/is the better test bowler?

  • Total voters


Hall of Fame Member
And no, it's not a battle of their batting - Danny takes that hands down, which'll be the first time in his history that you could say that about Morrison's batting. During the test today, they flashed up NZ's top wicket-takers and I was struck by how similar Morrison and Martin's records were.



From my perspective, Morrison had a mildly varying career in terms of support - he came into the side with the advantage of Hadlee and Chatfield providing part of an excellent bowling trio (with the likes of Snedden filling the fourth spot), but once Hadlee went, Morrison was thrust into the role of the bowling attack's spearhead. So often in the early-to-mid 1990s, he was given next to nothing to bowl alongside - Cairns was nowhere near his best potential, Grubby De Groen was an extremely poor man's Ewen Chatfield, Murphy Su'a, Michael Owens, Kerry Walmsley and Robert Kennedy were all fly-by-nighters, and Simon Doull only really hit his straps in the late 1990s. When Morrison had everything together, he was very dangerous, but his lack of height and slight slinging action was easy to get after and lift over the infield if he wasn't getting things right.

Martin has eked every last ounce of effort out of - let's be honest - a pretty average and one-dimensional action. He was brought in as a last-gasp option on his debut in South Africa and toiled manfully - a portent of things to come over the next 9 years. He's worked on his frame and put weight on in order to stave off injury and even stuck it to the selectors in this test with a couple of wickets. That said, I feel his one-dimensional action has certainly come at a runs-per-wicket (albeit lower than Morrison's) and he did have the benefit of Cairns and Bond in particular as strike bowlers - although some would argue that gave him fewer opportunities.

Anyway, I'm undecided. Vote to help me make my mind up.


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Tough call.

Loved watching Danny Morrison. Tempted to rate Morrison higher because I believe he was potentially a far better bowler than he showed whereas Chris Martin has, as you said, worked it as much as he can. I think Danny was a touch more destructive at his best too. But then again, I saw Morrison when I was really young and loved guys like him/Waqar who were all about pitching the ball up at pace and trying to swing it so it's possible I just have fond childhood memories of him.

He was quick enough, though. Remember Slater saying facing Allan Donald wasn't all that much different to facing Morrison for sheer speed, just that Morrison gave you a few more loose than Donald. Hell of a compliment, really.


School Boy/Girl Captain
Chris Martin. Only because Danny Morrison is a terrible commentator, haven't really seen him play.


Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
Very close. I'd go for Morrison, just. Really not much in it.

ODIs, obviously, would be much easier to call.

Noble One

International Vice-Captain
Very interesting comparison.

My immediate reaction was Danny Morrison. I recall the great competitor he was by being the lone New Zealand paceman of high quality throughout the early to mid 1990's after the retirement of Hadlee. Toiled away like a workhorse bowler and yet maintained an attacking edge to his game. Always remained suprised that he never had a longer international career, feel he was dropped before any suitable replacements had emerged.

The New Zealand bowling attack revolved around Danny Morrison for much of his career, the same cannot be said of Chris Martin.


Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
Danny Morrison looked pretty ordinary when he played for Lancashire in 1992 (although checking his figures they weren't as bad as I recalled)

Chris Martin on the other hand always looks useful and while he's some way from greatness I think he's a better bowler than his stats indicate so Martin gets my vote

thierry henry

International Captain
When I first started watching cricket I thought Morrison was awesome. He was easily NZ's best bowler and seemingly their fastest, and I loved his action. He was the NZ bowler kids of my era imitated in their back yard.

tbh I'm always surprised at how poor his record is....I distinctly remember him being successful quite often when I watched him....iirc he was one of those guys who sort of quite suddenly and prematurely seemed to be over the hill, around the age of 30-31, and became totally ineffective (or at least was perceived as such).

I don't agree that Morrison left without having a logical replacement, far from it, he left on the cusp of the late 90s which was a pretty good era for NZ and especially for NZ pace bowling.


U19 12th Man
my vote is for Danny boy

post Hadlee - Chatfield era Morrison carried the kiwi attack for at least half a decade and was a force to reckon with .

He ended his career in Auckland in a bizarre way in 1997 (was following the match from Brisbane)

With two sessions of the game remaining, England had their sights set on an easy innings victory after New Zealand, trailing by 131 on first innings, slipped to 105 for 8. , but Morrison came in after the 9th wicket - and having a Test-record 24 ducks to his name ,blocked his way through the final two-and-three-quarter hours of the Test. England threw in the towel in frustration immediately after Astle had reached his ton . New Zealand's 10th-wicket stand had been worth 106 runs, and Morrison had faced 133 balls - Cork, Mullally,Gough , Tufnell all had a crack at him and like a limpet he clung on.

The NZ selectors rewarded him for saving the test - by dropping him never to be selected again.
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Hall of Fame Member
Almost two years on, and Martin is knocking on the door of 200 test wickets. Can we put him comfortably ahead?


State 12th Man
Almost two years on, and Martin is knocking on the door of 200 test wickets. Can we put him comfortably ahead?
Reckon Morrison and Martin are 2 quarters of the same half of a coin.
But gotta give to Martin though.
I would have liked to see Martin n Morrison in the same team. Imagine these 2 putting on 50 runs for the last wicket...against Glenn n Warne at the MCG.


Really can't decide. I want to vote Morrison, but my view is coloured by years of yelling at Martin to attack the stumps.

Martin at his best is as good as anyone in the world, as we saw in India, but 9/10 games he will deliver a gentle 2/60 or 3/95. His best years were when he had Cairns, Bond, Franklin mk I etc to bowl with as well.

If we were playing in South Africa or at the Basin, I would definitely select Martin. He's freakishly good in certain places.

I've never seen highlights or anything of Morrison either, and never really looked at his stats (and cbf), so can't comment on him.

If anything, Martin edges ahead because of longevity and more wickets to his name. Despite being no where near NZ all time eleven status, he deserves kudos for running in all these years and chipping in when our other bowlers have fallen down like flies. Deserves to make the 200 club.


School Boy/Girl Cricketer
I voted MOrrison without looking at the stats, as he always looked the better bowler to me.
But his stats are worse than I imagined, whilst Martin's are way better.

But again, if we judged solely on stats, then Jacques Kallis is the greatest player ever, so Ill stick with my original instinctive choice of Morrison.


Hall of Fame Member
I'd go with Martos. While Morrison was without much class support throughout most of his career, Martin has had to do without decent backup for much of his as well. Yes, there were a handful of games that he got to play with Bond, but Cairns was well past his best by the time Martin became a permanent fixture in the side in 2004, and Franklin's career as a test fast bowler ended barely a couple of years after it started. For the rest of that time Martin has had to shoulder much of the hard work, and he's had to do it on much flatter and drier home pitches than Danny experienced throughout his career.

He also has the longevity, and has shown the ability to come back from a good thrashing at various stages of his career. Can't wait till he gets 200.
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