Mohammad Sami. I always think of him when it comes to short fast bowlers.
It's all about McGrath. He made people think if you were 6'7 you must have this as a reason for taking wickets, because McGrath wasn't lightning fast and he didn't swing it much. So it must have been height and bounce.Trueman was 5'10", and Brian Statham about the same. John Snow is listed on Wiki as 5'11", although whether that's true is anyone's guess.
I find it funny that people these days are obsessed with height in fast bowlers (in fairness they always have, but there's more really tall people to choose from these days) Yet two of the best bowlers over this decade, Harris and Steyn, are 181 and 179 cm respectively, with Philander being perhaps a little less than Steyn as well.
I think a lot of that natural extra-pace comes from the ****ing of the wrist. Some do it better than others to find an extra yard (like a catapult)Recently I took the liberty of looking at some biomechanics papers (I love having university access, I'm really going to miss it) on fast bowling, and height is in fact associated with bowling speed, which makes sense as longer arms means more leverage. But other mechanical factors are also associated with bowling speed and at the very highest levels maybe a shorter, better coordinated bowler has a better chance of developing those certain mechanics.
Walsh and Ambrose too. I think they in particular are also behind the modern preference for bowling chest on. Also height has been considered a good quality for many years but now people seem to specifically seek out tall people rather than going for a shorter but perhaps more talented bowler.It's all about McGrath. He made people think if you were 6'7 you must have this as a reason for taking wickets, because McGrath wasn't lightning fast and he didn't swing it much. So it must have been height and bounce.
The thinking behind this isn't bad but it overlooks the fact that McGrath was a freak
Generally I think it's more about use of the body. One factor, according one paper, associated with pace is the angle through which the shoulders move, and perhaps taller bowlers are less able to perform such a movement. Anecdotally I'd say that bowlers these days move their shoulders through a smaller angle. Certainly no-one stretches out like Trueman does here anymore.I think a lot of that natural extra-pace comes from the ****ing of the wrist. Some do it better than others to find an extra yard (like a catapult)
It's really much less fun to face, because it's that little bit harder to pick the length when it's coming down with that little bit more vertical speed relative to other bowlers.Is height really a pre-requisite for bowling speed?
I always figured it's only really useful if you're a hit-the-deck kind of bowler. The types with a high arm action and release, who really run through the crease and thud the ball in. If you're the kind of bowler who is generating pace by coiling up your body and then unwinding with really rapid arm speed, looking to bowl full and swing in, then height doesn't really matter does it? If anything, being taller tends to make you more lumbering and less athletic.