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Wasim Akram vs Fred Trueman

Who was the greater fast bowler?(Tests)

  • Wasim Akram

    Votes: 17 41.5%
  • Fred Trueman

    Votes: 24 58.5%

  • Total voters
    41

subshakerz

International Regular
Based on eye test it would have surprised no one if Akram averaged 18 picking 5 wickets a match. But he didn't and someone like McGrath with seemingly less exciting bowling style did better (don't @ me on McGrath, you will be preaching to the coir). So you gotta ask what did Akram fail to do. We know cricket is a game of small margins. Akram despite all the tools was giving impression of being hardest to face more than actually getting players out (relative to other greats). It also shows up in his disproportionately large share of tail wickets: 35% wickets of batsmen playing at 8-11. Incidentally, Trueman with 31.6% is middling. For reference McGrath took only 25.2% tail wickets. http://howstat.com/cricket/Statistics/Bowling/BowlingAggregates.asp

Akram is the classic case of why eye test fails in rating players.
It's not an eye test as a spectator, its a testimony of the players who played against Wasim who they found more difficult to play. It has to count for something. In fact, I can say that Wasim in his good years was rarely attacked by batsmen who were more concerned with playing him out of respect for being so awkward and skilled.

Wasim suffered more because he took longer to blossom as he started cricket young and then had a longer dip once he started his battle with diabetes.

No doubt McGrath is better though, but he was still almost as highly rated as Wasim as a bowler plus had superior stats.
 

Kirkut

International Debutant
Trueman was the yorker king before Pakistani and Windies bowlers made it their trade.
 

OverratedSanity

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Checks out mostly with what is happening at any given point. E.g. Smith and Imran have highest batting and bowling peaks according to ICC ratings since 1950, completely consistent with their form. I don't see much wrong tbh.
That's just confirming what you already think is true. Hardly means it's some great metric to use for every player in history.
 

Kirkut

International Debutant
Based on eye test it would have surprised no one if Akram averaged 18 picking 5 wickets a match. But he didn't and someone like McGrath with seemingly less exciting bowling style did better (don't @ me on McGrath, you will be preaching to the coir). So you gotta ask what did Akram fail to do. We know cricket is a game of small margins. Akram despite all the tools was giving impression of being hardest to face more than actually getting players out (relative to other greats). It also shows up in his disproportionately large share of tail wickets: 35% wickets of batsmen playing at 8-11. Incidentally, Trueman with 31.6% is middling. For reference McGrath took only 25.2% tail wickets. http://howstat.com/cricket/Statistics/Bowling/BowlingAggregates.asp

Akram is the classic case of why eye test fails in rating players.
Akram vs McGrath is sort of similar to Bumrah vs Cummins discussion. While Bumrah can bowl those game changing spells out of nowhere he also has the tendency to blow cold like how Elgar looked untroubled against him in Jo'burg, Cummins on the other hand doesn't have many of those memorable game changing spells but he's far more clinical and consistent than Bumrah.
 

ankitj

Hall of Fame Member
I was going to use Bumrah as an example but didn't want to get called out for getting too excited about Indian bowlers :D Yes, Bumrah has a tendency to bowl those magical deliveries that make for great spectacle but tends to bowl "unlucky" spells often. Gets poetic praise for his good spells. But Cummins is far more clinical and consistent.

Some batters may well say Bumrah is harder to face, but that won't be enough to sway my view on who is better between the 2.
 

Arachnodouche

International Vice-Captain
I was going to use Bumrah as an example but didn't want to get called out for getting too excited about Indian bowlers :D Yes, Bumrah has a tendency to bowl those magical deliveries that make for great spectacle but tends to bowl "unlucky" spells often. Gets poetic praise for his good spells. But Cummins is far more clinical and consistent.

Some batters may well say Bumrah is harder to face, but that won't be enough to sway my view on who is better between the 2.
See, I don't recollect Wasim bowling too many "unlucky" spells at all. He had every conceivable tool in the shed, allied to being a left-armer and having real bowling smarts. You have to look elsewhere, outside his raw stats - and we all know where - to understand why he didn't average as less as say Marshall, which he by rights should have.
 

ankitj

Hall of Fame Member
See, I don't recollect Wasim bowling too many "unlucky" spells at all. He had every conceivable tool in the shed, allied to being a left-armer and having real bowling smarts. You have to look elsewhere, outside his raw stats - and we all know where - to understand why he didn't average as less as say Marshall, which he by rights should have.
Well yeah, that's the thing. It's a paradox. Wasim could have averaged 18 and no one would have said that stats flatter him. To the raw eye, he was the most skillful pace bowler of his generation or since.
 

thierry henry

Cricketer Of The Year
I recall Wasim was seen as better. Especially after his big take off in Australia in 1990, he was rated the next big thing in cricket. And then the 92 World Cup cemented that reputation. Waqar only really captured higher attention after the 1992 England tour though he had built up a reputation in county cricket by then.
Well yeah, you’ve only addressed the bit prior to Waqar going on a tear and you’ve highlighted the 1992 WC which Waqar missed. But for the few years after that Waqar was unmistakably more devastating.
 

thierry henry

Cricketer Of The Year
I acknowledge here that I am biased because NZ played Pakistan regularly between 1992-1996 and Waqar substantially built his reputation against us. He was definitely the more scary prospect of the two in NZ.
 

kyear2

International Captain
Well yeah, you’ve only addressed the bit prior to Waqar going on a tear and you’ve highlighted the 1992 WC which Waqar missed. But for the few years after that Waqar was unmistakably more devastating.
My memory might be off, but there was a point where Waqar and (a pre injury) Bishop were seen as the best young bowlers in the game. At least the fastest. Wasim was crafty, but Waqar was destructive.
 

subshakerz

International Regular
See, I don't recollect Wasim bowling too many "unlucky" spells at all. He had every conceivable tool in the shed, allied to being a left-armer and having real bowling smarts. You have to look elsewhere, outside his raw stats - and we all know where - to understand why he didn't average as less as say Marshall, which he by rights should have.
I recall quite a few unlucky spells from Wasim where the batsmen were bamboozled and just focused on survival. Example:

 

smash84

The Tiger King
My memory might be off, but there was a point where Waqar and (a pre injury) Bishop were seen as the best young bowlers in the game. At least the fastest. Wasim was crafty, but Waqar was destructive.
Good reminder of Bishop, seems to have been forgotten as a bowler. Also came on the heels of another express and forgotten bowler, Pattrick Patterson.
 

subshakerz

International Regular
I acknowledge here that I am biased because NZ played Pakistan regularly between 1992-1996 and Waqar substantially built his reputation against us. He was definitely the more scary prospect of the two in NZ.
Yeah Waqar was a wrecker of NZ no doubt. But Waqar's peak ended with his back injury in 1995.

I think there was a tendency at that time, even now, that automatically boosted your global reputation once you perform in Australia, similar to how Lara and Tendulkar were treated differently after their initial tours there, and even Ambrose in 88. Waqar had a quiet series in Australia in 1990 and when he returned there in 1995 his pace was gone and he wasn't the same bowler. Wasim, on the other hand, was excellent in both series.

Hence from my recollection, while Waqar was acknowledged as exciting, Wasim was viewed as the better bowler.
 
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