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What did Sydney Barnes bowl?

chaminda_00

Hall of Fame Member
What type of bowler was Sydney Barnes?

I was always thought to my self that Sydney Barnes was a seam bowler. But reading through his profile on cricinfo, its seems he was similar to Gary Sobers. It looks like used to bowl seamers with the new ball, in a attempt to swing the ball and then bowled leg breaks with the older ball. Also he apparently develop a off break as he got older. So what do we classifly him as a fast bowler or a spin bowler, or just a slow bowler? Also does anyone else have more information on the type of bowler he was.
 
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archie mac

International Coach
I just listened to a tape on which the great man was talking, he made the statement "Why don't captains open with a spin bowler anymore?" He then gave the example of a captain opening with him in a Test Match and that he (Barnes) did very well.
 

Adamc

Cricketer Of The Year
andyc said:
Beat me to it.
Me too. I came to this thread with the sole intention of posting a smart-alec response, but LE and Prince EWS took both of them. :sadwalk:
 

luckyeddie

Cricket Web Staff Member
archie mac said:
I just listened to a tape on which the great man was talking, he made the statement "Why don't captains open with a spin bowler anymore?" He then gave the example of a captain opening with him in a Test Match and that he (Barnes) did very well.
One word - lacquer.
 

Dasa

International Vice-Captain
luckyeddie said:
One word - lacquer.
I've always wondered if anyone has ever tried to tamper with the ball by taping a small piece of sandpaper to their trousers (painted to match the whites of course).
 

luckyeddie

Cricket Web Staff Member
Dasa said:
I've always wondered if anyone has ever tried to tamper with the ball by taping a small piece of sandpaper to their trousers (painted to match the whites of course).
Don't know about that - but I know someone who used to smear a bit of lipsol on the inside of one of his trouser pockets (opposite effect, I know).

Thinking about sandpaper - too obvious. The red from the ball would stick out like a sore thumb - in a nice, perfectly rectangular shape.
 

Tapioca

State Vice-Captain
Don't know about that - but I know someone who used to smear a bit of lipsol on the inside of one of his trouser pockets (opposite effect, I know).
Don't know about that but when the ball tampering controversy broke out in 1990-1, Chris Pringle alleged that Pakistanis maybe using finger nails, bottle caps or 'even knives' to roughen up the ball.
 

andyc

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
Tapioca said:
Don't know about that but when the ball tampering controversy broke out in 1990-1, Chris Pringle alleged that Pakistanis maybe using finger nails, bottle caps or 'even knives' to roughen up the ball.
He swore by it, in fact. It was why the Kiwis did it while in Pakistan, so that they'd have a chance
 

Josh

International Regular
We used hair gel effectively in the Under 16's

Heard a story once of a bloke who, when the teams came off for tea break, he'd put on all this suncream and his face would be near white and someone would say "Mate, it's 22 degrees and overcast!!" The guy would just laugh and in about 5 overs time, the suncream had disappeared and a 50 over old ball looked like new.
 

andyc

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
Josh said:
We used hair gel effectively in the Under 16's
That's a bit unfair seeing as it's only Under 16's. I'd be gutted if some team did that in my comp.
 

SJS

Hall of Fame Member
He bowled leg breaks at medium pace. He also swung them in at the same pace and worse of all he swung them in, very sharply from oustside the off stump, they pitched on the leg stump, broke away like leg breaks and knocked off stumps out of the ground !!

Barnes had..... in the eyes of most mature batsmen of the day - an aloof 'lone wolf' appearance, six feet tall, a hatchet jaw, piercing, unsmiling eyes, and a lean hungry look, hungry for wickets....

he remained a man apart, a 'mercenary', so to say. I remember him as a p[layer who most times seemed to isolate himself on the field; he wasn't given to chatter at the fall of a wicket. He sent a wind of antagonism blowing over cricket fields everywhere.

...Orielly was supposed to announce in his every motion...that he hated the sight of all batsmen. Compared with Barnes, O'rielly was a font of beneficence and geniality.Yet A>C> Maclaren vowed that no bowler ...was so easy to manage as Barnes. ' I would toss him the ball, let him set his own field - and that was that....'


On a certain historical occasion, an England captain did not toss the ball to Barnes...Douglas (captaining in the absence of Warner) ran ahead and cammandeered the new ball. Barnes said to a colleague, ' What's he taking the new ball for - is he opening with Mr Foster'

Douglas did open the England attack that day at Sydney, December 15th 191. Australia compiled 411....and won by 146 runs. Barnes : 35 overs; 5 maidens: 107 runs: 3 wickets and 30 overs: 8 maidens: 72 runs: 1 wicket.

In the next match...Douglas tossed the new ball to Barnes....It is as wel known in cricket history, as in history proper the batles of Hastings and Waterloo are known...

Barnes demolished the strong first line of Australian batsmanship by overthrowing Bardsley, Kelleway, Hill and Armstrong in five overs for one run only.
At lunch Australia had somehow acquired 34 for 4; after an hour and ten minutes of ruthless, smooth, rythmic action, Barnes had bowled 9 overs: 6 maidens: 11runs: for 4 wickets.

The astounding fact of this renowned piece of bowling is that Barnes was suffering from some dizziness, actually saying to his captain that he'll have to 'chuck it - I can hardly see the other end'


In this Australian first innings his final figures were 23 - 9 - 44 - 5

In the series , which England won eventually, Barnes had 32 wickets at 21.6 runs each. He was 38 years old then.

There is a popular misconception that Barnes took most of his wickets against South Africa. This is not true. While he did demolish South Africa in the 7 games he p[layed against them, his performance against Australia was not to be scoffed at.

In 20 Ashes games, Barnes took 106 test wickets at 21.6 each getting a five wicket haul 12 times.

England played Australia 43 times between 1901 (when Barnes made his debut) and 1914 (when he played his last game) of these Barnes played less than half.

This, inspite of the fact that he was by fasr the most devastating bowler IN TESTS during this period with 189 wickets in 27 tests(87 against SAF in 7 games besides those against Australia.

He was easily the most successful bowler in the Ashes in this period (with his 102 in 20 games) which included great bowlers on both the sides,

England used, besides Barnes...

- Rhodes 81 in 33
- Braund 46 in 20
- Hirst 46 in 19
- Blythe 41 in 9 games
- Foster 34 in 8 (32 in one series mentioned above)

And its not as if he had bad form because of which he was dropped.

There is also a fallacy about easy wickets against South Africa. Well England disnt include him in all games. They plated three series against South Africa during this period without Barnes and here are the results.

- 1905-06 (In SAfrica) England lost 1-4 !!

- 1907 (In England) England won 1-0 ( 2 games drawn)

- 1909-10 (In S Africa) England lost 2-3 !!


A grand score of 4 to 7 (with 2 draws - Clearly if any team looked like being the minows. it wasnt S Africa

Then, with Barnes ending his career, at the age of 39 he was played in the series in England in 1912 (also involving Australia).

- England won 3-0 Barnes doing it single handedly with 34 wickets in 3 games at 8.3 runs each !!!

- Then they took him to S Africa at the ripe old age of 40 and in the four tests that he played, he took a record (most likely never to be equalled) 49 wickets (in 4 tests mind you) at 10.9 each. England won the series 4-0.

Surely it was only Barnes who made S Africa look like they couldnt tell which end of the bat to hold not anyone else in England. This was more a commentary on the ever improving genius of Barnes rather than South Africa being such no-hopers.

England during this period were not a very strong side. They could ill afford to keep a bowler like Barnes out, yet they did. It is anybody's guess what his tally (189 in 27 tests) would have been had he played those additional 20 games against Australia and the 15 juicy ones (for Barnes alone) against the Proteas !!
 

SJS

Hall of Fame Member
Coming back to what he bowled, this is what Clem Hill, one of the greatest left handers produced by Australia had to say after being dismissed by Barnes

I was in first wicket down, after Bardsley had gone for 0. I got four, probably from Foster...I wanted to get away from Barnes. I played three different balls. Three balls to play in a split second - a staight 'un, an in swinger and a break back !

Then along came one which was staright half way, not more than medium pace. (Then) It swerved to my legs, perfect for tickling round the corner for a single. But the ruddy thing (again) broke across after pitching, quick off the ground and took my off stump !'


Consider that he could do the same thing exactly in reverse (Its mirrir copy) for right handers and you can now start thinking what he bowled.

Those who will never be convinced there ever was a better bowler are not toptally stupid it would appear. :)
 

a massive zebra

International Vice-Captain
Does anyone know if there is any film of him bowling for England in existence? I have seen a few clips of him bowling in league cricket in his 60s, but by then he was obviously not a patch on his former self.
 

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