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Who is better Imran Khan or Glenn Mcgrath?

Better bowler


  • Total voters
    81

Ikki

Hall of Fame Member
Until someone can show me significant proportions of Imran wickets that obviously came due to incorrect Umpiring decisions, I'm not going to take any note of that. As I say previously - pure conjecture. There is nothing obvious like there is with Javed Miandad's diplomatic immunity from lbws.

And I assure you - if you can, I can show you large numbers of McGrath wickets that came from poor strokes - whole matches between 2001 and 2004/05 where, on non-seaming wickets (which formed all bar about 3 or 4 Tests), he didn't take a single wicket with a wicket-taking delivery.
Even if you could and even if it were true, what in heaven's name does one have to do with the other?
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
Richard, no offense. But that is a nonsensical argument. Most wickets from most bowlers are not taken by "wicket taking" deliveries, in fact usually (depending on the batsman concerned and conditions) wicket taking deliveries (by that I take it you mean jaffas or similar) do not take wickets.
Of course, only a tiny number of wickets come from what I tend to call RUDs (realistically unplayable deliveries - as strictly speaking there's no such thing as an absolutely unplayable delivery as an awful shot could mean you played a delivery which you'd never play with a good shot; and strictly speaking a Jaffa is a ball you can't lay bat on). However, a few of things:
1, there's plenty of wickets that come from good bowling and less-than-100%-perfect batting. For instance, the succession of away-swingers followed by the straight ball. The straight ball wasn't realistically unplayable, and had it not been preceded by loads of outswingers would've been an easy one which most batsmen would always keep out without difficulty. But it's still damn superb bowling. For another instance, there's the 2.5 overs of just back-of-length balls that don't move unduly and keep the batsman tied to the crease and keep his score stationary, then the big outswinger outside off just short of Half-Volley length that persuades the batsman to drive and draws the nick to the wicketkeeper. Again, superb bowling - but if the batsman had left the ball, it'd have been harmless. And a really good batsman might possibly do so.
2, I don't mind at all if a bowler takes 4-50 by taking 1 wicket with a RUD, 1 wicket with something akin to one of the scenarios mentioned above, then 2 with nothing outside-off balls that don't move at all and that batsman for some reason edges to slip or hits to extra-cover. Even though the latter 2 wickets involve no credit for the bowler whatsoever, he's still, in my view, bowled well. However, if a bowler takes 4-50 when all the wickets come from poor shots to deliveries that made zero contribution to those shots, that's not remotely good bowling in my view, and simply being flattered by figures.
3, the McGrath 2001-2004/05 case. McGrath, all career, was absolutely brilliant on seaming pitches, one of if not the best going around. And in the Adelaide Test of 2004/05 against New Zealand, he demonstrated something I'd never seen him do before - he got the ball to move off a non-seaming pitch. And he did it again several times in the next 3 years. However, on non-seaming pitches 2001-2004 (which were all bar 3 or 4 games in the time) McGrath never took any wickets through particularly good deliveries. Of course, some of this time he ended-up with poor figures. But often he'd get 3-40 or 4-60 without, in my view, bowling well at all. Hence, I've always said that in that time he wasn't quite as good as he was oft made-out to be. Until Adelaide 2004/05, I also presumed that it'd always been that way before 2001 too, though conversations with someone (Corey) not long after that Test persuaded me that it actually hadn't been, and that he had indeed bowled as well as he bowled in that game pre-2001 too. So I decided I did actually think he was one of the best seamers in history after all. But my opinion of 2001-2004/05 remained.
 

Laurrz

International Debutant
McGrath had his battles with Lara and Tendulkar and has had reasonable success against them

out of interest, serious question, what were the battles that Imran had
 

silentstriker

The Wheel is Forever
Imran was clearly quicker, bowled a great yorker and outswinger (plus some reverse swing), and watching both, you would think Imran in a different class, but obviously it is different out in the middle.

I also wonder if in Imran's day the batsman were much more cautious, and would have waited on GM, he seemed to get a lot of batsman out through the batsman trying to take control

Still you have to keep coming back to that record:unsure:
That's not really true though, is it? His S/R is the same as the other all time greats (same as Lillee, for example)...so he wasn't taking longer to get a wicket. And against players who would block him out, such as Kallis and Dravid, he has an absolutely fantastic record.
 

silentstriker

The Wheel is Forever
McGrath had his battles with Lara and Tendulkar and has had reasonable success against them

out of interest, serious question, what were the battles that Imran had
Many against the West Indians, such as Viv Richards. Pakistan managed to draw multiple series with WI when everyone else was getting blown out of sight.
 

bond21

Banned
Wicket Taking Delivery:

A delivery in cricket that results in the wicket of the batsman by either Caught, Bowled, LBW, Stumped, Hit Wicket
 

funnygirl

State Regular
Wicket Taking Delivery:

A delivery in cricket that results in the wicket of the batsman by either Caught, Bowled, LBW, Stumped, Hit Wicket
U can see some awe bringing spells going wicketless and some mediocre spells getting a bunch .

I reckon thats what Richard means ,however that point is pretty meaningless.
 

Dissector

International Debutant
As a cricketer, Imran might be better.

As a bowler, McGrath is streets ahead.
There is no "might" about Imran being a better cricketer than McGrath. Imran has a strong case for being the finest cricketer of the last 35 years.

And though I think McGrath has a small edge as a bowler it's silly to argue he is streets ahead of Imran; no fast bowler has ever been that good.

Speaking of great battles featuring Imran, Gavaskar belongs on that list for sure; he was dismissed 11 times by him though he also made plenty of runs against Pakistan.
 

Engle

State Vice-Captain
A close matchup, though quite differing in styles.
McGrath was clinical and methodical whereas Imran spewed fire and brimstone.
McGrath undoubtedly was the pre-eminent pacer of his day, Imran less so, tho he did go toe-to-toe with the top speedsters.

So, as an exercise, I checked Imran's and M.Marshall's performance in all matches they bowled against each other.
.
Amazingly, in 4 series of 10 matches they contested, Imran garnered the same number of wickets (44 @ 17.82) as Macko (44 wkts @ 21.02), albeit at a lesser average.

For this and other reasons, my vote to Imran.
 

Fusion

Global Moderator
As a cricketer, Imran might be better.

As a bowler, McGrath is streets ahead.
That's a laughable claim. I can't think of a single bowler who would be "streets ahead" of EITHER Imran or McGrath. Personally, I only rank Marshall, Hadlee, and Ambrose above Imran. I think Lillee can be debated as being better, but in my book they are about equals.
 

Ikki

Hall of Fame Member
Both are examples of bowlers getting wickets which were not "earned".
You don't need to bowl a wicket-taking ball to take a wicket, if you mean a ball must be bowled in the attempt to take/hit a wicket. Often bowling tight and off is enough to stoop a batsman into taking a risky shot and getting him out. You think that is not earned?
 
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Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
It'd depend - if the ball was a nothing ball (eg an innocuous length ball outside off), or worse an out-and-out bad one (eg a leg-stump Half-Volley), no. It's no more earned than an lbw given to a ball pitching a foot outside leg.

If it's an outswinger outside off, or an inswinger tailing in towards middle, or a slightly quicker (or more significantly with more bounce) short delivery, then yes. While there is bad batting involved, it's still good bowling.
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
Many against the West Indians, such as Viv Richards. Pakistan managed to draw multiple series with WI when everyone else was getting blown out of sight.
Biggest myth. Pakistan may have gone a little closer to keeping West Indies in check than some others (in a series, let's remember, where West Indies were missing Greenidge, Roberts and Holding) but they lost, like everyone else (except New Zealand who were helped by appalling Umpiring).

At the time (late-1980s) Pakistan did indeed compete on a level footing with West Indies, so too did others (New Zealand, India and England).
 
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subshakerz

State Vice-Captain
At the time (late-1980s) Pakistan did indeed compete on a level footing with West Indies, so too did others (New Zealand, India and England).
Except that none of those teams could draw three consequtive series against the best in the world like Pakistan could, and none of them drew a series in the West Indies' backyard like Pakistan did under Imran.
 

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