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Who is the greatest ODI bowler of all time?

Migara

Cricketer Of The Year

Nice analysis by Ananth Narayan. He takes may facets of the performances in to action. McGratb being #1 is a non shocker for me. However few important things are apparent.

1. Places of Brett Lee, Jhonson and Mitchell Starc, very high in the list. No wonder Aussies had a gun attack 2000 - 2010 period with at least three of above four playing.
2. Rashid Khan's ranking!
3. Warne was never the second best ODI spinner
4. Why Sri Lanka is struggling big time. Murali (#2), Vaas (#7), Malinga (#19) and Mendis (#23) all played for a good chunk of time, and possibly marks one of the best ever ODI bowling attacks.

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Discuss
 

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Teja.

Global Moderator
Ambrose not being present is the one big omission for me. He had the best economy rate by a decent margin over the period of his fairly long career with a very good average to boot. Guess he might have lost out on WC performances.

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Bolo.

International Debutant
I don't have a problem with a stats based system that throws up a bunch of these rankings, even though I wouldnt expect them

But looking at the ranking of guys like Lee, Johnston, Vaas, and Zaheer means the system is a mess.

If you are rating Zaheer ahead of Ambrose, it is really time to reassess your ranking system.
 

ankitj

Hall of Fame Member
the system is a mess.
It's Ananth. You don't expect anything else.

Sample this gem from his analysis on ODI batsmen...

Viv Richards. What does one say of this colossus? With just 6721 runs, he has managed to beat eight batsmen with 10,000-plus runs in the top 20. The strike-rate adjustment was crucial. Richards' three World Cup finals, including two wins, helped too. He picked up very little in the X-factor category. No opening-position related PRPs, not many finishing runs (maybe because West Indies were so strong), and terrific bowling support (the best ever) gave him only 2.9 PRPs. But overall, a well-deserved inclusion in the elite group.
 
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Teja.

Global Moderator
I don't have a problem with a stats based system that throws up a bunch of these rankings, even though I wouldnt expect them

But looking at the ranking of guys like Lee, Johnston, Vaas, and Zaheer means the system is a mess.

If you are rating Zaheer ahead of Ambrose, it is really time to reassess your ranking system.
Zaheer was one of the GOAT bowlers in world cups tbf. Had the most wickets in the 2011 WC and was a gun in 2003. He has 44 wickets in 23 games @ 20.22 in WCs.

So I can see him being rated very high in a system which gives extra points for WC performances.
 

Bolo.

International Debutant
Zaheer was one of the GOAT bowlers in world cups tbf. Had the most wickets in the 2011 WC and was a gun in 2003. He has 44 wickets in 23 games @ 20.22 in WCs.

So I can see him being rated very high in a system which gives extra points for WC performances.
If this was what was happening, it would be understandable.

Bit it seems like there are only 2.5 points for bowling performances in major tournaments (including world cups), and Zaheer picks up less than 3% of his total points here, and not even a substantial amount relative to the rest of the list, as it seems to be based only on number of wickets taken.

There are 7.5 points just for team results in the same games, regardless of bowling performances. This is pretty clearly the most worthless measure I have ever seen in this type of analysis... everything else, no matter how dodgy can be justified in some way. It is a pretty meanigful swing in some cases.

There are a bunch of other problems, but I think the biggest issue is the extent to which he ends up overprioritising wickets and SR above economy, and to a lesser extent, average by heavily overweighting SR in some categories (should be at the very most equal to economy imo) and simply excluding average/economy in others.

He has a wonderfully farcical way of justifying it:
''Any knowledgeable follower of the ODI game will agree that a spell of 10-1-53-4 is almost always better for the bowler's team than a spell of 10-3-25-1''

Ya, we know averaging 13 is better than averaging 25. But 1-25 is typically going to be better than 2-50 or 4-100, whereas he is ranking the latter far ahead.
 

Teja.

Global Moderator
If this was what was happening, it would be understandable.

Bit it seems like there are only 2.5 points for bowling performances in major tournaments (including world cups), and Zaheer picks up less than 3% of his total points here, and not even a substantial amount relative to the rest of the list, as it seems to be based only on number of wickets taken.

There are 7.5 points just for team results in the same games, regardless of bowling performances. This is pretty clearly the most worthless measure I have ever seen in this type of analysis... everything else, no matter how dodgy can be justified in some way. It is a pretty meanigful swing in some cases.

There are a bunch of other problems, but I think the biggest issue is the extent to which he ends up overprioritising wickets and SR above economy, and to a lesser extent, average by heavily overweighting SR in some categories (should be at the very most equal to economy imo) and simply excluding average/economy in others.

He has a wonderfully farcical way of justifying it:
''Any knowledgeable follower of the ODI game will agree that a spell of 10-1-53-4 is almost always better for the bowler's team than a spell of 10-3-25-1''

Ya, we know averaging 13 is better than averaging 25. But 1-25 is typically going to be better than 2-50 or 4-100, whereas he is ranking the latter far ahead.
Yeah, this guys methodology is definitely **** and I'd have Ambrose in my top 5 even. Just wanted to note that Zaheer has done some great things in ODI WCs.
 

Bolo.

International Debutant
Yeah, this guys methodology is definitely **** and I'd have Ambrose in my top 5 even. Just wanted to note that Zaheer has done some great things in ODI WCs.
Ya, fair enough.

I was more interested in ripping into his methology than anything related to zaheer specifically. I guess you could put together a reesonable method that has Zaheer in the top 20 by weighing WC performances, but this isnt it.
 

ParwazHaiJunoon

U19 Vice-Captain
Wasim Akram
Joel Garner
Starc
Curtly Ambrose
Mcgrath

Muralitharan
Saqlain


First 3 Fast Bowlers + Saqlain were/are excellent death bowlers.
 

Lillian Thomson

Hall of Fame Member
As soon as you nonsensically separate World Cup performances you're instantly screwed. I haven't bothered reading his adjustment for era method, but if it doesn't take into account the whole format becoming more and more stacked in the batsman's favour it's meaningless.
 

Himannv

International Coach
Wasim
Starc
Garner
Murali
Symonds

A perfectly balanced ODI ATG attack.
The top 4 in that article are quite balanced in terms of what they offer to an ODI attack.

McGrath - Tall and extremely accurate right-arm seamer.
Wasim - Left-arm how-the-****-did-he-do-that swing bowler.
Lee - Speedster
Murali - Freak spinner who can tie you down + take wickets.

Little bit of everything.
 

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