The greatest bowlers ever

Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by Winsome, Jun 23, 2012.

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    Winsome

    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
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    I've select every bowler's peak 6
    years to see their performance and
    results are;
    10. Ambrose
    189 wkts at an avg of 20.24 with a
    s.r of 50.8 (1993-1998). 9. Lillee
    203 wkts at an avg of 22.17 with a
    s.r of 45.9 (76-81)
    8. Holding
    151 wkts at an avg of 21.61 with a
    s.r 45.9 (81-86) 7. McGrath
    286 wkts at an avg of 20.5 with a
    S/R of 48.1 from 1995 to 2000.
    6. Wasim Akram
    195 wkts at an avg of 19.87 with a
    strike rate of 46.4 (1990-95). 5. Hadlee
    222 wkts at an avg of 18.76 with a
    s.r of 46.1 (83-88).
    4. Donald
    233 wkts at an avg of 19.88
    with a s.r of 43.1 (95-00). 3. Marshal
    238 wkts at an avg of 18.90 with
    s.r of 43.1
    2. Imran Khan
    154 wkts wkts at an avg of 14.85
    with a s.r of 40.9 (81-86) 1. Waqar Younus
    194 wkts at an avg of 20.02 with a
    s.r of 38.0 (90-95)
    The strike rate of Waqar and the
    average of Imran was unmatchable
    at their time of peak.
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    Fawad

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    I hope you don't mind me reformatting OP, its just better to read this way, feel free to edit.

    10. Ambrose - 189 wkts at an avg of 20.24 with a s/r of 50.8 (1993-1998).

    9. Lillee - 203 wkts at an avg of 22.17 with a s/r of 45.9 (1976-1981)

    8. Holding - 151 wkts at an avg of 21.61 with a s/r 45.9 (1981-1986)

    7. McGrath - 286 wkts at an avg of 20.5 with a s/r of 48.1 (1995 to 2000).

    6. Wasim Akram - 195 wkts at an avg of 19.87 with a s/r of 46.4 (1990-1995).

    5. Hadlee - 222 wkts at an avg of 18.76 with a s/r of 46.1 (1983-1988).

    4. Donald - 233 wkts at an avg of 19.88 with a s/r of 43.1 (1995-2000).

    3. Marshal - 238 wkts at an avg of 18.90 with s/r of 43.1

    2. Imran Khan - 154 wkts wkts at an avg of 14.85 with a s/r of 40.9 (1981-1986)

    1. Waqar Younis - 194 wkts at an avg of 20.02 with a s/r of 38.0 (1990-1995)
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    Venerable

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    Nice information provided. From initial time I thought Wasim is better than Waqar but here I read that Waqar was better than Wasim even than Imran.
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    Winsome

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    I don't mind dear. Your style is pretty good. I would like to pay you gratitude.
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    isaacking

    Joined: Jul 16, 2010
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    I really don't agree with the yardstick of evaluation used for these ranking. Greatest is achieve when we compliment our peak year's good performance with good enough performance for rest of our career. Hence to be considered Great players need to be good for their entire career.

    Funny thing about Imran's record is that in between those five yrs (81-86), he out of cricket for around 2 or 3 yrs due to shinbone injury.
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    Strength Is Life

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    Wasim Akram. The Legend.

    In my book he is the greatest bowler to have graced the game of cricket. Without going into the nitty gritty of statistics to prove my point, without riding on the statements of legends like Glenn McGrath, Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar and scores of others, without seeking proof from his numerous man of the match awards, hat tricks, 5'fers, wickets, runs, his captaincy, I would rather take a more rudimentary approach to express my opinion.

    The game of cricket ceases to be a mere game and becomes a vehicle for personal upliftment, a transcendental medium to experience the ethereal joy of bearing witness to something which is truly magical and spectacular. There are only a handful of individuals carefully chosen by God who possess that extraordinary power, charisma and zest to catapult us earthlings to the coveted echelons of a divine experience. For me Wasim Akram was the one who gave me that super natural experience whenever I saw him bowl.

    Beginning with his delivery stride, the run up, the gladiatorial look in his eyes preying his hapless predator, the most beautiful, fast, mesmerizing arm action, his virtouso act of releasing the magical sphere, the mysterious way in which the ball wilfully and diligently obeys Wasim's command, the fizz of the ball reminiscing a vicious cobra darting through to the batsmen, the visceral fear and panic in the eyes of the batsmen and the eventual destruction of the timber or the toes of the batsmen---is nothing short of a sizzling script essayed by some higher Gods themselves. The resultant jubilation, joy, pride and strength in Wasim Akram and its edifying effect on the Pakistani team has served Pakistan so well in his prime.

    Only a first rate bigot of the highest order hopelessly blinded by an asphyxiating sense of jingoistic patriotism fails to see the magic of this Ultimate Wizard. He is the only bowler in world cricket where when a batsman gets out will later feel it was an honour and privilege to have been dismissed by Wasim. It was as if the bastmen vicariously feels a sense of pride in participating in an act of inimitable beauty choreograhed by Wasim. He is the only one bowler who elevated the practice of bowling to an art form capable of tapping our deepest aesthetic instincts. To call him a mere bowler is a murderous blasphemy and to call him an artist is a colossal understatement. His bowling is a perfect mix of beauty, accuracy, speed, strength, control and effect.

    He has soared to such a peak in bowling that he is alone on top of Mt. Everest of that practice, surveying the rest of them vainly trying to achieve the sensual magic which only he is capable of producing.

    At the risk of being attacked by my fellow countrymen, I will share a secret here. I genuinely, honestly prayed to God for Pakistan to win the World Cup in 1992 once I knew India had no chance. There were 2 reasons, Imran Khan was planning to build a cancer hospital and at the time I was just a kid and it had some deep humanistic appeal. Second, was when I saw Wasim Akram bowl for the first time in my life. Nothing prepared me for the sheer ecstasy that engulfed me whenever I bore witness to the grand act of Wasim's wizardry.

    He may not realize what he has done to fans like me. His bowling taught me to admire beauty, strive for quality, attempt grace, finesse and subtlety over brutality. Through Wasim's bowling I tried to understand and appreciate art, science, philosophy and spiritual bliss. Wasim Akram's bowling elevated me from being a mere fan of Indian cricket team to a true admirer of this wonderful sport of cricket. His bowling has that effect on you. He inspires you to rise above your team preferences, he commands your attention, respect and eventually total affection.

    I am indebted for Wasim Akram for teaching me to appreciate beauty, soar above my nationalism and make me see hitherto untapped sporting horizons.

    There are players, mediocre players, good players, great players, players who create history and then legends. But, there is only one Act of God on a cricket field and that is Wasim Akram's bowling. People say the game of cricket is bigger than the players. But, what is cricket without its most essential component---the players? Cricket is not played in a vacuum. The game is enacted by its players. The game of cricket becomes elevated to the pantheon of a true sport because of acts of nature like Wasim Akram.

    I could go and on about this timeless sorcerer but it's an infinite, unpardonable crime to try and put to words the beauty of Wasim Akram's bowling. I would like to end by giving a heart felt salute to the quintessential hero who gave me numerous tears of joy and inspired me to understand the concept of Eternal Ecstasy.

    I hereby unabashedly declare that I am a lifelong fan, admirer and lover of the art that is called "The bowling of Wasim Akram".

    Cheers.
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    s2k

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    Are we doing only fast bowlers?if not then Warne Murali Kumble should also get a look in.

    secondly why no mention of fred trueman or bob willis or courtney walsh ir shaun pollock?
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    Harsh Thakor

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    A very good effort Winsome and you have given credibility by your selection.

    However pure statistics can never tell the full story.You have picked the peak years but have not thrown light on the opposition teams ,pitches ,matches won and the workload of bowlers.Infact Imran Khan did not bowl at all from 1984 to early 1986 and may not have had as great a strike rate or average had he bowled in series in Australia,India etc in that period.From 1980-1988 considering the brunt he bore the brunt of such a weak attack,Richard Hadlee was arguably the best paceman.If you consider strike rate and average then Malcolm Marshal tops the list from 1983-1988.

    In no stats analysis can Wasim Akram be superior to Glen Mcgrath.Mcgrath remained at the top from 1999-2006,with a phenomenal strike rate and average.Imagine capturing 563 wickets overall at 21.63.

    In the 1970's Dennis Lillee captured 67 wickets in World Series Cricket against top opposition like West Indies and also got 24 wickets against Rest of the World.Adding Packers statistics with adjustment will rate Lillee's performances ahead of any pace bowler from 1976-1982.Lillee's match performances in that era terms of opposition strength,contribution to team ,nature of pitch etc are ahead of even Marshall and Akram.

    Waqar Younus hardly performed oustandingly against great teams like South Africa and Australia and his best performances were against New Zealand and Sri Lanka.He only one performed oustandingly in England in 1992.Infact I would rate Ambrose arguably the champion of his era as he was the best match-winner,particularly in 4th innings and bore the brunt of a weak team.Remember the famous wins he bowled his team to against South Africa and England when all seemed lost in the 1990's.

    You have forgotten Sydney Barnes who captured 189 wickets in 27 test matches at 16 runs apiece.Statistically he is the greatest of all in your criteria.

    Overall stats analysis can never reflect the level of bowling skill.In that criteria my no 1 would be Malcolm Marshall who mastered the bio-mechanics of pace bowling like no paceman,almost defying the laws of physics..His skidding bouncers and deliveries that double speed after impact was something no pacebolwer could ever perform.On the flattest of wickets Marshall could run through the best of batting line -ups.In England in 1988 and in the Lords game of M.C.C V Rest of the World he was the most complete pace bowler ever.Marshall's strike rate of 46.7 and average of 20.94 are incredible.In terms of pure skill Wasim Akram is my 2nd choice as he was the most versatile of all paceman who mastered reverse swing more than any paceman .Stats never did justice to Ray Lindwall who posessed more pace and control than Dennis Lillee and produced more lethal swing.Dennis Lillee,arguably the most complete pace bowler of all, posessed every ingredient for the great fast bowler,be it bowling action, pace ,ability to cut or swing the ball either way ,agression and competitiveness etc.Glen Mcgrath and Richard Hadlee were the best paceman in the corridor with unmatched control.Their career bowling statistics are phenomenal.The closest to Dennis Lillee in skill in his era was Andy Robert-the most versatile West Indian paceman of all.His first 103 wickets were achieved in only 20 tests and in the shortest time ever upto then.Andy also was outstanding in Packer Word Series Cricket ,capturing 50 wickets.He also solely spearheaded the West Indian attack in India in 1974-75(32 wickets at 19runs (apiece) and in Australia in 1975-76(22wickets at 26)No bowler posessed as much speed through the air or a more perfect bowling action as Michael Holding.In terms of sheer speed no pace bowler was as consistently fast.He has to his credit the best over and spell ever seen in pace bowling-both against England.914wickets for 157 at the Oval in 1976 and bowling Geoff Boycott in the best over ever in Kingston in 1981)For sheer Accuracy Joel Garner would win my vote,short-heading Curtly Ambrose.

    In the pure stats analysis in their peak years Imran Khan could be at the top as he was the best performer against the West Indies,and had the best bowling average and strike rate from 1980-1988.However I don't think Imran bowled to as strong West Indian batting sides as Lillee did from 1976 -1981.(in Packer games)Imran 's stats also benefit from the break he got for about 3 years from 1983-1985 -in term s of average and strike rate.From 1983 to 1988 Marshall performed better than Imran at his peak.However he also played for a much stronger unit.

    If it came to pure skill my top 6in order are Malcolm Marshall,Wasim Akram, Ray Lindwall,Dennis Lillee,Andy Roberts and Michael Holding in that order.

    If I judged bowling performance then my top 6 in order would be Sydney Barnes,Richard Hadlee,Dennis Lillee,Imran Khan,Malcolm Marshall and Glen Mcgrath.

    Overall -combining skill with peformances my top 10 choice in order of merit would be would be Dennis Lillee,Malcolm Marshall,Sydney Barnes,Imran Khan,Richard Hadlee , Wasim Akram,Glen Mcgrath,Fred Trueman,Curtly Ambrose and Ray Lindwall.


    My lists are debatable and subject to correction. I may well change the order,particularly between Lillee and Marshall or Imran and Hadlee.In a revised raing Curtly Ambrose and Glen Mcgrath may well figure ahead.
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    Winsome

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    Waqar and Imran are really
    greatest fast bowlers, as Waqar was
    the master of swing yorker noone
    could play his yorker, and Imran
    was the founder of reverse swing.
    Passion came in cricket with his arrival and gone with his
    departure, I cannot forget his
    match winning performance.
    In last over Australia need just 3
    runs and they have 3 wickets in
    hand, last over bowled by Imran and he the great man picked up all
    three wickets for just 1 run.
    Noone can be compared to Imran
    even Waqar or Lillee.
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    1137moiz

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    I won't compare pre WW players with post WW players since the twain are vastly different. But imho the top ten fast bowlers since 1948 are Marshall, Imran, McGrath, Waqar, Donald, Hadlee, Holding, Ambrose, Steyn, Garner in something close to that order. Honourable mentions to Akram, Pollock, Lillee, Walsh, Roberts, Lindwall, Hall, Miller, Trueman, Botham and Kapil
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    1137moiz

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    And I do feel that from bowlers in the last 10 years Bond, when fit, was perhaps the best I've seen--second maybe to Steyn, but very close. Shoaib Akhtar had some compelling moments too. However both for various reasons missed a lot and just miss out on my list as well

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