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how do you decide a bowler is great

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Post by kingraf Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:32 pm

Since Dale Steyns tenner a week ago I have been wondering about the perometers set for greatness for bowlers. Batsmen, essentially have an unlimited amount of time to collect their runs. If they are batting and the team is all out while they have a NO, it merely adds to their average, thus its easier to decide a batsman is great. Ponting is great. Kallis is great. Tendulkar is great. KP is very good with great days. The records reflect this.

But bowling, well its a different beast. A team only has 20 wickets to take, so the new ball bowlers have two distinct advantages.
1- They have the best version of the ball available to do damage
2- They have the most time to take the 20 wickets.
It goes without saying that the supporting act have the converse scenario.

This is alright, because the best bowlers get the best balls and so it.evens out. First change doesnt get the nice ball because he doesnt deserve the nice ball. Its how the game goes.

Where things get muddy is the support act. In batting a bad line-up has no statistical bearing on your average. But in bowling, an an competent Bowling attack with no serious threats, combined with a truly classy strike bowler is in truth, the perfect storm for great looking bowler numbers. Case in point Richard Hadlee, or more recently Murali. These guys had able support, Murali probably had above able in the form of Vaas. But for him to average 8 wickets a match in victories shows how absolutely blunt his supporting cast is.

The great West Indies quartet, on the other hand, were statistically in each others way, so their wickets/match ratio is skewed because their support was so amazing. I was taught that any bowler who averages:
3,5+ per match = test class
4 per match = wicket taker
4,5 per match = strike bowler
5 per match = 'great'
anything over 5.5 = deserves to be in the circus with the bearded lady.

This is all good and well, but like I said, it really doesnt tell the full story.

How do you decide a bowler is great?
Discuss.
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Post by gboycottnut Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:38 pm

Simple really, see if he can cause England's batsmen to collapse like a pack of cards when they bat, as all the great bowlers in the 1990's used to do time and again to England, particularly Curtley Ambrose in 1991 who caused all kinds of problems to players like Graeme Hick.

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Post by dallym Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:36 pm

if you're surrounded by great bowlers then there'll be more pressure on the batsman so you'll have a greater chance of getting wickets when you bowl

if you're surrounded by great bowlers then they'll be taking wickets so there'll be less wickets for you to take when you get a chance to bowl.


Should we disregard Murali's and Hadlee's records because they didn't get much support from their other bowlers? They had to create all the pressure and momentum for their team so they were working doubly hard for their wickets therefore one could argue that they're greater than their stats suggest.

so how do you tell? maybe average or strikerate? maybe who the batsmen say is the toughest bowler?

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Post by dallym Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:41 pm

just looking at stats, Murali bowled a lot less innings than Warne, but due to their respective bowling attacks Murali ended up bowling a lot more balls then Warnie did. In the end their strike rates are very similar (55 v 57)

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Post by alfie Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:54 am

Good/Great ...where is the boundary ?

Down to judgement , which will vary. We all acknowledge Hadlee , Marshall, Warne and Murali as great , and don't worry about figures to back up that assessment. With some others it is a matter of opinion , but by and large the true greats have a very high level of acceptance as such.

I refer you all to our excellent Hall of Fame debates Smile

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Post by Stella Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:37 pm

Averge, strike rate and judgement. I don't end to look at wickets/match, unless it's something like 0.5 and they are a part timer.
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