Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Extreme pace is over-rated

Who are the fastest seam bowlers in the world?: Shoaib, Brett Lee, Shane Bond.

(Bond is the fastest bowler with a 'pure' action - Shoaib and Lee both have hyper-extensible elbows; and both will chuck apparently deliberatley if not kept a close eye on; and Lee has bowled deliberate full pace beamers - which is despicable)

Shoaib and Bond are injured most of the time and have played very few tests. Lee... just isn't that good in test matches - he is expensive, and he doesn't take many wickets.

But who are the best seam bowlers in the world?: McGrath, Pollock (low eighties mph), maybe Ntini at present (about 85 mph)...

See - extreme pace is over-rated!

It is exciting (for the spectator, at any rate) - but pace above 85 mph doesn't appear to add very much, and the strain on the body is clearly too great for most physiques (Lee manages OK, he seems to be a superb athelete and very flexible).

So - don't worry about extreme pace, don't strive for extreme pace - if you are a selector don't be over-impressed by extreme pace - go for control and some variation.

My next item will be 'swing bowling is over-rated'.


Blogger yingleping said...

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1:07 PM  
Blogger Robthrobble said...

What is a very good gift? Well, what is certain is that a well-directed delivery topping 90mph is not. However, the problem with most extremely fast bowlers is two-fold.

Firstly, it's incredibly hard to be accurate at this pace.

Secondly, everyone wears helmets and body armour now and so they don't flinch anymore, therefore allowing them more 'time' to play each delivery.

But extreme pace isn't over rated.

Extreme pace on it's own may be relatively easy to play, but extreme pace with accuracy and movement is very hard to play. And so I come onto Shane Bond.

Yes he's had many injuries due to have a slightly 'mixed' action - his body is half-open but his right hip is closed. But he SWINGS the ball like a banana. And you just have to look at his stats....

Tests: 74 wickets in 16 matches!!
Average 22.10!!
S/R 38.93!!!!!!!!!!!

ODI's: 112 wickets in 59 matches!
Average 19.66!!
S/R 27.03!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There aren't enough exclamation marks in the world for these stats. He is the exception that proves the rule. Doesn't matter that he gets injured every time he takes a dump. He is the model that all seam bowlers should work from. A wicket-taking strike bowler, with extreme pace and movement. That is undoubtedly the hardest type of bowler to face bar none.

But movement is the key. And so if you were thinking of posting "Swing Bowling is over-rated", you might want to think again. And just to go with Bond, I should probably mention Wasim and Waqar at this point. What could be worse than getting used to 95 mph outswingers only to have every bone in your foot shattered by the inswinger?

Ok McGrath is undoubtedly one of the top 5 bowlers in history, Pollock is pretty good, and not to mention Hadlee. But if they could've bowled their accurate brand of deliveries at 90mph+, they would've. No doubt.

3:52 AM  
Blogger Bruce G Charlton said...

I presume Mr Ping is one of the spambot clan...

You put forward the package of the accuracy of Glenn McGrath bowling at the pace of Shane Bond - why not add on the spin of Shane Warne, while you are at it?

My point is that - ultra rare genius aside - you can't have it all.

I agree that - when fit - Bond is the best quick there is - as you say the numbers say it all. Sadly, the other number that says it all is 16 test matches in 5 years. That too is part of the package.

My guess is that New Zealand might have preffered 120 wickets in 30 matches at 26...

11:04 AM  
Blogger Robthrobble said...

Bruce, you CAN have it all. Bond proves that. Ignore the injury. It's a conceptual point. With practice, strength, natural talent and some good coaching, a fast bowler can do everything Bond does (and more) and stay relatively injury free.

By the way, if you bowl spin at 95mph it won't turn. I don't really see your point there.

3:55 PM  

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