Re: quite an achievement
- From: Robert Henderson <philip@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2007 06:14:58 +0100
In message <fdcd32$i63$1$8300dec7@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Dr A. N. Walker <anw@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> writes
In article <1ce2jyUs499GFwdg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,
Robert Henderson <philip@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
No county had a really feeble attack in the fifties.
Element of rose-tinted spectacles, there, Robert. Of
course, most counties had at least one decent enough bowler in
any given year, and over the decade most of them had a decent
enough attack in at least one year; but it's easy enough to
find feeble attacks, esp if you look at bowlers as they were
in a particular year, not as you recall them at their peak.
Pick a random year, say 1955; look at the bottom sides.
Here is what Playfair ['56] has to say about Somerset ['55]:
" Another [basic problem] was the need of a spin attack
Except for Lawrence LBG, J Hilton OB and McMahon SLC of course, all of whom took their wickets at under 30. RH
" yet another, the need of an opening bowler to support Lobb,
" a gangling newcomer. "
Or about Kent:
" [...] Wright
127 wickets at 17.30
fought a lone battle with the ball [...].
Apart for Allan SLA , Page RFM/ ROB, Pettiford LBG and G Smith RFM of course, all of whom took their wickets at under 29. RH
" Ridgway absent, the attack lacked an opening attack with any
" bite in it. "
Tell that to Smith who was a decent bowler verging on the fast. RH
" The bowling however was expensive.
The 1950s idea of expensive was anything over 20. RH
Perks took over 100
102 at 24.19 RH
" wickets [...], but none of the bowlers succeeded in taking
" wickets with an economy of runs. [... F]or 1956, [...] the
" bowling attack looks rather thin. "
Except for these players of course: Jenkins LBG (72 wickets) , Berry SLA (66) Horton ROB (95) Flavell RF at that stage of his career (58). All bowlers took their wickets at less than 29 runs each That was with 32 CC matches. Divide their wickets by two and then try to find a team this year who came close to matching their 1955 record. And remeber, Worces were one of the weakest teams in 1955. RH
[It's easy to look at, eg, the Worcs team and see Perks, Jenkins,
Berry, Horton, Flavell and Coldwell and assume that was a really
strong attack; for an "all-time" team, they would be, but in
1955 they weren't.]
My "own" team, Notts, had a decent attack in 1955 --
Dooland, Goonesena, Smales and Jepson, the first three all
taking over 100 wickets -- as long as you ignore the utter lack
of even modest pace to support Jepson.
A team does not have to have pace bowlers to be strong in bowling , vide the Indian side of the late sixties, early seventies. RH
But at the top and tail
of the decade, in 1950 they had Butler and Jepson, both veterans,
and no-one else of even modest consequence, and in 1959 they had
Morgan and the novice Cotton, no-one with an average below 30, and
only those two below 40.
counties were Test class, [...].
Sure. Few counties have come near the Surrey and Yorkshire
of those years. But there are dozens of Test-class bowlers in the
CC today -- just run your finger down the averages, and forget your
distaste for the foreigners.
Precious few current players and most playing only a few matches. Only Murali and Harbijan take a reasonable amount of wickets at under 20,
The point about modern counties is that none of them have really strong bowling and most are feeble. RH
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