West Indies June 17, 2010

Well done, Dwayne

The West Indies record that nearly was, the man who makes Ambrose look like Martin Snedden, and more
38

Benn, Gayle and Co realise how funny their achievement is © AFP

In the first Test in Trinidad, which followed to 100% accuracy an unofficial ICC computer-generated ball-by-ball prediction of what would happen, Chris Gayle’s West Indies came within one Dwayne Bravo delivery of history. Until Bravo dismissed Boucher to conclude South Africa’s first innings – a grave tactical error, as it transpired, which served only to unleash Steyn and Morkel onto a poor, defenceless batting line-up – all nine wickets had been taken by spinners.

Benn, Shillingford and Gayle himself had tweaked themselves to the brink of obscure statistical immortality. One more wicket would have resulted in them becoming just the third West Indian spin attack to dismiss an entire team, and the first to do so without containing both Sonny Ramadhin and Alf Valentine (the former must be close to a recall, at the age of 81, as the West Indies seek greater penetration in their bowling; even the latter, some years after his death, might be worth a squad place).

They would also have become the first spin team to take all 10 wickets in a Test innings outside Asia since Warne and May thoroughly bammed England’s collective boozle at Edgbaston in 1993, and, by my and Statsguru’s reckoning, the first all-fingerspin attack to bowl out an entire side since 1968. Sleep well, Bravo. You have denied Shane Shillingford his slice of immortality.

As it was, it was the most profitable return by West Indies slow bowlers for nearly 40 years. How times have changed. West Indian spinners took more wickets in this single hypothetically five-day Test than the combined might of Caribbean tweakery managed in five years between March 1979 and March 1984. This statistic comes from no less a source that the all-knowing, all-seeing Statsguru herself (although, the great goddess who knows all does classify Viv Richards as “mixture/unknown” rather than “spin bowler”) (but the point basically stands) (and it completely stands if you chuck the word “specialist” in as the third word of the second sentence of this paragraph, before the word “spinner”).

This was also the second time in little over a year that the West Indies opening bowlers took no wickets in a Test match. The previous occasion, last February in North Sound, Antigua, was more excusable, as the match lasted just 10 balls, due to the minor inconvenience of the entire playing area having been constructed entirely out of sand.

Dale Steyn became the 57th bowler to pass 200 wickets in Tests. He sits 11th in the averages on that list, just ahead of Shaun Pollock, Waqar, Wasim, Holding and Lillee, so he is doing quite well for a someone who took 14 wickets at 60 in his maiden stint in English county cricket, outbowled in the Essex attack by, amongst others, Ravi Bopara and James Middlebrook. To this day he still cannot get back into the Essex team – some selectors have long memories − but his Test match strike rate of 38.9 is way out in front of Waqar, and makes legendary spearheads such as Jeff Thomson and Curtly Ambrose look like Derek Pringle and Martin Snedden.

Here is a stat for you that illustrates the state of world bowling. Chew it carefully, and then draw a picture that expresses what you think about it. Of all the bowlers who have made their debuts since 1999, only two – Steyn and Mitchell Johnson – have taken more than 100 wickets at an average of under 30. Of those who launched themselves into Test cricket between 1992 and 1998, 16 achieved that feat, beginning with Warne and ending with Ntini.

In an imminent future blog, I will speculate wildly on the various causes of the Great Great Bowler Drought. It is certainly a shame that Warne has not presaged a deluge of champion legspinners as was hoped. That is because being the greatest legspinner the universe has ever seen is not easy. Believe me, I tried. Briefly. I was, without question, the greatest legspinner in the Zaltzman family for a couple of heady years in the early 1990s, but when my googly started landing with unerring regularity half-way to third man, I decided to focus on becoming the greatest pogo-stick rider of all time. But I didn’t own a pogo stick, so I gave up and started reading books about 1950s Ashes series. There are now no known legspinners in my family, although my 18-month-old son does occasionally stick his belly out, throw his hands into the air and bark something that sounds a little like “Howzat”, so there is hope.

Copying Warne has proved impossible – similarly, when people visit the Sistine Chapel to have a look at Michelangelo’s pretty pictures on the ceiling, they do not, generally, whip out an easel and start painting feverishly whilst muttering: “I could do better than that, no problem.” They tend to take a photo, or buy a postcard, and say to themselves: “Fair play to the lad, he’s done me on painting. One-nil to him. But I’ll get him back at table tennis, the dead-for-446-years little rascal.”

All this panning for statistical gold has delayed my latest Question and Answer session, which I will post instead over the weekend. Please leave any further queries in the comments below.

Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on the BBC Radio 4, and a writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • simon on June 23, 2010, 10:05 GMT

    @thisgameislife "the bit about comparing stats of bowlers 92-98 and 99-10 felt like a corporate dimwit hammering their agenda by presenting isolated statistic and sounding like they are revealing the code of life to the other dimwits in the boardroom."

    please tell me that's not intended as a criticism of a *comedy* blog post... What it sounded like to me was a quirky and entertaining comedian "presenting isolated statistics" and making something entertaining out of them... Just me then?

    Top stuff as always Andy, I do so enjoy your blogs :D

  • tonyp on June 22, 2010, 2:18 GMT

    Normally I wouldn't ask a question like this thinking it far too intricate, but with your stalwart statistical stamina Andy I'm sure it'll be a breeze: Are Benn and Shillingford (and Gayle for that matter) the combined tallest spin attack in the history of test cricket?

  • HowlingWolf on June 21, 2010, 20:52 GMT

    Oh, and just as I sent the first one, one more question popped into me.

    The Windies look like they might force a draw in the second test(they can still lose it from here...and Pakistan too...even though they aren't playing)...but anyways...to my question:

    What is the easiest and the quickest firiest way to bring back our good ol' west Indies? What should we do? What would you do? I could do it too if I only knew what.

  • HowlingWolf on June 21, 2010, 20:41 GMT

    Great article as alwes, Andy. Keep 'em comin plz.

    A question for you :

    Which English cricketer is the most unfortunate in not having a stand named after him in any of the grounds?

  • thisgameislife on June 19, 2010, 6:38 GMT

    i think some of the 92-98 bunch took more wickets as the others in their side were incapable of doing so - to drive the point by chucking in a spinner, how many STRIKE bowlers did srilanka have apart from Murali? the aussie attack today is just as likely to share wickets as the famed windies attack of the old - and not making any one of them stand out as the destroyer in chief. the bit about comparing stats of bowlers 92-98 and 99-10 felt like a corporate dimwit hammering their agenda by presenting isolated statistic and sounding like they are revealing the code of life to the other dimwits in the boardroom.

  • Ron Saywack on June 18, 2010, 22:22 GMT

    When you think of the great West Indian fast bowlers of recent decades, when spin bowlers were hardly an option, it is odd to think that spin bowlers almost took all ten wickets in a Test innings.

  • zaff on June 18, 2010, 22:18 GMT

    this paragraph is hilarious"!

    In an imminent future blog, I will speculate wildly on the various causes of the Great Great Bowler Drought. It is certainly a shame that Warne has not presaged a deluge of champion legspinners as was hoped. That is because being the greatest legspinner the universe has ever seen is not easy. Believe me, I tried. Briefly. I was, without question, the greatest legspinner in the Zaltzman family for a couple of heady years in the early 1990s, but when my googly started landing with unerring regularity half-way to third man, I decided to focus on becoming the greatest pogo-stick rider of all time. But I didn’t own a pogo stick, so I gave up and started reading books about 1950s Ashes series. There are now no known legspinners in my family, although my 18-month-old son does occasionally stick his belly out, throw his hands into the air and bark something that sounds a little like “Howzat”, so there is hope.

  • Gorky on June 18, 2010, 16:26 GMT

    It's amazing what you do with the statistics. Amazing. And, "...even the latter, some years after his death, might be worth a squad place..." awesome...

  • aneeb on June 18, 2010, 11:04 GMT

    @mikey

    I hope not! I rather that any one of Aamer Gul or Afridi destroy the english bowling line up and get their bowling avgs less than 30!

    Or maybe Asif can finally get to his 100 wickets. Its a pity Pakistan havn't been able to play much test cricket of late, otherwise he would have been a shoe in to make in on the list alongwith steyn, with johnson a distant third. He and Steyn are easily the best test fast bowlers on the plant. Do you agree Andy?

  • Peyush on June 18, 2010, 6:51 GMT

    Firstly, I would just give you one compliment- "Very Zaltzmanish" article.... I guess, that is more apt and more significant than awesome(and related synonyms)... bcoz you're in your own league when it comes to such article. Secondly, an interesting "fact" I discovered after reading the list provided here: Steyn is the one with best strike-rate in this list of bowlers who have achieved this feat over last 100 years... I guess, it might find a mention in any of your future post, as facts like this just can't escape a zaltzman eye :) Kudos to you, and keep posting....

  • simon on June 23, 2010, 10:05 GMT

    @thisgameislife "the bit about comparing stats of bowlers 92-98 and 99-10 felt like a corporate dimwit hammering their agenda by presenting isolated statistic and sounding like they are revealing the code of life to the other dimwits in the boardroom."

    please tell me that's not intended as a criticism of a *comedy* blog post... What it sounded like to me was a quirky and entertaining comedian "presenting isolated statistics" and making something entertaining out of them... Just me then?

    Top stuff as always Andy, I do so enjoy your blogs :D

  • tonyp on June 22, 2010, 2:18 GMT

    Normally I wouldn't ask a question like this thinking it far too intricate, but with your stalwart statistical stamina Andy I'm sure it'll be a breeze: Are Benn and Shillingford (and Gayle for that matter) the combined tallest spin attack in the history of test cricket?

  • HowlingWolf on June 21, 2010, 20:52 GMT

    Oh, and just as I sent the first one, one more question popped into me.

    The Windies look like they might force a draw in the second test(they can still lose it from here...and Pakistan too...even though they aren't playing)...but anyways...to my question:

    What is the easiest and the quickest firiest way to bring back our good ol' west Indies? What should we do? What would you do? I could do it too if I only knew what.

  • HowlingWolf on June 21, 2010, 20:41 GMT

    Great article as alwes, Andy. Keep 'em comin plz.

    A question for you :

    Which English cricketer is the most unfortunate in not having a stand named after him in any of the grounds?

  • thisgameislife on June 19, 2010, 6:38 GMT

    i think some of the 92-98 bunch took more wickets as the others in their side were incapable of doing so - to drive the point by chucking in a spinner, how many STRIKE bowlers did srilanka have apart from Murali? the aussie attack today is just as likely to share wickets as the famed windies attack of the old - and not making any one of them stand out as the destroyer in chief. the bit about comparing stats of bowlers 92-98 and 99-10 felt like a corporate dimwit hammering their agenda by presenting isolated statistic and sounding like they are revealing the code of life to the other dimwits in the boardroom.

  • Ron Saywack on June 18, 2010, 22:22 GMT

    When you think of the great West Indian fast bowlers of recent decades, when spin bowlers were hardly an option, it is odd to think that spin bowlers almost took all ten wickets in a Test innings.

  • zaff on June 18, 2010, 22:18 GMT

    this paragraph is hilarious"!

    In an imminent future blog, I will speculate wildly on the various causes of the Great Great Bowler Drought. It is certainly a shame that Warne has not presaged a deluge of champion legspinners as was hoped. That is because being the greatest legspinner the universe has ever seen is not easy. Believe me, I tried. Briefly. I was, without question, the greatest legspinner in the Zaltzman family for a couple of heady years in the early 1990s, but when my googly started landing with unerring regularity half-way to third man, I decided to focus on becoming the greatest pogo-stick rider of all time. But I didn’t own a pogo stick, so I gave up and started reading books about 1950s Ashes series. There are now no known legspinners in my family, although my 18-month-old son does occasionally stick his belly out, throw his hands into the air and bark something that sounds a little like “Howzat”, so there is hope.

  • Gorky on June 18, 2010, 16:26 GMT

    It's amazing what you do with the statistics. Amazing. And, "...even the latter, some years after his death, might be worth a squad place..." awesome...

  • aneeb on June 18, 2010, 11:04 GMT

    @mikey

    I hope not! I rather that any one of Aamer Gul or Afridi destroy the english bowling line up and get their bowling avgs less than 30!

    Or maybe Asif can finally get to his 100 wickets. Its a pity Pakistan havn't been able to play much test cricket of late, otherwise he would have been a shoe in to make in on the list alongwith steyn, with johnson a distant third. He and Steyn are easily the best test fast bowlers on the plant. Do you agree Andy?

  • Peyush on June 18, 2010, 6:51 GMT

    Firstly, I would just give you one compliment- "Very Zaltzmanish" article.... I guess, that is more apt and more significant than awesome(and related synonyms)... bcoz you're in your own league when it comes to such article. Secondly, an interesting "fact" I discovered after reading the list provided here: Steyn is the one with best strike-rate in this list of bowlers who have achieved this feat over last 100 years... I guess, it might find a mention in any of your future post, as facts like this just can't escape a zaltzman eye :) Kudos to you, and keep posting....

  • Mikey on June 18, 2010, 5:50 GMT

    Brilliant .

    HOw many times has the toss coin landed on the side, or got lost in the field?

  • shrivatsa on June 18, 2010, 5:07 GMT

    Awesome read as ever. Michelangelo may be turning in his 446 yr old grave, ready for a game.

  • dave on June 18, 2010, 4:14 GMT

    What is this? i think u're losing it andy

  • mikey on June 18, 2010, 3:01 GMT

    Excellent as always Andy, that stat you dug out about West Indian spinners between 79 and 84 is nothing short of astonishing. Hopefully Graeme Swann will spend the summer skittling Pakistan and join that elite club with Steyn and Johnson! Keep up the good work.

  • Hitesh Lohani on June 17, 2010, 22:24 GMT

    Who knows how long it will be till another such opportunity comes for another spin bowling attack?? Hopefully it will be in St. Kitts, and West Indies will hopefully bat better and keep the series alive.

  • sanford richardson on June 17, 2010, 20:28 GMT

    Interesting article. I have some questions. Since the first limited overs world cup in 1975: 1. How many changes have been made to thelaws of cricket. 2. How many of these changes affected tests as oppose to limited overs cricket 3. In your opinion, how many of these changes were related to bowlers or bowling

    Looking forward to your response

  • Sriram on June 17, 2010, 17:55 GMT

    Oh, and while we're finding fault: you can't take photographs in the Sistine Chapel. Seems the Vatican has sold all picture rights to a Japanese company, so you'd be in infringement of copyright or something. Sorry. Oh and did I mention - brilliantly written piece as usual, by the way.

  • Vickey on June 17, 2010, 15:26 GMT

    Andy I love your writing but I prefer to listen to you podcast.

  • Douglas Newsam on June 17, 2010, 13:46 GMT

    Describing Chris Gayle as a "spinner" is as optimistic, misleading and delusional as anyone describing me as a medium/fast bowler many decades ago. The fact that his deliveries take a (relatively) long time to traverse the 22 yards to the batsman is purely as incidental as any deviation in direction there may be off the pitch after the ball has landed. Like Sir Viv, Gayle bowls slowly but that is not to suggest that he is either a spinner or a slow bowler.

  • peter such on June 17, 2010, 13:19 GMT

    I'm confused by something you say - viz: 'it completely stands if you chuck the word “specialist” in as the third word of the second sentence of this paragraph, before the word “spinner”'. No matter where I stand to chuck this word, or how much I bend my arm, I always end up with the sentence "How times specialist have changed". Whilst this sounds like it may well be true, I'm not sure it adds as much weight to your argument re. West Indian bowling attacks as you claim.

  • ShriDevil on June 17, 2010, 12:10 GMT

    Question from a die-hard fan (me) : Who is the most cunning player to ever play cricket?? The dictionary says cunning is " Marked by or given to artful subtlety and deceptiveness."

  • ShriDevil on June 17, 2010, 12:06 GMT

    “Fair play to the lad, he’s done me on painting. One-nil to him. But I’ll get him back at table tennis, the dead-for-446-years little rascal.”...... Heh heh... Amazing stuff.... Really funny... MayB in a few years, the Windies will develop a fearsome spin attack... They certainly aren't producing any skilled fast bowlers like they did in their halcyon days...

  • Varughese on June 17, 2010, 11:36 GMT

    Wonderful article, left a smile on my face.... kudoos

  • Glenn on June 17, 2010, 10:35 GMT

    Great read!

  • kgvenkatesh on June 17, 2010, 10:34 GMT

    Who is the better bowler Steyn or Ambrose.My vote goes to Ambrose, he can bowl anywhere on any wicket

  • krishna on June 17, 2010, 10:19 GMT

    Andy's column is brilliant as usual - but we miss his world cricket podcast

    cheers..krishna

  • Sample on June 17, 2010, 10:19 GMT

    One query for you : Who can handle speed better Schumacher, Rossi, a sukhoi pilot or Sehwag?

  • Haroon on June 17, 2010, 10:11 GMT

    "There are now no known legspinners in my family, although my 18-month-old son does occasionally stick his belly out, throw his hands into the air and bark something that sounds a little like “Howzat”, so there is hope" Now that was cheeky.... LOL :P

  • Rahul J on June 17, 2010, 10:03 GMT

    hahaha... :)

  • Jeff on June 17, 2010, 9:53 GMT

    Andy,

    Regarding the "Great Bowler Drought", it does seem bad when you look at averages in isolation, but you are far too knowledgable about cricket to do that, aren't you?

    If I look at Strike Rates, then the figures aren't so bad after all.

    12 out 24 bowlers to take 100 wickets who started careers between 92 and 98 have a SR of less than 60. The figures for bowlers starting since 99 are 8 out of 17 - not much difference there.

    And what's more, if you take spinners out of the equation (they typically have lower SRs than fast bowlers) then the figures are even more interesting: 9 out of 16 fast bowlers starting between 92 and 98 have SRs less than 60. 8 out of 12 starting since 1999 have a SR < 60.

    So, it seems that the newer fast bowlers are taking wickets more quickly than their predecessors.

    A drought? I'm not so sure. More like a different kind of rain...

  • Sohel ahmed on June 17, 2010, 9:35 GMT

    Andy you're really something.I mean the way you glorify individual or collective cricketing underachievements,under performances with jaw dropping,hair raising & lungs bursting statistics,is simply outstanding.One doesnt have to be a genius to know that only a genius can play,can juggle with words like andy zaltzman does.Hats off to you man,hats off to you..

  • Vivek Bhandari on June 17, 2010, 9:14 GMT

    Hi Andy, once I read your blog that talked about some trivia related to John Traicos like how he was born in a country, brought up in another country, and so on. It was a very interesting piece of trivia. Now, when I intend to find it I'm unable to do so. Can you please point out which one was that...??

    Regards, Vivek

  • Vivek Bhandari on June 17, 2010, 9:11 GMT

    When I starting to think that the Bravo feat was interesting and legendary (to say the least), in came Andy with his masterpiece as to how he was 'the' leg-spinner of the Zaltzmann clan, I was literally in tears while reading the text that followed when he discussed how his 18-month old son could be a bowler in the making...simply hilarious...:))

  • Vivek Bhandari on June 17, 2010, 9:07 GMT

    When I starting to think that the Bravo feat was interesting and legendary (to say the least), in came Andy with his masterpiece as to how he was 'the' leg-spinner of the Zaltzmann clan, I was literally in tears while reading the text that followed when he discussed how his 18-month old son could be a bowler in the making...simply hilarious...:))

  • Mick on June 17, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    Nice article again Andy, which got me to thinking of a question for you: Do you think you could present a good case for Statsguru to become the first World Heratige listed website?

  • Circe on June 17, 2010, 8:41 GMT

    Found a bug: In the last parenthetical remark of the fourth paragraph of the above article, all occurrences of the word "second" should be changed to "third" to preserve semantic sanity. Come on, Mr Zaltzman! What with members of the Greek Pantheon, not to mention Greek nobility, condescending to pay attention to your blog, how can you be so careless?

    I also have a question for you: What eleven would you and your crickomniscient goddess pick if FIFA were to decide that the World Cup would actually be given to the winner of a match between a team picked by ICC and the "winners" of the World Cup Final, and then, the ICC, in preserving its cherished tradition of doing nothing on its own were to delegate the job to you and your deity?

  • McGorium on June 17, 2010, 7:44 GMT

    How many executives/officials does it take to present an award during the post-match ceremony?Intuitively, an arduous task in the subcontinent,requiring many people(at least 6, in my estimation) than in UK,Aus etc. Why arduous, you ask? Why, due to the abundance of awards, of course.Examples from the Asia cup:"Lord of the Match": (One match to rule them all,aka the Precious),Jodi of the Match etc. Corporates,in their magnanimity,adopt these orphaned awards and provide a semblance of respectability to the otherwise tragically named awards by allowing their name to be prefixed to them.Sad.It wasn't always like this.Back then,we only had one MoM,and t'was a fulfilling affair.Today, an explosion of awards that, but for corporate magnanimity and patient nurture,would be dying.Corporate funding isn't unlimited,and I suspect they would be unable to support more than a few thousand such awards. What then?What sociological malaise underlies this phenomenon?What preventive measures can be taken?

  • Dhimant on June 17, 2010, 6:29 GMT

    “Fair play to the lad, he’s done me on painting. One-nil to him. But I’ll get him back at table tennis, the dead-for-446-years little rascal.” ...... ROFLMAO..........

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Dhimant on June 17, 2010, 6:29 GMT

    “Fair play to the lad, he’s done me on painting. One-nil to him. But I’ll get him back at table tennis, the dead-for-446-years little rascal.” ...... ROFLMAO..........

  • McGorium on June 17, 2010, 7:44 GMT

    How many executives/officials does it take to present an award during the post-match ceremony?Intuitively, an arduous task in the subcontinent,requiring many people(at least 6, in my estimation) than in UK,Aus etc. Why arduous, you ask? Why, due to the abundance of awards, of course.Examples from the Asia cup:"Lord of the Match": (One match to rule them all,aka the Precious),Jodi of the Match etc. Corporates,in their magnanimity,adopt these orphaned awards and provide a semblance of respectability to the otherwise tragically named awards by allowing their name to be prefixed to them.Sad.It wasn't always like this.Back then,we only had one MoM,and t'was a fulfilling affair.Today, an explosion of awards that, but for corporate magnanimity and patient nurture,would be dying.Corporate funding isn't unlimited,and I suspect they would be unable to support more than a few thousand such awards. What then?What sociological malaise underlies this phenomenon?What preventive measures can be taken?

  • Circe on June 17, 2010, 8:41 GMT

    Found a bug: In the last parenthetical remark of the fourth paragraph of the above article, all occurrences of the word "second" should be changed to "third" to preserve semantic sanity. Come on, Mr Zaltzman! What with members of the Greek Pantheon, not to mention Greek nobility, condescending to pay attention to your blog, how can you be so careless?

    I also have a question for you: What eleven would you and your crickomniscient goddess pick if FIFA were to decide that the World Cup would actually be given to the winner of a match between a team picked by ICC and the "winners" of the World Cup Final, and then, the ICC, in preserving its cherished tradition of doing nothing on its own were to delegate the job to you and your deity?

  • Mick on June 17, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    Nice article again Andy, which got me to thinking of a question for you: Do you think you could present a good case for Statsguru to become the first World Heratige listed website?

  • Vivek Bhandari on June 17, 2010, 9:07 GMT

    When I starting to think that the Bravo feat was interesting and legendary (to say the least), in came Andy with his masterpiece as to how he was 'the' leg-spinner of the Zaltzmann clan, I was literally in tears while reading the text that followed when he discussed how his 18-month old son could be a bowler in the making...simply hilarious...:))

  • Vivek Bhandari on June 17, 2010, 9:11 GMT

    When I starting to think that the Bravo feat was interesting and legendary (to say the least), in came Andy with his masterpiece as to how he was 'the' leg-spinner of the Zaltzmann clan, I was literally in tears while reading the text that followed when he discussed how his 18-month old son could be a bowler in the making...simply hilarious...:))

  • Vivek Bhandari on June 17, 2010, 9:14 GMT

    Hi Andy, once I read your blog that talked about some trivia related to John Traicos like how he was born in a country, brought up in another country, and so on. It was a very interesting piece of trivia. Now, when I intend to find it I'm unable to do so. Can you please point out which one was that...??

    Regards, Vivek

  • Sohel ahmed on June 17, 2010, 9:35 GMT

    Andy you're really something.I mean the way you glorify individual or collective cricketing underachievements,under performances with jaw dropping,hair raising & lungs bursting statistics,is simply outstanding.One doesnt have to be a genius to know that only a genius can play,can juggle with words like andy zaltzman does.Hats off to you man,hats off to you..

  • Jeff on June 17, 2010, 9:53 GMT

    Andy,

    Regarding the "Great Bowler Drought", it does seem bad when you look at averages in isolation, but you are far too knowledgable about cricket to do that, aren't you?

    If I look at Strike Rates, then the figures aren't so bad after all.

    12 out 24 bowlers to take 100 wickets who started careers between 92 and 98 have a SR of less than 60. The figures for bowlers starting since 99 are 8 out of 17 - not much difference there.

    And what's more, if you take spinners out of the equation (they typically have lower SRs than fast bowlers) then the figures are even more interesting: 9 out of 16 fast bowlers starting between 92 and 98 have SRs less than 60. 8 out of 12 starting since 1999 have a SR < 60.

    So, it seems that the newer fast bowlers are taking wickets more quickly than their predecessors.

    A drought? I'm not so sure. More like a different kind of rain...

  • Rahul J on June 17, 2010, 10:03 GMT

    hahaha... :)