Cricketers pick their favourites

'Marshall is what quick bowling is all about'

Part one: Alec Stewart picks the best bowlers he played against. First up, Maco (00:00)

Producer: Ranjit Shinde

October 16, 2012


Malcolm Marshall

'Marshall is what quick bowling is all about'

October 16, 2012

Malcolm Marshall in action, April 10, 1991
When facing Malcolm Marshall, you didn't know whether to come forward or hang back Ben Radford / © Getty Images

Malcolm Marshall - top of the list for me. Amazingly, he didn't get me out in international cricket. I played a fair bit against him - Surrey v Hampshire, and also in both one-day internationals and Test match cricket. I made my debut against him back in 1990, at Sabina Park.

Marshall had everything - high-quality quick bowler, everything bar the actual height. He was under six feet, but he was one of the quickest bowlers I ever faced. He swung the ball both ways with great control. Because of his height, he pitched the ball up that little bit further, whereas most quick bowlers bowled that little bit shorter, and you hang back on the back foot more. But Marshall asked questions - do you get forward, do you get back, and if he saw you coming too far forward, then he had a great bouncer as well, not just on pace but the direction. It was always there to hit you. So you had to make sure that you got out of the way. And if you are a hooker or puller then you had to make sure you were on your game as well, or else he would clean you up.

Marshall, to me, was a complete quick bowler. I played him on my debut at Sabina Park. I played against him on a very quick pitch at The Oval, the final Test match of the series in 1991, when Curtly Ambrose played as well and ran in and bowled a rapid spell there.

For me, Marshall was an absolute master. A real champion, both as a person and as a player. But with the ball in his hand he was fearsome and absolute top-quality.

Marshall, to me, would be the great quick bowler of the period I played against. He was the best bowler I played against. I was just starting off my international career when he was finishing. I had seen him play a lot on TV as well. He was part of that great West Indies side. To me, Marshall is what quick bowling is all about, and it was a challenge, a challenge I did my best at.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2012, 0:14 GMT)

The best fast bowler ever bar none, in my view, was my fellow countryman, 'Maco' Marshall. Possessed the complete fast bowler's skills set. Capable lower-order batsman too. So sad he's no longer with us.

Posted by sirviv on (October 16, 2012, 21:38 GMT)

I remember when he passed away. It was 1999/2000 and I was in Pakistan. West Indies were on tour in New Zealand (they pummeled the my disgust). I remember always skipping to the sports section in the newspaper, and that morning, for some odd reason, I remember that article about MM dying from cancer. I look up to quicks like him because i myself am not tall but I like to bowl fast. He was definetely a bowler apart.

Posted by   on (October 16, 2012, 17:08 GMT)

He was my childhood Hero. Wasim Akram, Holding, Mc Grath, Lillee, Jeff Thompson, Garner, Roberts .....i never changed my opinion, I haven't seen any one good as Marshall.

Posted by   on (October 16, 2012, 10:09 GMT)

I can remember Indian media named him as baby all-rounder on his 1978 WI tour of India, he was just 18 then. He may have visited SL too on that tour's Colombo leg and I think he did not play a match in Colombo. WI lost 1983 WC final to India un-expectedly but came to India for full tour. ODI series was won as 5-1 and test series as 3-0. That Kanpur test(I think it was the 1st test) Gordon Greenidge scored 194 but Malcolm Marshall was the MM, because his 88 and more than 10 wickets. In that series he demolished Indian batting except last test SG's 234NO at Chennai. Macho was unforgettable figure during our younger days as cricket fans. We miss you Macho!.

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