Raymond Russell Lindwall
October 03, 1921, Mascot, Sydney, New South Wales
June 23, 1996, Greenslopes, Brisbane, Queensland, (aged 74y 264d)
Right hand Bat
Right arm Fast
One of the all-time great fast bowlers, Ray Lindwall's powerful, rhythmic approach, unwavering control and late swing brought a hush to arenas all over the world.
His coming marked the beginning of an era in which bat and ball were more evenly matched, after the batter-dominated period preceding the Second World War. For a decade he was uncontested as Australia's new-ball bowler, a master in all conditions, and he came to be appreciated as the complete fast bowler, armed with a clever slower ball and the ability to use his sharp, skiddy bouncers to good effect. In fact, it was Lindwall who made the bouncer an accepted weapon, paving the way for the other great fast bowlers of the second half of the 20th century, from Fred Trueman to Curtly Ambrose.
Halfway through the home 1946-47 series against England, Lindwall and Keith Miller emerged as the undisputed leaders of Australia's attack; and Lindwall actually beat Miller to a Test century, scoring 100 from No. 9 at the MCG in the New Year Test of 1947. A month on, he took six wickets in the Adelaide Test, and then in Sydney, 7 for 63. After getting 7 for 38 against India in 1947-48, he came to England the following season an established star. On that tour, he rose to even greater fame as the leader of the attack in Australia's 4-0 win. He was injured during the first Test, but in three of the subsequent four he was devastating, reaching his peak at The Oval when he took 6 for 20, bowling England out for 52.
That was his zenith, but Lindwall played Tests for more than another decade, opening Australia's attack as late as January 1960, when he was 38, and playing the last of his 61 Tests a few weeks later. Like his eventual heir Dennis Lillee, by then he compensated for lack of brute force with his canniness, mastery of technique - he began to use the inswinger far more - and determination.
Lindwall captained Australia once, and Queensland for several seasons, having moved from New South Wales, before finishing with 228 Test wickets at 23.03 and 794 first-class wickets at 21.35.
Batting & Fielding