Sunday, September 9, 2007

Cricket Combined Stats 2: Bowlers

A couple of blogs ago I discussed the best batsmen of the modern period. What about the bowlers.

Match winners get a swag of 10 wicket match bags and 5 wicket innings bags.

Most 10 Wicket Bags
1. Muralitharan (20)
2. Warne (10)
3. Hadlee (9)
4. Kumble (8)
5. Lillee (7)
6. I. Khan; Underwood (6)
8. Younis; Akram; Akhtar (5)

Most 5 Wicket Bags
1. Muralitharan (68)
2. Hadlee (41)
3. Warne (38)
4. McGrath (36)
5. Younis (35)
6. Kumble (35)
7. Botham (27)
8. Ambrose (26)
9. Khan, Dev (24)

The stars stand out here; the two spinners Murali and Warne with Kumble and then Underwood in behind. The quickies Hadlee, Lillee, McGrath, Younis, Khan, Akram, Ambrose, Dev and Botham.

The really great bowlers have superb strike rates (balls per wicket). Here we see Akhtar and Younis again with Donald and Lee there. Here Younis really figures in combination with his great 5 wicket and 10 wicket bag stats. Others who are starting to figure prominently are McGrath and Akram.

Best Strike Rate
1. Akhtar; Younis (36.6)
3. Donald (40.0)
4. Lee (40.2)
5. Agarker (41.3)
6. Ntini (43.2)
7. Gough 43.5)
8. McGrath, Akram (44.5)
9. Bishop (45.6)

Best Economy Rate
1. Gibbs (1.99)
2. Underwood, Bedi (2.18)
4. Statham (2.33)
5. Trueman (2.61)
6. Ambrose (2.65)
7. Chatfield (2.76)
8. Hadlee (2.77)
9. Muralitharan (2.83)
10. Walsh (2.88)

Trueman enters the stats here. Ambrose and Hadlee of the quicks above. The spinners Gibbs, Underwood and Bedi are amazingly parsemonious. Murali is hard to get away. One of Walsh's secrets is seen here.

Traditionally the bowlers with the best average are seen as the greatest. There is good reason for this, as their stats bring together their economy with their wicket taking. Here we see the greatness of the quicks Trueman, Donald, Hadlee, Ambrose, Marshall, Holding, Lillee and Akram. The only spinner to feature is Murali.

Best Average
1. Trueman (21.56)
2. McGrath (21.76)
3. Muralitharan (21.84)
4. Donald (22.04)
5. Hadlee (22.10)
6. Ambrose (22.11)
7. Marshall (22.71)
8. Holding (22.84)
9. Lillee (23.22)
10. Akram (23.57)

The ability to take wickets in a pure sense cannot be disregarded.

Most Wickets
1. Muralitharan (1157)
2. Warne (1001)
3. McGrath (949)
4. Akram (916)
5. Kumble (903)
6. Pollock (801)
7. Younis (789)
8. Walsh (746)
9. Vaas (703)
10. Dev (687)

Here the two spinners Murali and Warne stand out. The quicks who have featured throughout McGrath, Akram and Younis stand out.

Putting it together:
Clearly two spinners dominate, Murali and Warne. If we pick the best one it depends a little on how we regard Murali's action. I have a problem here because despite all the decisions of the IRB etc, I can't help feeling there is a problem. How does one bowl a leggie with an off-spinners action without bending the arm? On the other hand, Warne bowls the world's most difficult bowling art; leg-spin bowling. So for me he gets the number one slot.

The best quickies I will not try and pick out; but will go for a group. These include Hadlee, McGrath, Akram, Younis, Lillee, Trueman, Ambrose, Donald, Khan, Holding and Marshall.

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