Supreme Bowling – 100 Great Test Performances

How to assess a great bowling performance?

How to measure it in relation to others?

How to find, or attempt to find, the 100 greatest Test ‘five-fers’?

 

These were the questions confronting an intrepid band of researchers, digging into all manner of documents, books, newspapers and websites for information that would help find the answers as they repeated their efforts in identifying the 100 greatest Test centuries in Masterly Batting.

 

Collating the information using statistics, mathematics, deduction and knowledge provided the database. Looking at seven categories – value, economy- and strike-rate, opposition, conditions, match impact, series impact and intangibles gave a home to this data. These categories provided the numbers and the numbers made the list. The innings on the list were matched with the writers and the resultant essays make this book.

 

The essays are no mere ball-by-ball reconstructions. There is room for the man, the match, the opposition and the age. There is room for context and consequence.

 

David Frith and Stephen Chalke relive the glory of English bowling in the 1950s; Daniel Harris, Rob Bagchi and Dileep Premachandran look at three Asian greats; David Tossell and Michael Burns return to subjects close to their hearts; Russell Jackson, Ken Piesse, Phil Walker and Rob Smyth capture the power and beauty of four modern speedsters while Dan Waddell investigates a gentler spinner’s art.

 

Great bowling across the ages and continents is recognised here, from Melbourne in 1883 to Lord’s in 1934, then Kingston 1954 to Delhi 1979 and finally across the continents in the modern age from Abu Dhabi to Centurion and from Christchurch to Colombo. Great players too: Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne, of course; Curtly Ambrose, Fred Trueman, SF Barnes, Imran Khan, Richard Hadlee, Anil Kumble and Allan Donald. But not only the accepted greats, some of the lesser names had stellar days too; Jerome Taylor, Sikander Bakht and Bill Whitty amongst them.

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