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Old 14th March 2017, 12:06   #21
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Quote:
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Exactly, you think of Shaun Tait who basically built himself purely to bowl as quickly as possible with a slingy action over four overs an innings in T20 only touched 100mph once in a game, it seems far fetched that bowlers in a previous era were bowling quicker in Test/first class cricket.
I'd be interested to hear a physiological explanation of why that should be seen as far fetched.

Things which can aid performance may change quickly but the human body evolves very slowly, probably imperceptibly, over the course of a few decades.
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Old 14th March 2017, 12:17   #22
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I'd be interested to hear a physiological explanation of why that should be seen as far fetched.

Things which can aid performance may change quickly but the human body evolves very slowly, probably imperceptibly, over the course of a few decades.
Training, diet and body management have come on leaps and bounds in recent decades. I remember Imran Khan in 1974 being a nice little second change medium pacer; he went away, worked on his upper body and returned in 1982 as one of the quickest bowlers on the planet. In his autobiography, Bob Willis writes about how he himself built up his stamina by distance running, enabling him to be a genuine threat for all three sessions rather than merely his opening spell.
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Old 14th March 2017, 13:02   #23
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Nothing there that was denied to bowlers of other eras.

As far as fitness goes, for Larwood, for example, a test series in Australia may have seemed a bit of a rest cure after months toiling down t' pit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kn4cLzNZUi0
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Old 14th March 2017, 13:56   #24
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Nothing there that was denied to bowlers of other eras
Doubtful that they had the time or inclination to do so, though.
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Old 14th March 2017, 17:48   #25
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I'm surprised there isn't technology out there that could accurately measure the speed of the older bowlers from TV clips. Generally I don't think anyone has bowled 95mph+ on a regular basis, back in the day it probably looked quicker as batting was a hell of a lot more dangerous than it is nowadays. It must have been difficult to practice in the nets too before bowling machines were available.
That would be some cool tech.

Also, from what I saw, with regular use of the speed gun, Akhtar was consistently at or around 95 mph in quite a few matches aroun 99 to probs 2003-ish.

I'd say Lee at his best was probably close to that, again, seeing a lot of the speed measurements in matches.

In terms of guys from the 70s and 80s or earlier feeling the speed a lot more, I agree. It was much mroe dangerous to bat without helmets.
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Old 14th March 2017, 18:01   #26
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Frank Tyson was rapid. Those who watched him live will tell you he was the fastest ever. Bradman said he was the fastest he ever faced by far.
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Old 14th March 2017, 18:15   #27
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Frank Tyson was rapid. Those who watched him live will tell you he was the fastest ever. Bradman said he was the fastest he ever faced by far.
Hmm. I wonder when that was.
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Old 14th March 2017, 18:17   #28
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Hmm. I wonder when that was.
Given that Tyson's FC debut was 4 years after Bradman retired, you mean? I think CDogg means Benaud, not Bradman.
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Old 14th March 2017, 18:20   #29
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Frank Tyson was rapid. Those who watched him live will tell you he was the fastest ever. Bradman said he was the fastest he ever faced by far.
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Hmm. I wonder when that was.
Fastest he's ever seen rather than faced I believe
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Old 14th March 2017, 18:26   #30
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Hmm. I wonder when that was.
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Given that Tyson's FC debut was 4 years after Bradman retired, you mean? I think CDogg means Benaud, not Bradman.
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Fastest he's ever seen rather than faced I believe
Sorry folks, Bradman did say 'seen', not 'faced.' He would have cross paths with Benaud in the '54 Ashes, but I'm not sure if Ritchie said anything about him regarding his pace.
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Old 14th March 2017, 18:30   #31
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Sorry folks, Bradman did say 'seen', not 'faced.'
Apparently his bowling was tested by science and measured at 89mph but he didn't bowl off a run up. Statham was at 87mph.
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Old 14th March 2017, 18:35   #32
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For fast bowling, though, there is no reason to assume that in the course of a few decades, more recent years have seen improvements in the natural attributes of those who hurl down a cricket ball as fast as they possibly can.
They bowl a lot less overs now than FST did in the past so should be fresher. Of course the counter argument runs that FST "grazed" at fine leg and only had to peak for (many) fewer Tests.
Truth in both arguments, I believe there have been fast bowlers in every era since I started watching cricket in mid 70's. But rarely have England produced an express bowler (Snow, Willis, Harmy, and??) not sure if that is down to coaching, pitches or workload. I have high hopes of Wood if he keeps fit - his bowling on T20 Finals day (yes only hit and giggle) was genuinely electrifying, not sure what the speed gun registered but it was irrelevant as you just knew it was too hot to handle - which really S/B the definition of fast bowling.
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Old 14th March 2017, 18:39   #33
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Sorry folks, Bradman did say 'seen', not 'faced.' He would have cross paths with Benaud in the '54 Ashes, but I'm not sure if Ritchie said anything about him regarding his pace.
"In the two Tests of the 1954/55 series at Sydney and Melbourne, 'The Typhoon' was the fastest bowler I ever faced"

Richie Benaud - 'From Spofforth to Lillee', Wisden Cricketers Almanack (Summer of)1977.
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Old 14th March 2017, 18:41   #34
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They bowl a lot less overs now than FST did in the past so should be fresher. Of course the counter argument runs that FST "grazed" at fine leg and only had to peak for (many) fewer Tests.
Truth in both arguments, I believe there have been fast bowlers in every era since I started watching cricket in mid 70's. But rarely have England produced an express bowler (Snow, Willis, Harmy, and??) not sure if that is down to coaching, pitches or workload. I have high hopes of Wood if he keeps fit - his bowling on T20 Finals day (yes only hit and giggle) was genuinely electrifying, not sure what the speed gun registered but it was irrelevant as you just knew it was too hot to handle - which really S/B the definition of fast bowling.
I think it was in the low 90s. Your last point is a good one. I saw Wood in his debut test v NZ at Lords. He was rapid enough that it had the batsmen hopping and drew a few gasps from the crowd yet when I watched it back on tv later the gun was only recording in the mid-80s

Mills is the fastest English pace bowler I've seen on TV in recent years (up to 94/95) but it's taken its toll. The drop off in Finn's pace since he remodeled his action just shows how much technique rather than brute strength can also affect speed.
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Old 14th March 2017, 18:47   #35
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"In the two Tests of the 1954/55 series at Sydney and Melbourne, 'The Typhoon' was the fastest bowler I ever faced"

Richie Benaud - 'From Spofforth to Lillee', Wisden Cricketers Almanack (Summer of)1977.
Has anybody estimated what Trueman's pace was? It is estimated that Larwood bowled at 100mph, although I don't know how this was deciphered.

Last edited by CDogg16 : 14th March 2017 at 19:13.
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Old 14th March 2017, 19:06   #36
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Has anybody estimated what Trueman's pace was? It is estimated that Larwood bowled at 100mph, although I don't know how this was desivered.
I believe he was subject to some primitive measuring equipment in the 1960s and was clocked in the 80s but, inevitably, he claimed it was rubbish, he was much quicker.

Neil Harvey - who faced FST on numerous occasions - suggested "He wasn't as quick as Lindwall, Hall or Tyson, but he wasn't far behind. Fred's great talent was his ability to swing the ball and put it where he wanted; that's why he was such a difficult customer".
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Old 14th March 2017, 19:29   #37
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Doubtful that they had the time or inclination to do so, though.
Even more doubtful that ambition to be the best, and therefore make the time or have the inclination, has altered a great deal over the eras.

Last edited by D/L : 14th March 2017 at 19:42.
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Old 14th March 2017, 21:53   #38
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Heath Davis clearly missing from the list - assuming inaccuracy is no impediment to speed.
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Old 15th March 2017, 00:28   #39
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Michael Holding. Honourable mention to Akhtar, Lee, Lillee and Thomson and many others. I can only go with my own eyes. Sylvester Clarke would be up there if speed guns were about. Pace is not the issue.
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Old 15th March 2017, 08:02   #40
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David Boon was deceptively quick, could have been the greatest if he didnt concentrate on his batting.
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