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Old 15th March 2017, 10:43   #41
Chin Music
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https://t.co/6EWVs11upO

While we're about it, this has just popped up on my timeline on twitter!
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Old 15th March 2017, 12:26   #42
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https://t.co/6EWVs11upO

While we're about it, this has just popped up on my timeline on twitter!
I remember watching the highlights at the time and thinking Mikey was back to '76 pace. He actually took two fewer balls to dismiss Boycs in the second innings (for a single).

Next Test, Boycott made an unbeaten 6 hour century to secure England a draw. He reported that the wicketless Holding crossed his path between overs, smiling all over his face, saying "Different day, different game, Geoffrey".
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Old 21st March 2017, 13:56   #43
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It would be pretty incredible if cricket was the only sport that had regressed and the bowlers of yesteryear were quicker than those of today.

I can believe that the bowlers of yesteryear were more fearful. There have been several changes that will make bowling of today seem more gentle paced.

The main difference is that pace is no longer a rarity. Bowling machines mean that batsmen are use to facing pace. Batsmen (in the wider sense of including bowlers when holding a bat) now no longer look scared when facing someone bowling 85mph+ because they've been playing in the nets against a bowling machine at 95mph and are use to it. Nothing makes a fast bowler seem quicker than the sight of a tailender being beaten for pace and his stumps splattered. The improvement in tailend batting (and bowling machines have been a big part of this) means that's a less frequent sight.

Coupled to this is the addition of helmets and the improvement of padding - Hameed's injury is something of a rarity but Nasser Hussain would break his fingers more times a series than all international batsmen now break hands or fingers a year.
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Old 24th March 2017, 00:50   #44
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It would be pretty incredible if cricket was the only sport that had regressed and the bowlers of yesteryear were quicker than those of today.
Not the only sport - there are a number of disciplines where performances of the eighties and nineties are better than today, but that usually can be traced back to more effective drug testing.

Another factor could be the alternatives available to the elite - for example much of the decline of the Windies is speculated to be down to the higher paying alternatives available to the top sportsmen.

But in general, the point is valid. With the advances in conditioning, nutrition, training regimes and technology to support training it would be highly surprising if bowlers have slowed down. Changes in bats are only part of the reason batsmen seem to be hitting the ball further, they also appear far more muscular due to improved training regimes.
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Old 24th March 2017, 00:52   #45
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Of course, it could simply be that video replay means fast bowlers can't chuck and get away with it so easily...
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Old 29th March 2017, 15:44   #46
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It would be pretty incredible if cricket was the only sport that had regressed and the bowlers of yesteryear were quicker than those of today. ...
Not as incredible as the notion that evolution could produce such a change in such a short space of time.

Any sensible consideration would conclude that the 10 fastest bowlers ever are very unlikely to be those credited as being so at the top of the thread.
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Old 29th March 2017, 16:37   #47
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Not as incredible as the notion that evolution could produce such a change in such a short space of time.

Any sensible consideration would conclude that the 10 fastest bowlers ever are very unlikely to be those credited as being so at the top of the thread.
I remember a discussion about this on either tms or radio 5 a couple of years ago. The common consent was modern bowlers are able to maintain their speeds better than 20 or 30 years ago due to conditioning. Part of the strength of the West Indies seam attack in their pomp was they were all very fit and also they brought their pace down considerably when a team put together a decent partnership and attacked again as soon as they had a new batsman to bowl at.

It does seem that modern bowlers who can get past the low 90s do get a lot of injury problems
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Old 29th March 2017, 18:25   #48
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Yes, changes to conditioning there may have been in recent times may have led to longer spells of sustained space.

Good point about the amount of time that today's faster bowlers are absent through injury. It does suggest that there is a price to be paid for bowling longer spells at full pace achieved through differences in conditioning.

In such a short space of time, human physiology has not evolved to the extent that it can sustain more punishment and it is still very unlikely that all the highest bowling speeds were achieved in the last couple of decades or so.
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Old 29th March 2017, 18:33   #49
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It does seem that modern bowlers who can get past the low 90s do get a lot of injury problems
Duncan Spencer, the Western Australian who briefly played for Kent in the early 1990s, was the fastest I ever saw bowl in the flesh (and the man Viv rates as the quickest he faced). He generated frightening pace for someone so relatively short (5'8") but his rhythm could be erratic, his back couldn't cope and he had to quit at 26.
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Old 29th March 2017, 19:22   #50
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Duncan Spencer, the Western Australian who briefly played for Kent in the early 1990s, was the fastest I ever saw bowl in the flesh (and the man Viv rates as the quickest he faced). He generated frightening pace for someone so relatively short (5'8") but his rhythm could be erratic, his back couldn't cope and he had to quit at 26.
One thing that could be mentioned and I don't know how the older folk here like D/L, Mustardcharlie and co might recall is the effect of the old no ball law. I remember Fred Truman pointing out in a book that he was able to release the ball somewhat closer to the batsman than modern bolwers with the back foot law as he was able to drag his back foot in delivery stride and that crucially it was the where he started dragging his back foot that was relevant. Therefore he, and similar bowlers would potentially have less of a reaction time due to being closer. That is different from being quicker through the air/release speed though.
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Old 29th March 2017, 20:46   #51
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Not as incredible as the notion that evolution could produce such a change in such a short space of time.

Any sensible consideration would conclude that the 10 fastest bowlers ever are very unlikely to be those credited as being so at the top of the thread.
Has anyone said that evolution (in the Darwinian sense) is responsible for improvement in bowling speeds? Only that would be a ridiculous suggestion on various levels but nobody seems to have made it. Other kinds of evolution, such as in techniques, training methods (or performance enhancing drugs) could easily explain a tendency towards quicker bowling, although it still seems unlikely that all the quickest ten bowlers are recent, so to that extent I agree with you.
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Old 29th March 2017, 21:03   #52
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Has anyone said that evolution (in the Darwinian sense) is responsible for improvement in bowling speeds? Only that would be a ridiculous suggestion on various levels but nobody seems to have made it. Other kinds of evolution, such as in techniques, training methods (or performance enhancing drugs) could easily explain a tendency towards quicker bowling, although it still seems unlikely that all the quickest ten bowlers are recent, so to that extent I agree with you.
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Usain Bolt 2009
Tyson Gay 2009
Yohan Blake 2012
Asafa Powell 2008
Justin Gatlin 2015
Nesta Carter 2010
Maurice Greene 1999
Steve Mullings 2011
Richard Thompson 2014
Donovan Bailey 1996
Bruny Surin 1999
Trayvon Bromell 2015
Leroy Burrell 1994
Adekotunbo Olusoji Fasuba 2006
Mike Rodgers 2011
Carl Lewis 1991
Frankie Fredericks 1996
Ato Boldon 1998
Francis Obikwelu 2004
Keston Bledman 2012
Jimmy Vicaut 2015
Obadele Thompson 1998
Shawn Crawford 2004
Walter Dix 2010
Ryan Bailey 2010
Michael Frater 2011
Travis Padgett 2008
Darvis Patton 2008
Ngonidzashe Makusha 2011
Akani Simbine 2013


Is it that different a distribution to the fast bowlers?
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Old 29th March 2017, 22:08   #53
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Unlike the sprinting, we don't have accurate measurements from the past, although it's also not the case that the aim of bowling fast is purely to bowl as fast as you can, unlike sprinting, which is only about speed. You do make a fair point though.
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Old 29th March 2017, 23:50   #54
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It would be pretty incredible if cricket was the only sport that had regressed and the bowlers of yesteryear were quicker than those of today.

I can believe that the bowlers of yesteryear were more fearful. There have been several changes that will make bowling of today seem more gentle paced.

The main difference is that pace is no longer a rarity. Bowling machines mean that batsmen are use to facing pace. Batsmen (in the wider sense of including bowlers when holding a bat) now no longer look scared when facing someone bowling 85mph+ because they've been playing in the nets against a bowling machine at 95mph and are use to it. Nothing makes a fast bowler seem quicker than the sight of a tailender being beaten for pace and his stumps splattered. The improvement in tailend batting (and bowling machines have been a big part of this) means that's a less frequent sight.

Coupled to this is the addition of helmets and the improvement of padding - Hameed's injury is something of a rarity but Nasser Hussain would break his fingers more times a series than all international batsmen now break hands or fingpers a year.
Dare I mention performance enhancing substances/drugs.

Also, there aren't the same number of really quick bowlers that there was in the 70s and 80s. In 1982 you could have named a dozen express bowlers who were test match quality. I would struggle to name today's fastest on one hand.
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Old 30th March 2017, 01:39   #55
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Dare I mention performance enhancing substances/drugs.

Also, there aren't the same number of really quick bowlers that there was in the 70s and 80s. In 1982 you could have named a dozen express bowlers who were test match quality. I would struggle to name today's fastest on one hand.
Starc, Rabada, Steyn, Cummins... Wahab Riaz... Matt Henry... Umesh..

Erm.. does Boult consistently bowl 140km +?
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Old 30th March 2017, 08:34   #56
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Starc, Rabada, Steyn, Cummins... Wahab Riaz... Matt Henry... Umesh..

Erm.. does Boult consistently bowl 140km +?
Is Steyn still express? I appreciate he used to be, but not so sure now. I would have classed Matt Henry and Umesh as fast medium rather than fast.
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Old 30th March 2017, 10:30   #57
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Has anyone said that evolution (in the Darwinian sense) is responsible for improvement in bowling speeds? Only that would be a ridiculous suggestion on various levels but nobody seems to have made it.
No, I believe yours is the first mention here of Darwinian evolution. The word does, of course, have a wider, more general application.

There has, however, been a rather ill considered suggestion, from at least one not unexpected quarter, that it is somehow in the natural order of things for human performances always to improve with no consideration apparently, in a piece of "evidence" supplied, of improvements in equipment, running surfaces and artificial stimulants.

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Other kinds of evolution, such as in techniques, training methods (or performance enhancing drugs) could easily explain a tendency towards quicker bowling, although it still seems unlikely that all the quickest ten bowlers are recent, so to that extent I agree with you.
For that, many thanks.
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