Who’s wearing the bowler’s hat ?

This is a list of bowlers with 200 or more wickets in Test Cricket. The ones still playing are highlighted in bold.

Warne – 708 ; Murali – 674 ; Mcgrath – 563 ;

Kumble – 547 ; Walsh – 519 ; Kapil Dev – 434 ;

RJ Hadlee – 431 ; Shaun Pollock – 416 ;

Wasim Akram – 414 ; CEM Ambrose – 405 ; IT Botham – 383 ;

MD Marshall – 376 ; Waqar Younis – 373 ; Imran Khan – 362 ;

DK Lillee – 355 ; AA Donald – 330 ; RGD Willis – 325 ;

WPUJC Vaas – 313 ; LR Gibbs – 309 ; M Ntini – 308 ;

FS Trueman – 307 ; DL Underwood – 297 ; BS Bedi – 266 ;

Joel Garner – 259 ; JN Gillespie – 259 ; JB Statham – 252 ;

MA Holding – 249 ; R Benaud – 248 ; GD Mckenzie – 246 ;

BS Chandrashekhar – 242 ; Harbhajan Singh – 238 ; Javagal Srinath – 236 ;

AV Bedser – 236 ; Abdul Qadir – 236 ; MJ Hoggard – 235 ;

GS Sobers – 235 ; AR Caddick – 234 ; B Lee – 231 ;

D Gough – 229 ; DL Vettori – 229 ; RR Lindwall – 228 ;

CL Cairns – 218 ; HH Streak – 216 ; CV Grimmet – 216 ;

JH Kallis – 213 ; MG Hughes – 212 ; Saqlain Mushtaq – 208 ;

AME Roberts – 202 ; JA Snow – 202.

When you consider how few are still playing , its worrying. When you consider how many of those still playing are close to retirement, the plot thickens . Once the guys that are on the doorstep of retiring go, where’s the next batch of greats?

Whats going wrong ? Where is the next breed ? Is it really that much a batsmans game now ? The number of result oriented test matches have defnitely gone up so twenty wickets a side are more the norm than they were a generation ago. So are they getting spread out evenly then ? Or is the strain of playing Test Cricket so much that bowlers have shorter shelf lives? Who are the next lot ? Is there a next lot of the 500 club ? A 400 club ?

Questions . Questions.

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8 thoughts on “Who’s wearing the bowler’s hat ?

  1. Sfx,

    A lot more grind because of the crowded calenders and hence a shorter shelf life for the bowlers. Plus, everything these days seem to favor the batters.

    That said, I wouldn’t be too surprised if bowlers learn to preserve themselves better and and aim for playing more games.

    Mcgrath took 12 years to get to where he is in International cricket. Warne debuted in 1992.

    I would expect to see a lot more bowlers in the 300 club and the really good or smart ones doing better.

  2. Hello Sir …. Thanks for dropping by 🙂

    The part that surprised me about this stat was that there has been in increase in the number of Test matches being played, and there definitely has been an increase in the number result oriented test matches in the past say 15 years or so.

    And you know what , leave aside say Mcgrath – Warne and Wasim – Waqar and the Windies lot and there aren’t that many of the “bowlers hunt in pairs” bunch in that list either. Meaning, its not that the 20 wickets are getting shared.

    Where are they going ?

  3. Runouts maybe?

    I suppose with the fielding standards being what they are, a lot more of the “now whats his name and where did he come from” type bowlers are getting into the act.

    Also, people like Stuey Clark, Simon Jones and Murali Karthik are guys who will get wickets, but their career numbers may not be staggering.

  4. So, it isn’t a bad idea then to be looking for bits and pieces cricketers then ?

    I was speaking with someone about this yesterday and said , if I add the number of Tests played to that statistic it gets even more depressing.

    Like Pollock has played 21 tests more than Hadlee but taken 15 less wickets. Oh thats an unfair comparison, I was told.

    Ok how about this.

    Vaas has played about as many tests as Curtley Ambrose and taken about 100 wickets less. Still unfair. But very stark huh ?

    Try another.

    Chaminda Vaas.313 wickets. 96 tests.
    Allan Donald. 330 wickets. 72 Tests.

  5. Sfx,

    We have Yuvraj and Sachin and Sehwag. Thing is, how well do we utilize these guys in match situations. Its pretty bleak in ODis, worse in tests.

    I suppose with the thrust on “total cricket”, teams tend to focus on getting 20 wickets, not so much on who gets them.

    Slower wickets, smaller grounds ( even in tests) will cause teams to focus on all available options.

    Add that to the fact that schedules are getting crazier and bit cricketers may soon become the norm.

  6. Thats probably – almost definitely- a part of the problem. And a market which i hope corrects itself . And fast.

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