Greatest Fast Bowling Pairs (at their career peaks)

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  1. Mercenary
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    Mercenary The Lone Wolf

    Dec 17, 2009
    16,690
    Greatest Fast Bowling Pairs (at their career peaks)

    by Abdul Habib
    21st September 2003


    courtney_walsh_curtly_ambrose.png


    Whats the greatest spectacle in the cricketing world?

    Some would say it's the sight of a batsman at the top of his game clipping almost every delivery to the fence, for others its a technically correct batsman playing his shots whilst in deep concentration, for some its a spinner continually bamboozling the batsman with a variety of deliveries and most would swear thats its the sight of a fast bowler tearing down to the crease and releasing a thunderbolt that crashes through the stumps leaving the batsman bewildered.

    What do I enjoy watching?

    Well I love it when two great fast bowlers are tearing in from both ends releasing thunderbolts that dance through the air and leave the batsmen no respite from either end. I love watching the pressure build up on the batsmen as they are often forced to play every delivery and every delivery is one that could easily take their wicket. I love it when a teams batting order is made to collapse by a tandem of quality fast bowlers, thats when i really sit up and take notice but one thing has always bothered me. Which pair of fast bowlers were the best?

    The thing about pairings is that they dont often last that long and sometimes one of the bowlers will be at his peak whilst the other is either past it or is still learning the trade. Some of the greatest pairings have been Marshall/Holding, Wasim/Waqar, Donald/Pollock, Lillee/Thommo, Srinath/Prasad (according to Majid), McGrath/Gillespie and of course Ambrose/Walsh. But which of these pairings were the best? When I did my research for the greatest fast bowler, I was left with the figures to answer that question once and for all!!!

    I will be using the peak 6 year periods of each bowler whilst they were bowling in tandem, these figures may differ from each players personal peak but this is about finding the greatest PAIR at the peak of their bowling powers. I will take each players individual figures add them together and divide the result by two (rounding up or down to the nearest number) to find the best pair of fast bowlers in history. Each pair will be ranked by their combined S/R to see how effective they were when bowling in tandem, the results are (with the best pair at the top) as follows...


    194 wkts at an avg of 20.02 with a S/R of 38.0 for Waqar (1990-95)
    195 wkts at an avg of 19.87 with a S/R of 46.4 for Wasim (1990-95)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    195 wkts at an avg of 19.95 with a S/R of 42.2 as a pair (1990-95)


    238 wkts at an avg of 18.90 with a S/R of 43.1 for Marshall (1981-86)
    151 wkts at an avg of 21.61 with a S/R of 45.9 for Holding (1981-86)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    195 wkts at an avg of 20.26 with a S/R of 44.5 as a pair (1981-86)


    203 wkts at an avg of 22.17 with a S/R of 45.9 for Lillee (1976-81)
    ~98 wkts at an avg of 26.05 with a S/R of 49.0 for Thommson (1976-81)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    151 wkts at an avg of 24.11 with a S/R of 47.45 as a pair (1976-81)


    221 wkts at an avg of 19.90 with a S/R of 43.6 for Donald (1996-2001)
    249 wkts at an avg of 19.95 with a S/R of 52.9 for Pollock (1996-2001)
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    235 wkts at an avg of 19.93 with a S/R of 48.3 as a pair (1996-2001)


    321 wkts at an avg of 20.44 with a S/R of 49.8 for McGrath (1997-2002)
    142 wkts at an avg of 25.26 with a S/R of 50.2 for Gillespie (1997-2002)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    232 wkts at an avg of 22.85 with a S/R of 50.0 as a pair (1997-2002)


    176 wkts at an avg of 21.40 with a S/R of 53.3 for Ambrose (1994-99)
    223 wkts at an avg of 25.44 with a S/R of 57.7 for Walsh (1994-99)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    200 wkts at an avg of 23.42 with a S/R of 55.5 as a pair (1994-99)


    139 wkts at an avg of 28.12 with a S/R of 56.4 for Srinath (1996-2001)
    ~85 wkts at an avg of 35.90 with a S/R of 75.9 for Prasad (1996-2001)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    112 wkts at an avg of 32.01 with a S/R of 66.2 as a pair (1996-2001)


    ...between 1990 and 1995 Wasim and Waqar were the most potent opening attack in the history of the game, even surpassing the Holdings-Marshall duo. I was surprised to see the position of the Ambrose-Walsh pair because a lot of people not only tend to compare them to Wasim-Waqar but some even say that they were better as a pair!!!

    The S African pair at number 4 and the Aussie pair at Number 5 just goes to show why both these teams are currently ranked number 1 and number 2. If Pakistan had half the batting of the Aussies and the Saffies when Wasim and Waqar were destroying batting line-ups then they would have been ranked the number 1 team of the 1990's. It proves that great bowlers cant win you matches on their own, you need quality batsmen to back them up too!!
     
  2. qamar shehzad
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    qamar shehzad Youngsta Beauty

    Jun 3, 2011
    26
    in my opinion waseem akram and waqar younis is the greatest fast bowling pair of cricket history because it was the pair that had no liberty of bowling bouncers except all legendary fast bowlers before them they were restricted liberty to bowl bouncers but they still frequently took wickets at an average of 20 and dismissed legendary batsmen during their carrier and poor pakistani fielding and drop catches is also a big fact i think if they had been provided with the services of some better fielding side their record must be much better than this and umpiring is also an issue you people better know that most of the umpires are against pakistan team and especially pakistani fast bowlers but still their records are a proof of their greatness
     
  3. WaQaReD!
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    WaQaReD! Talented

    Sep 13, 2011
    2,942
    Waqar was the most destructive fast bowler i have ever seen, the only one comparable was Shoaib Akhtar but he was too inconsistent with injuries and whatever. The Waqar pre 1996 was amazing.
    Would definetly give the nod to Waqar and Wasim, not just because im biased. Didnt see Holding so only remember Marshall in the late 80's.
    Whereas all of the duo's were all excellent(aside from the Indian pair), you have to counter in that Waqar and Wasim were playing alot of games on pretty crap wickets in Pakistan yet were still dismantling sides.
     
  4. Feather
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    Feather Head Surfer

    Dec 19, 2009
    2,250
    Waqar is the sole reason I fell in love with cricket and fast bowling. Really had high hopes for Aamir but oh well.
     
  5. Rocky Rochester
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    Rocky Rochester Youngsta Beauty

    Feb 26, 2012
    22
    Don't get me wrong Waseem and Waqar are legends of the game; however, cricket politics kept out another fast bowler at the time who could have been another great if he was given the chance, KABIR KHAN a name at the time was the best domestic fast bowler and leading wicket taker,who was over looked! People of a certain age would no this!
     
  6. WaQaReD!
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    WaQaReD! Talented

    Sep 13, 2011
    2,942
    I've played against Kabir Khan, although i played youth county cricket it wasnt there i came across him but in a club match.
    I do remember him being a handy odi bowler but he just lacked that cutting edge which was why he faded away, it is rumoured Waqar and Wasim did play politics to effect certain fast bowlers careers and if im being honest there were a few better bowlers than Kabir Khan who should have been around the team longer ie Muhammed Akram, Aamer Nazir, Shahid Nazir but were kept away and stagnated at a time they should have been progressing and getting better and better alongside Waqar and Wasim but at that time we just had so many fast bowlers around, for a start none of them or Kabir Khan deserved to play ahead of Waqar,Wasim,Zahid and then Shoaib and even a young Razzaq was pretty good bar Aamer Nazir who was around in the early 90's before any of them.
     
  7. Rocky Rochester
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    Rocky Rochester Youngsta Beauty

    Feb 26, 2012
    22
    Can that be said if you remember Ali Naqvi who is a cicket friend of mine! Politics was the end of him, without a doubt !
     
  8. Mercenary
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    Mercenary The Lone Wolf

    Dec 17, 2009
    16,690
    I dont really know about Kabir but you just have to look at guys like Rana, Rauf, Cheema, M Akram, Nazir and others to see how we wasted the best years of guys like these by letting them rot at domestic level. An over the hill, out of shape Rana clocked 146kph in 2005 and topped the ODI bowling tables, Rauf was clocking around 140kph AFTER cutting his runup and changing his action to a less demanding one.

    But it's not fair to just blame the W's because every Pakistani senior player has helped to hold back talent through their influence on PCB staff and the selection committee. Just look at Imran Tahir who got so fed up he went to South Africa. Then there's the batsmen like Naumanullah and Saeed Bin Nasir who never got their chances to shine for Pakistan.
     
  9. Rocky Rochester
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    Rocky Rochester Youngsta Beauty

    Feb 26, 2012
    22
    How can a selection committee do that to Naqvi, he got 100 on debut and another 2nd innings never played again!
     

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