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Wasim Akram or Glenn McGrath? Who was better?

Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by Harsh Thakor, Aug 30, 2015.

Who was the better bowler?

  1. Wasim Akram

  2. Glen Mcgrath

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  1. Harsh Thakor

    Harsh Thakor Youngsta Beauty

    May 5, 2011
    Wasim Akram and Glen Mcgrath rank amongst the greatest bowlers of all time.It would take a photo-finish to morally separate them.Mcgrath was a bowling metronome like a programmed machine ,Wasim was a magician with the creativity of a musical composer.Mcgrath could bowl six deliveries in the same spot in the same over,Akram could bowl 6 different types of balls in an over.Akram posessed unmatched variations of reverse -swing in his armoury while Mcgrath posessed control or acuracy not surpased by any fast-bowler.

    What arguably let down Wasim was his diabetes,the internal politics of Pakistan cricket and his slip fielders dropping catches.Maybe playing for a top Australian sided Wasim would have been more successful.Wasim also did not bowl on as many bouncy tracks as Mcgrath did.

    Wasim Akram to be was fast bowling's equivalent of a magician.He could do things with a cricket ball which no pace bowler could ever do.Wasim was like a surgeon,sculptor and poet moulded into one.There have been quicker,more accurate.Wasim Akram posessed the total package of the complete fast bowler.Wasim was the equivalent of a magician to fast bowling.At his best he reminded one of a musical composer with his extraordinary innovations of reverse swing.He could do things with a cricket ball that no pace bowler could ever do.He could bowl six different deliveries in an over.

    To me had Wasim done full justice to his potential he should have had figures of the equivalent the legendary Sydney Barnes had in his era or been the 'Bradman' of fast bowling.No paceman posessed Wasim's creative genius who was the equivalent of a Michelangelo or Rembrandt to fast bowling.Wasim had deliveries in his armoury which greats like Marshall or Lillee did not have.He could bowl more unplayable deliveries or capture wickets with them than nay other pace bowler.Alan Donlad rated Wasim as the most complete fast bowler he ever saw.

    Glen Mcgrath was the most complete post-war fast -medium pace bowler of all.He posessed all the essential components in almost perfect proportion be it pace ,bounce,control or movement.Above all he assesed a batsman's weaknesses like a computer.He posessed the consistency of a machine.There were more versatile bowlers,faster bowlers,bowlers who moved the ball more but none who could produce the perfect ball to capture an opponent's wicket.The batsman were perplexed whether to play back or forward.Richard Hadlee had equally good control but not as effective bounce or as subtle variations.Capturing 563 wickets at 21.63 arguably make him the finest of all pace bowlers .Mcgrath was like an architect and engineer rolled into one.

    So overall,who would I choose in preference in an all-time xi and who was the better bowler.

    Points favouring Wasim

    1.He got half his scalps on flat subcontinent tracks.His mastery of reverse swing enabled him to overcome the barriers of the subcontinent's pancakes.Wasim also was not supported often by his fielders or his team's batsmen.

    2.Wasim had far more variations.He would often dismiss batsmen with deliveries that were unplayable while Mcgrath would gain wickets often through mistakes created by batsmen.Brian Lara and Jacques Kallis rated him the best pace bowler they ever faced.Alan Donald rated him the most complete.

    3.Wasim was faster and could move the ball far more.

    4.More 5 and 10 wicket hauls compared to no.of tests played than Mcgrath.Mcgrath got 5 wickets 28 times in 124 tests while Wasim got 5 wickets 25 times in 104 tests.Wasim had 5 10 wicket hauls in compariosn's to Mcgrath's 3.Also Wasim has better bowling average in games won.In peak period a marginally better strike rate than Mcgrath of 46.7.

    5.In terms of pure match -performances in a career evaluated in rating sof test match bowlers in 2009 by Anantha narayana on cricinfo cordon almost on level woth Mcgrath with 18.7 as against Mcgrath's 18.9.Match performances in career asses nature of opposition,nature of wickets,situation of game etc.Had he got better support from his fielders he may have even surpassed Mcgrath in this respect.

    Points favouring Glen Mcgrath

    1.Possessed more control and accuracy

    2.More intelligent and could analyze opponent's weaknesses better.

    3.Statistically better with 149 more scalps and a more economical average by 2 runs.Mcgrath has a strike rate of 51.9 compared to Wasim's 54.6 and best figures of 8-23 and 8-38 while Wasim's best is 7-119.

    4.More top order wickets from 1-6 position and percentage of scalps in games won.He also ran through batting line-ups more.Mcgrath has 66.9% of top order wickets than Wasim Akram's 56.9% of top-order scalps.

    If I had to choose a world xi i would choose Wasim Akram,principally because of his left-arm variety to join Lillee,Marshall,Warne etc in the attack.Akram's incredible versatality would be a greatest menace to opponents than Mcgrath's consistency.For a place in an all-time xi many more cricketers have chosen Wasim over Mcgrath.Wasim got 27 votes to be selected in the all-time xi above Mcgrath's 8 votes.Wasim was chosen in the all-time world xi in the overall selection of 100 cricket legends of Richard Sydenham.To me more than Mcgrath's ultra-accuarte line and intelligence Wasim's magical innovation sand mastery of bowling art would be a greater threat for opponents.Generally,Wasim was the more difficult to face at his best.

    Still if you go by statistics,Mcgrath is better.Although Wasim had more all-round skill over a prolonged period he could cause as much trouble as Wasim against batsmen like Viv Richards or Gavaskar.In Anantha Narayan's statistiacl analysis of 15 most faersome bowlers in August 2010 Mcgrath is ranked 2nd behind Murlitharan while Akrm is placed at 13th place considering a huge range of factors.

    Below posting sections from Anantha Narayans' s analyis in August 10, 2010
    The fearsome fifteen: a look at the great bowlers

    The following measures are used.

    1. Wickets captured.
    2. Bowling strike rate (Bpw).
    3. Bowling accuracy (Rpo).
    (These two are components of the Bowling average, but have been considered
    4. Quality of wickets captured (Average of dismissed batsmen's batting averages)
    5. Away bowling average.
    6. % of top order wickets captured.
    7. Team load borne by bowler (balls bowled and wickets captured).
    8. Ratio of bowling average to peer bowling average - all teams.
    9. Ratio of bowling average to peer bowling average - other bowlers of own team.
    10.Win index (Combination of two ratios)- (% of win wickets to career wickets
    and % of win wickets to team win wickets).

    Just to summarize, Muralitharan leads in 2 measures (Wickets and Team load factor). The other 8 measures are led by Ambrose (RpO), Garner (Away bowling average), Imran Khan (Dismissed batsman quality), Waqar Younis (Bowling strike rate), Marshall (Peer comparison to all bowlers), Hadlee (Peer comparison to own team bowlers), McGrath (Top order wickets ratio) and Warne (Win index). A very fair distribution of the top positions with nine bowlers leading in one or more measures. There is no domination by one bowler.

    Muralitharan M 87.54 10.00 7.52 9.10 7.87 7.74 6.99 10.00 9.53 9.25 9.54
    McGrath G.D 85.38 7.04 8.18 8.98 7.46 9.70 10.00 6.85 9.84 7.49 9.84
    Hadlee R.J 84.89 5.39 8.42 8.29 9.18 9.31 8.75 8.26 9.33 10.00 7.96
    Marshall M.D 83.36 4.70 9.30 7.99 8.92 9.35 8.87 6.89 10.00 7.63 9.73
    Ambrose C.E.L 82.72 5.06 7.62 10.00 7.77 9.98 9.46 6.76 9.76 8.04 8.27

    Imran Khan 81.00 4.53 7.79 8.74 10.00 7.99 9.21 7.40 9.09 8.98 7.27
    Lillee D.K 80.76 4.44 8.17 7.61 9.54 8.70 9.33 7.62 8.59 7.74 9.01
    Donald A.A 79.75 4.12 9.24 7.19 7.79 8.93 9.92 7.01 9.24 7.80 8.51
    Garner J 79.34 3.24 8.41 9.12 8.61 10.00 8.09 6.74 9.73 7.54 7.86
    Warne S.K 78.63 8.85 6.99 8.18 7.17 8.33 6.35 7.77 8.35 6.63 10.00

    Trueman F.S 76.86 3.84 8.72 8.35 6.91 8.04 9.04 6.71 9.25 7.62 8.38
    Wasim Akram 76.37 5.18 7.60 8.49 7.59 8.77 7.86 6.92 8.77 7.51 7.68
    Waqar Younis 75.84 4.66 10.00 5.02 7.89 7.99 8.72 6.63 8.79 7.32 8.81
    Kumble A 71.40 7.74 5.16 7.95 7.96 4.26 7.64 8.21 7.14 7.33 8.01
    Kapil Dev N 68.24 5.43 5.61 7.49 9.25 5.83 9.84 6.14 7.00 7.70 3.96

    So to conclude if I based my selection on statistics then Glen Mcgrath would win.However if I based it on all-round skill of a fast bowler them Wasim Akram would be the victor.In the end we should ask ourselves whether we make ranking son the basis of statistics or on skill.Perhaps Mcgrath and Wasim rolled into one comprised the perfect pace bowler.

    ASLI-PATHAN Cricistan Khan

    Apr 26, 2011
    Wasim was skillfully miles ahead of McGrath.
  3. Aman

    Aman Formerly 'Zaros'

    May 13, 2014
    Wasim was more entertaining and skillful but McGrath was better.
  4. Wistful Reminisces

    Wistful Reminisces Banned

    Sep 21, 2012
  5. aliahad

    aliahad Youngsta Beauty

    Sep 16, 2012
    I don't think there is a comparison..... Was all the way....
  6. ElRaja

    ElRaja Talented

    Jan 12, 2013
    mcgrath was a consistently better bowler, wasim could peak and trough, but at his peak wasim was a force of nature who could get a wicket regardless of how settled the batsmen was.

    there were also more variables for wasim, he pbly had 100 odd catches dropped of his bowling, but had the advantage of being able to "work" on the ball better for reverse than is possible nowadays with cameras everywhere.

    if i had to choose for an xi, purely on consistent bowling skill id pbly take GM, but as an all round cricketer wasim.
  7. Shahzad.Firdous

    Shahzad.Firdous Cornered Tiger

    May 29, 2010
    This isnt even a competition!! McGrath was just a one dimensional bowler and very predictable whereas with Wasim u never knew what was coming next!! Wasim is by far the best fast bowler in the history of cricket and Warne is the best spinner in the history of cricket!!
  8. Shahzad.Firdous

    Shahzad.Firdous Cornered Tiger

    May 29, 2010
    LOL McGrath cant even be discussed in the same sentence as great Wasim!! Wasim is the 2nd greatest cricketer world ever had after Imran Khan!!
  9. Rhythm

    Rhythm Cornered Tiger

    Nov 27, 2014
  10. Rhythm

    Rhythm Cornered Tiger

    Nov 27, 2014
    Wasim's peak and troughs were down to him not playing enough matches in his prime. 66 compared to McGrath's 100+. With such long break inbetween series, it makes you lose momentum from the previous one and it becomes difficult to make the most of your form.

    As for 'working' on the ball, there were more than enough cameras by the 90s. He averaged 19 in Australia until 1995 where it is impossible to 'work' on the ball because their media will be all over you.
  11. iZeeshan

    iZeeshan Whispering Death

    May 22, 2012
    Not that I'm disagreeing with you, but your post doesn't make very much sense. How can Wasim be more skillful but McGrath be better?

    Since you only defined one metric that measures someone being "better" objectively, then that would, by default, make Wasim better.
  12. SwingNSeam

    SwingNSeam Boom Boom

    Sep 12, 2010
    what kind of a question is this? You dont even have to be a Pakistani to know this lol.
  13. Aman

    Aman Formerly 'Zaros'

    May 13, 2014
    Better as in speed and quality of variations (inswing, outswing, slower ball etc), for example Anderson is more skillful than Steyn but Steyn is better because he has a better record and knows how to get wickets with just the outswinger.
  14. Bruce Wayne

    Bruce Wayne Smooth Operator

    May 22, 2012
    Wasim Akram is one of the greatest cricketers of all time!

    "If I ever had the chance to be reborn as a cricketer, I would without hesitation pick Wasim Akram." - Allan Border.

    Arguably the greatest Australian cricket captain ever!
  15. Bublu Bhuyan

    Bublu Bhuyan Banned

    Feb 15, 2010
    Wasim Akram had more flair. McGrath was more of a robot who almost always produced results. Wasim was capable of doing things most bowlers could not.

    Whom would I pick in my team? I'd pick both.

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