Best left arm spinner ever?

Badesumofu

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#26
stupid post at least ad some input your self
Erm, irony? The OP at least started off an interesting discussion.

Vettori has been good over a long period of time and is a fantastic player overall, but if you look purely at his bowling, he's more passable than great. Herath looks really good, and although he won't have a long career and prove himself over many years, he's had a fantastic 2012. Although I'm too young to have seen Bedi while he was playing, he'd probably have to be the best. It is a bit surprising that there haven't been more, though.

It's interesting, with more and more right handed people using a 'left-handed' grip, we might start to see more left-arm wrist spin. I am left handed and bat 'right-handed', because that was how I naturally held a bat when given one. That's a whole other discussion, though. I reckon what we call a left-handed grip is actually the best way for a right-hander to hold a bat and vice-versa and people have only relatively recently started to figure that out.
 

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Plugger35

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#27
Erm, irony? The OP at least started off an interesting discussion.

Vettori has been good over a long period of time and is a fantastic player overall, but if you look purely at his bowling, he's more passable than great. Herath looks really good, and although he won't have a long career and prove himself over many years, he's had a fantastic 2012. Although I'm too young to have seen Bedi while he was playing, he'd probably have to be the best. It is a bit surprising that there haven't been more, though.

It's interesting, with more and more right handed people using a 'left-handed' grip, we might start to see more left-arm wrist spin. I am left handed and bat 'right-handed', because that was how I naturally held a bat when given one. That's a whole other discussion, though. I reckon what we call a left-handed grip is actually the best way for a right-hander to hold a bat and vice-versa and people have only relatively recently started to figure that out.
Herath gets to bowl mainly on spin friendly pitches in Sri Lanka whereas Vettori bowls mainly on seaming pitches in NZ so I wouldn't necessarily say that Herath is a better bowler.
 

Carbine Chaos

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#31
It's a shame he didn't play many games due to Bill O'Reilly, Chuck Fleetwood-Smith could have featured more heavily in this thread.

Are people actually saying Vettori is better than Bedi must have been? Ok...
 

Stig O'Hara

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#32
From my 45 years of watching test cricket, it would have to be Derek Underwood as he was nearly unplayable
when the conditions where in his favour. From the purist angle, some might say that Bedi was better because he flighted and drifted the ball, whereas "Deadly Derek" wasn't truly a spin bowler as he bowled at almost slow medium pace at times and could cut and even swing the ball, as well turn it.
Bedi for me. He had an amazing ability to make the ball drop in front of the batsman. Saw him in a Test in '77 at the G, and we got routed by the 4 Indian spinners.

Deadly pretty much bowled everything, seam, spin, cut at varying speeds, so thats' why I'd go Bedi.

Of the current, Vettori has been a fantastic bowler, pretty much doing it on his own. They go to him so often, he ends up a first change, first day bowler and has to carry them.
 

Plugger35

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#34
It's a shame he didn't play many games due to Bill O'Reilly, Chuck Fleetwood-Smith could have featured more heavily in this thread.

Are people actually saying Vettori is better than Bedi must have been? Ok...
More that Vettori's the best left arm spin bowler they've seen. Most people here wouldn't have seen Bedi bowl so it's hard to judge him other than on stats. Like Herath he would have bowled on more spin friendly wickets than Vettori though.

Bedi for me. He had an amazing ability to make the ball drop in front of the batsman. Saw him in a Test in '77 at the G, and we got routed by the 4 Indian spinners.

Deadly pretty much bowled everything, seam, spin, cut at varying speeds, so thats' why I'd go Bedi.

Of the current, Vettori has been a fantastic bowler, pretty much doing it on his own. They go to him so often, he ends up a first change, first day bowler and has to carry them.
Yeah quite often Vettori has been the main strike bowler for NZ with little support which can make it harder to take wickets as batsmen just try to defend him and attack the easier bowlers at the other end. Warne benefited a lot from having McGrath at the other end.
 

Stig O'Hara

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#35
Bedi came over for the 77 tour, and i'd never seen spin bowlers that much, we had Jenner & Mallett, but neither were huge spinners of the ball, and we were still basking in the afterglow of Lillee and Thommo.

Australia won the first 2 tests on the faster decks, and Bedi still managed to get 10 wickets in the WACA test. We had Bobby Simpson who'd played him before, but no-one had a clue after that. And the way he got wickets with these dipping offies made our blokes look like juniors.

Once it got to Melbourne, him & Chandra just went through us like a dose of the shits, we got utterly towelled by those 2 bowling in tandem, and then lost the Sydney Test by an innings.

Luckily we found someone who could play spin at Adelaide, enter Graham Yallop and we got home on the sixth day of the final test.

Looked it up, he ended with 31 wickets in 5 tests and Chandra got 28.
 

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#36
Derek Underwood did benefit from uncovered wickets if I recall correctly - these made finger-spinners far more deadly. I'm not sure whether Bishan Bedi did or not.
 

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#38
Yeah, I would have loved to see Bedi bowl. I've read/heard stories of his exploits before.
Bishen was very popular with Australian crowds for many reasons. Firstly there was his easy going nature, a favourite with crowds in the Max Walker fashion, on occasion accepting a beer on the boundary. Then there was his colourful turban, Aussies tend to like anything that is unusual. The defining factor being he was an artiste, very pleasing to watch.

It would be too easy to label him as simply a left arm orthodox bowler, but there was much more to him than that. He had subtle variations of pace, flight, loop, spin, and an undetectable quicker arm ball. He would almost glide to the wicket in tiptoe fashion, so balanced and yet so poised to strike.

You see the ball swerve in the air, then suddenly take off like a leg spinner. Such was his command of every skill, it was common to see two fielders close to the bat on both sides of the wicket. You rarely saw these fielders ducking and weaving due to an errant delivery.

He was just a joy to watch, I will never forget the spin quartet of Bedi, Chandrasekar, Prasanna, and Nadkarni. Spin bowling at its very best.

Bedi has been outspoken about the chuckers who have masqueraded as off spinners over the years, and he has every right to. Bedi was possibly the only off spinner I saw who mastered the craft.
 

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#39
Tony Lock is certainly up there who I'm surprised hasn't been mentioned yet in this thread. He has a better average, economy and strike rate than Bishan Bedi and Vettori.

He shaves Underwood for average and economy but Underwood gets him just on strike rate.

The major knock on Lock's career is he was one of several players in the fifties and sixties with suspect bowling actions. These are some clips from a documentary on the ABC a few years ago:

Skip to to 1:00 in the first clip to see Tony Lock. The second clip is more for historical purposes.



Just for trivia's sake, in the fourth test of the 1956 Ashes at Old Trafford is particularly famous due to Jim Laker taking 19 wickets in the match. The only other wicket fell to Tony Lock who dismissed Australian opener Jim Burke.
 

Wallaby

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#40
At least Tony Lock was honest about his chucking. When he saw the films he was horrified ar how he bowled, and went away and rebuilt his action. (remember, cricket was rarely shown even in the theatres pre mid-50s, and TV coverage didn't really start until the 60s).

Bedi had the easiest action of all time. It's a shame he's become 'Rent-A-Quote' about cricket on Indian TV, so he's building up a reputation as a grumpy old bastard. India's version of Neil Harvey.

One of the great mysteries of cricket was in the old days when 'sticky dog' wickets would occur. The finger spinners would immediately become unplayable, while the wrist spinners would seem un-affected. No one is quite sure why - various theories about over-spin, flight etc, but no-one knows. Derek Underwood was probably the last of the great bowlers who had his 'unplayable' days. He could certainly send down hand grenades at times.
 

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#41
I would like to put in a vote for Bert Ironmonger. Any Australian spinner who can make the team purely on his bowling and with a reputation as one of the worst batsmen and worst fieldsmen that Australia ever produced MUST have been a good bowler !
 

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#42
From my 45 years of watching test cricket, it would have to be Derek Underwood as he was nearly unplayable
when the conditions where in his favour. From the purist angle, some might say that Bedi was better because he flighted and drifted the ball, whereas "Deadly Derek" wasn't truly a spin bowler as he bowled at almost slow medium pace at times and could cut and even swing the ball, as well turn it.

Actually another topic you could discuss would be who was "the best Test keeper" to slow bowling ... and if you watched Alan Knott in tandem with his English and Kent team mate, Underwood, there would be no doubt who the No. 1 keeper to slowies would be.

In recent times Vettori would be the best, and from the vault, Rhodes and Verity have the figures and longevity to say that they must have been something special in their day.

Verity was definately the best pre Underwood, and probably the greatest of all time.

Took Bradmans wicket the most of any other player, almost 2,000 first class wickets at an average of 14.9.

Bradman rates him as the hardest bowler he faced.


Also bowled probably the most famous spell of all time.

19.4-16-10-10 playing for Yorkshire against Nottinghamshire, It included a hatrick, and he almost took a second hatrick in the same innings, but the hattrick ball was dropped at slip. In his last 15 overs, he took 7 for 3.


He died as a POW in WWII.
 

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#44
No contest, Bishen Bedi. To watch him drifting and turning with 2 close in fielders either side of the pitch was a pure delight. Deadly Derek Underwood was unplayable on his day, but needed conditions to suit him in order to dominate. Vettori's very good also, but Bedi was the classic off-spinner. Gary Sobers used to bowl them pretty well. Ray Bright was pretty good until too much bowling to world class batsmen in WSC saw him flatten out his bowling to suit one day cricket.

Why don't we see more left arm spinners? Because they all seem to take the soft option of bowling othodox around the wicket and push the ball through. Whereas this is okay for the shortened form of the game, they will never gain success at Test level.

When I was a boy, I loved watching David Sincock, a left arm chinaman bowler for SA. He could turn the ball like you wouldn't believe, but unfortunately lacked consistency with control. Very successful at Sheffield Shield level but struggled in Tests.
Honestly, Bedi, Underwood, and Vettori's Test records don't appear to be anything special when you look at it from a strike rate perspective.

You can say "well that's how spin bowling was" once upon a time, and that keeping the run rate down and getting through a large volume of overs has value too, but I'd be picking someone like Herath (still fairly economical, but far better strike rate) over the aformentioned players each time.
 

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#46
As mentioned above, Verity gets it for me. Anyone who Bradman himself says was the hardest to face (by reports), well I'm sold. He had such an interesting life story too.
 

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Verity was definately the best pre Underwood, and probably the greatest of all time.

Took Bradmans wicket the most of any other player, almost 2,000 first class wickets at an average of 14.9.

Bradman rates him as the hardest bowler he faced.


Also bowled probably the most famous spell of all time.

19.4-16-10-10 playing for Yorkshire against Nottinghamshire, It included a hatrick, and he almost took a second hatrick in the same innings, but the hattrick ball was dropped at slip. In his last 15 overs, he took 7 for 3.


He died as a POW in WWII.
Hedley Verity, Portrait of a Cricketer by Alan Hill is a really good book.
 

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#48
Hedley Verity, Portrait of a Cricketer by Alan Hill is a really good book.
It’s crazy that he didn’t start first class cricket until he was 25 because he was stuck behind another ATG Wilfred Rhodes. If he’s got an earlier start, he may have played the 1930 Ashes, which may have meant that Bradman doesn’t break the record for most runs in a series.
 
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#49
I would like to put in a vote for Bert Ironmonger. Any Australian spinner who can make the team purely on his bowling and with a reputation as one of the worst batsmen and worst fieldsmen that Australia ever produced MUST have been a good bowler !
Not only that, but he made his debut as a 45 year old.
 
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