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  1. #1
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    Who was the most lethal West Indian paceman of all after Malcolm Marshall?

    Without doubt Malcolm Marshall was the most lethal right arm pace bowler,let alone West Indian pace bowler of all.No pace bowler from the Carribean was as complete or as creative or could conceal his deliveries to such a degree.

    To me the most fascinating question is which West Indian pacemen came closest to Marshall in all-round cricketing skill,creativity or in terms of hostility.

    Michael Holding was marginally quicker with a more perfect action .Curtly Ambrose and Joel Garner were even more accurate.Courtney Walsh was more of a metronome with more stamina .

    To me the one who came closest to Marshall was Andy Roberts.In the classical sense Andy was more complete and posessed greater mastery in varying pace of bouncers.No bowler ever disguised his bouncers as well .Andy was regarded as the most complete paceman of his day by none other than Dennis Lillee .Sunil Gavaskar,Barry Richards and the Chappell brothers felt he was the best fast bowler they faced with Lillee with Gavaskar even ranking him ahead.Sunny felt no paceman could cut back a 120 over old ball in hi s time or was as intelligent.The others felt even if Holding was quicker,it was Roberts who had the greater variety and was more unpredictable.His bouncer at different speeds was often unreadable.Any mastered the bouncer,oustwinger and slower ball with an occasional off cutter.For sheer craftsmanship he was in the Wasim Akram class.Worth seeing his successive dismissal of the Chappell brothers at Adelaide in 1979-80 as well as those of Sunil Gavaskar earlier.

    Classically Holding had the best action and has the credit of bowling the best over ever and best overall spell ever in a test.For sheer sustained pace or straight pace bowling no pacemen equalled Holding's effort at the Oval in 1976 or in the over at Barbados in 1981 when he dislodged Boycott.No pacemen ever posessed as much speed through the air as Holding who resembled a Rolls Royce car.Holding's throat ball was more devastating than anyone and he had a better inswinger than even Roberts.In Australia in 1981-82 he was arguably even the equal of Marshall blending pace with movement.Holding could obtain pace even from a slow surface which was remarkable.Few pacemen ever could galvanize as much energy in their delivery stride as Michael or bamboozle batsmen with sheer space as Holding.Significant that Imran Khan rates Holding at the top while Mike Procter chooses him in his all-time xi and so does Asif Iqbal and Majid Khan.Holding was not as crafty or versatile as partner Andy but in a total package may have been more lethal at his best.Cricket writer John Woodcock placed Holding at the very top of Carribean pacemen.


    Joel Garner had the best yorker and was at the helm in terms of accuracy.With his great height his disconcerting bounce could be unplayable.For a time in the 1980's he was the best pace bowler,more relentless and accurate than even Richard Hadlee.Arguably we hardly saw enough of Joel with the new ball which may have done injustice to his capability.Garner bowled some great spells towards the end opening his attack.

    Courtney Walsh was the ultimate metronome and close to the most intelligent who could be more deceptive than even Ambrose.Not as quick as Marshall or Holding,but his oustwinger could be lethal as well as his short balls.

    Finally let us come to Curtly Ambrose.At his best even Marshall was not as explosive,destructive or volatile as Curtly who could rip of the flseh of a batting line up more than anyone.In full throttle no paceman resembled a cowboy mowing down his opponents with a revolver as much as Ambrose.No pacemen was as relentless or accurate apart from Garner. Ambrose hardly swung or did so much with the ball but crated more vertical bounce than anyone .No batsmen resembled a robotic machine or a combing operation carried on by an army as Curtly.On a broken track he would mesmerize batsmen with the hostility of a swordsman piercing flesh.To me in his best spells at Trinidad in 1994 and Perth in 1992-93 he was arguably harder to tackle than any pacemen ever.However Ambrose was not at his best on the slower wickets or genuine cricket tracks and could become predictable.On flat tracks it was Walsh who had more of an armoury,particularly on the sub-continent.Ambrose was a more fiery version of Garner with a wider armoury.

    Taking all factors into consideration I would choose Andy Roberts as he proved himself on the slower sub-continent tracks and posed a greater threat to the best batsmen of his day after Marshall.Holding and Ambrose at their best in a spell on a certain day or in given conditions may have been right up there ,but consistently did not equal Roberts overall skill.It is strange as Holding had the most classically correct action of all while Ambrose could take hostility to heights never traversed.

    If I had to choose 2 great West Indian pacemen who when moulded into one could match or surpass Marshall more than anyone then it would be Roberts and Ambrose.The guile of Roberts with the accuracy or Andy could make the ultimate pacemen.

    In the end it was a photo-finish to decide Marshall's runner up berth in the Carribean pace battery.

  2. #2
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    Jofra Archer because a certain poster believes he is better than all WestIndies pace battery.

  3. #3
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    You keep asking similar kind of questions in 100 different ways, lol.

    Anyways with due respect, it's Curtly Ambrose followed by Andy Roberts, Michael Holding and Joel Garner each three around about same and then Courtney Walsh.

    Among the three, I would give an edge to Garner for his World Cup 1979 exploit but very less to pick between him and Roberts and Holding.
    Last edited by Ab Fan; 14th February 2020 at 18:13.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ab Fan View Post
    You keep asking similar kind of questions in 100 different ways, lol.

    Anyways with due respect, it's Curtly Ambrose followed by Andy Roberts, Michael Holding and Joel Garner each three around about same and then Courtney Walsh.

    Among the three, I would give an edge to Garner for his World Cup 1979 exploit but very less to pick between him and Roberts and Holding.
    I respect your view but did not Roberts have the most variations and was the craftiest?Was not Andy more versatile than the others and rated the best by none other than Sunil Gavaskar or Dennis Lillee?Even Chapell brothers?

  5. #5
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    Curtley Ambrose.

  6. #6
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    Curtley Ambrose.

  7. #7
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    Ambrose.

    Walsh, a distant second.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManFan View Post
    Ambrose.

    Walsh, a distant second.
    What about Roberts,Garner and Holding? Not great or even close?

  9. #9
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    I think it's Garner. Garner was the best ODI bowler out of all of them (including Marshall). He was the most awkward threat out of all of them, has the best bowling average after Marshall and was the most economic bowler (invaluable at helping his partners build pressure).

  10. #10
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    Holding

  11. #11
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    I would say Garner and Ambrose.

    But it is interesting to note that Gower and Botham say Andy Roberts was best of all.

    Roberts knocked the eighteen-year-old Bothamís front teeth out. Gower would have fielded in the slips to him a lot at Leics, and both batted those ten tests in a row against him in 1980.
    Last edited by Robert; 15th February 2020 at 13:05.

  12. #12
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    Marshal was the best no doubt.
    Followed by holding garner Roberts and Ambrose. in that order.

  13. #13
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    Ambrose , he was absolute tank.

    Very very difficult bowler to hit.

  14. #14
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    Roberts bowled with weaker support in first half of his career hence a slightly higher average.

    My rankings
    MM
    Ambrose
    Garner
    Holding,Robert's
    Walsh
    Croft,Bishop
    Wes Hall
    Roach

  15. #15
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    Curtly Ambrose.
    Andy Roberts.

  16. #16
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    Curtly Ambrose

  17. #17
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    Ambrose
    Roberts
    holding

    Ambrose was the second best but he did struggle in sub continent. So I can understand why people rate holding or Roberts higher.

    but ambrose was just scary on SENA tracks.

  18. #18
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    Interviewed Dean Jones recently and spoke with him about this and he mentioned Patrick Patterson - namely a spell at the MCG, Christmas Eve Test match. He described him as scary.



  19. #19
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    Patrick Patterson for sure, he was mean, nasty and could take wickets

    Last edited by LordJames; 15th February 2020 at 21:15.

  20. #20
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    Garner was a scary bowler when he was in full rhythm . Just watch some World Series ODIs involving West Indies and Australia and see the lift he used to get from just short of a good length!

    Many batters rate peak Roberts higher than Marshall - Gavaskar being one.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikhil_cric View Post
    Garner was a scary bowler when he was in full rhythm . Just watch some World Series ODIs involving West Indies and Australia and see the lift he used to get from just short of a good length!

    Many batters rate peak Roberts higher than Marshall - Gavaskar being one.
    What about Ambrose and Holding in your view? Not ahead?

  22. #22
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    Joel Garner, followed by Mickey,Then Curtly. Sylvester Clark is the guy that should have been but seemed to get intimidated by the others in the Windies team and looked slow in comparison but he was bloody quick and terrified batsman in county cricket.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harsh Thakor View Post
    What about Ambrose and Holding in your view? Not ahead?
    For me Curtly didn't bowl quick enough on flat wickets and although the sample size is small, he would have struggled in places Ind. Mikey was a great bowler but often bowled within himself.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bewal Express View Post
    For me Curtly didn't bowl quick enough on flat wickets and although the sample size is small, he would have struggled in places Ind. Mikey was a great bowler but often bowled within himself.
    Andy Roberts not up there?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harsh Thakor View Post
    Andy Roberts not up there?
    Not when I saw him. I saw him in 83, and he looked slow as you would expect by then. I think his best days were the late 70s


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