Sunday, June 3, 2018

Wasim-Waqar are the epitome of the age old adage "Fast Bowlers Hunt in Pairs

Stuart Broad's three wickets in the first innings of the second test against Pakistan at Leeds took his tally to 414 test wickets, level with Pakistan legend Wasim Akram, making him joint 8th on the list of fast bowlers with most test wickets.

Broad's partner James Anderson is second on that list, behind only Glenn McGrath, and collectively the Anderson-Broad pair have 952 test wickets!

That is the most for any fast bowling pair in the history of test cricket.

In comparison, Wasim-Waqar have 787.

McGrath-Gillespie have 822.

Walsh-Ambrose have 924.

Pollock-Ntini have 811.

In my view, these are the 5 most potent fast bowling pairs that we have witnessed in test cricket in the past 3 decades.

The age old adage "Fast bowlers hunt in pairs" holds true when one looks at each of these pairs have achieved together in test matches.

What one also realizes after looking at these figures is that the Wasim-Waqar pair were miles ahead of the rest!

In tests that these pairs played together, the Anderson-Broad pair lead the wickets tally with a combined haul of 806 wickets, followed by Walsh-Ambrose with 762.

These two pairs have also played the most number of tests together, 106 and 95 respectively.

In comparison, the other three pairs have played only 58-63 tests together.

Wasim-Waqar played only 61 tests together, in which they picked up 559 wickets at an average of 22.1 and a strike rate of 45.7.

The 2 Ws have the best average among these pairs, which is marginally ahead of Walsh-Ambrose and significantly ahead of the rest.

They also have the best strike rate among the 5 pairs and it is miles ahead of the rest. The 2 Ws picked up a wicket every 45 deliveries, whereas none of the other pairs managed to do so in less than 50 deliveries.

Their 5WI and 10WM hauls are also more than each of the other pairs.

The Ws picked up a 5 wicket haul in every other test they played together. In fact their ratio of matches to 5WI hauls is 1.6!

That's how far above the 2 Ws were compared to other fast bowling pairs.

What makes the 2 Ws even more special is that more than half of their tests, 32 to be exact, were played in the subcontinent! Significantly more than the other 4 pairs.

Test cricket never has and probably never will see a pair like the 2 Ws. They truly were special!

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