With the 2nd Ashes Test at Lord’s this week, all eyes are on Australia’s burgeoning pace bowling stocks. Let’s take a look at some of the great Aussie red ball partnerships.
Pigeon and his spin wizard mate
First and foremost, you can’t look past Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne, who were outstanding in tandem.
The seamer complemented the leg-spinner so well. Collectively, they took over 1200 Test wickets, but not necessarily over the same period. They played a lot together, but Warne debuted a year earlier and later retired in the same year as McGrath – 2007. Warne is still Australia’s leading wicket-taker with 708. He is obviously the country’s highest Test wicket-taker.
Fellow spinner Nathan Lyon recently surpassed 350 Test wickets, but won’t likely surpass Warne’s tally. McGrath, of course, is no longer the seamer with the most wickets in the longest format of the international game. That mantle now belongs to England’s James Anderson, who has 575 to McGrath’s 563. Neither will be threatened by South Africa’s Dale Steyn any longer. Steyn retired from the longest format of the international game earlier this month. He took 439 Test wickets in 93 matches. Steyn will remain available for ODI and T20I selection, though.
Keeping up with Johnson
A partnership across different generations of sorts, Brett Lee’s success paved the way for Mitchell Johnson to do well. What Lee left behind in 2007, Johnson continued in 2008 and beyond. The one was a right-armer and the other a left-armer – and they typified the tributes noted by West Indian legends Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh in this blog for Betway. The ongoing Ashes series in the United Kingdom is really missing the pace generated by Johnson, Lee and others over the years. But, presumably, Pat Cummins and some others will get there sooner rather than later. They’ve certainly got the potential, provided injuries don’t get in the way.
Cummins and the rest are probably never going to reach the lofty heights relished by Ambrose and Walsh, though. They knew exactly what it took be among the best bowling partnerships. There was even that one time that a freakish haul of seven for one by Ambrose rocked the Aussies six ways from Sunday. He was a cricketing marvel to behold alongside Walsh, much like the partnerships shown in this infographic.
When Dennis met Jeff
The early 1970s to the middle of the 1980s were synonymous with the names of Jeff Thomson and Dennis Lillee. Individually and collectively they gathered tremendous bounce, pace and carry on pitches that were not as prepared as they are today. Batsmen were genuinely scared, as the duo screamed in and let fly. World cricket arguably hasn’t seen such a dynamic and dashing duo since. Cricket equipment for batsmen has certainly improved since Thomson and partner’s playing days, too, but back in the day they genuinely hurt guys whose body parts were uncovered.