'He was really good at figuring you out'
Part eight: Allan Donald on the most intimidating bowlers he has seen: this time, Courtney Walsh the workhorse
Produced by: Gokul Chakravarthy; Interviewer: Nagraj Gollapudi
- Players/Officials : Courtney Walsh
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We will remember Walsh for not only the grace he exhibited on the cricket field but his grace as a human being overall.He never had a bad word for everyone and was always a gentleman.His act of sportsmanship in the 1987 world cup will be written in cricket annals forever.He was a sight to behold when bowling with his smooth action.Simply pace bowling's marathon man.
Courtney Walsh is one of cricket's most sporting icons.What I will remember him most is for his great sportsmanship against Pakistan in the 1987 reliance world cup when he gave Salim Jaffer a warning for being out of the crease with 4 runs needed of just 2 deliveries which cost his team victory.It was lesson for everyone in sport,where sportsmanship was placed above mere winning.
Overall Walsh was fast bowling's ultimate metronome.No paceman posessed Walsh's reserves of stamina.Above all he may have lacked the pace of an Alan Donald but compensated for that with his great guile and ability to angle the ball coming into the batsmen and make the ball straighten.He could also generate awkward,deceptive bounce and swing the ball.At his best he could be more lethal than partner Curtly with his great bowling intelligence.In 1987-88 and in 1994 in India on docile surfaces he was head and shoulders above any of his bowling compatriots.
One of the game's most loved characters.
wicked bouncer, most beautiful slower-one, deadly leg-cutter and in-cutters...ability to figure batsmen out after just an over..and terrific sportsman's spirit...Courtney Walsh is a true champion fast bowler one feared facing...his bowling in England towards his career's end was a treat !!
@Wasti, I saw a lot of Walsh live as I'm from TnT; he means a lot to us. In the Caribbean the feeling that he replaced Croft was due to his ability to bowl big leg cutters at high pace; this was evident to us from watching him in the Shell Shield (our local 4 day competition). They had tried Milton Small before Walsh who did not cut it. At one point, Bishop moved ahead of Walsh for his ability to bowl leg cutters at pace. But, the character and fitness of Walsh came through. Even when he 'slowed down', he was still bowling faster than Mervyn Dillon (I saw that, I was there). Even when Lara became captain for the first time, he insisted Walsh remain for as long as possible even though he was poor in the field and with the bat because of his worth with the ball. Notice also I said in my post 'in my opinion'.
@ Typos - Croft last played for the West Indies during the 1981-82 Australian tour. Walsh did not arrive until the next test tour of the West Indies to Australia three years later by which time Croft had already gone for big bucks and joined the South African tour party. Walsh was genuinely fast but not as quick as some of the other bowlers. He did hurt a lot of batsmen though.
What stands out from these articles frm Donald is the humility of the man. He was certainly up there with the best bowlers of the 90's.
Anderson is so hyped up these days due to the lack of quality pace bowlers around (which is not Anderson's fault) - but he wouldn't get into the top 10 pace bowlers of the 90's.
ThirteenthMan: One thing Allan Donald's videos emphasize is that fast bowling, and the intimidation that goes with it, is as much about brain as brawn. A brainless fast bowler quickly gets carted around the park. As for removing "intimidation": read "Beyond a Boundary" and Hilary Beckles "Liberation Cricket" for the politics of the sport in the WI. Holding, Marshall, Walsh, and Ambrose dominating first Australia (who had disparaged them in 1976 and before) and then Tony Grieg's England team and during the Blackwash tours brought succour to huge numbers of the West Indian diaspora; and the urgency with which Ambrose and Walsh determined that South Africa just could not be allowed to win a test on reinstatement against a team of individuals who just months before would not have been allowed them to play in the same club, was a clear political statement of the dignity and status of people of color. Intimidating fast bowling goes back to Bodyline (also political). It's part of the game
Another gr8 duo of Walsh and Ambrose////
Thirteenth man, why don't you watch another sport, perhaps lawn bowls. Fast bowling against skill full batsman, is why I love test cricket, the bowler works to a plan, its not working, he starts to try other things, including mind games, he gets tired and aggresion is all he has left, speed ,bounce, then back off and bowl a slower ball, short outside off.....top stuff, bring on fast and furious bowlers, I love it!
I think we are underselling Walsh by a fair bit here. This was the guy who held the record for the highest test dismissals in history at a point. He wasnt express fast, but he surely wasnt a medium fast bowler as well. His captaincy was top class (refer Lara's comments).