This week’s “Ask Steven” feature on CricInfo saw one follower ask:
Which bowler has the best record of hitting the stumps, given a large amount of wickets?
The answer was:
Of the 181 bowlers who have so far taken 100 or more Test wickets, the two with the highest percentage of bowled dismissals are the 19th-century England pair of George Lohmann, with 51 out of 112, or 45.53% bowled, and Johnny Briggs, with 52 out of 118, (44.06%)
Next comes the first post-war bowler, Australia’s Ray Lindwall, who bowled 97 of his 228 victims (42.54%) – the Australian Charlie “Terror” Turner, (42/101 or 41.58%), and England’s Brian Statham (102/252 or 40.47%), both also bowled more than 40% of their victims.
Bottom of the list is the Indian slow left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, who rattled the timbers for only eight of his 113 Test wickets, (7.07%)
Statham is one of only seven men to have bowled more than 100 batsmen in Tests. The others, most of whom played significantly more matches, are Muttiah Muralitharan, (167), Shane Warne, (116), Jimmy Anderson, (104, before the Adelaide Test), Fred Trueman, (103), Waqar Younis, (102), and Wasim Akram, (101)
A look at percentages of ‘bowled’ dismissals by Stokers sees – with a bit of filtering – Bob Willis head our list…
(To generate this screen – you may have to click on it to enlarge it depending on what device you’re reading this on – we put in a minimum number of wickets taken to Bob’s count of 62.)
Imagine the prospect of turning out for your club at the weekend and finding him tearing in at you from the Railway End – his Stoke career bowling average was 6.85!
Either side of Bob’s count, a look at the highest percentage of wickets bowled at other milestones would suggest that it was easier to bowl players out in the past than it is now:
10 wickets minimum – L.Strange (pre-war) – 72.73% bowled, the other 27.27% were caught
20 wickets – Syd White (pre-war) – 72.55% bowled, the other 27.45% were caught
At this point Ben Dunjay, (13/22 or 59.09%), appears on the front page, as does Charlotte Elworthy, (22/32 or 68.75%), who is the highest ranked player from the Stoke Molesey Ladies. Nat Sciver bowled 26 of her 49 victims, 53.06%.
30 wickets – At this filter point, Syd White still tops the list, but Charlotte is now second.
40 wickets – Syd again, but two other recent debutants start to move up the list. Ed Ashwell has 43 career wickets for Stoke, 24 if them, (55.81%), have been bowled.