Fiery Fred

Since there’s a Test Match going on right now at the Oval and I’ve got a few minutes before my next task, I thought I’d just do a brief post to mark the anniversary of a very special cricketing moment. On this day in 1964, also at the Oval, Sir Fred Trueman became the first bowler to take 300 wickets in test matches. In his test career overall he took 307 wickets at an astonishingly low average of 21.57. He twice bowled spells in Test matches in which he took five wickets without conceding a run.

Here’s a short video to remind us all of what a superb action Fiery Fred Trueman had:

p.s. Fred Trueman was born in Yorkshire which, as you all know, is part of the Midlands.

11 Responses to “Fiery Fred”

  1. That was a nice gesture by Mr 300 at the end.

    • telescoper Says:

      Yes, very sporting of Neil Hawkes to congratulate the bowler. Colin Cowdrey took the catch, by the way.

  2. Brian Schmidt Says:

    A few comments

    1) Wow that is a short run up!
    2) It seems in the olden days – the batsmen well and truly accepted they were out
    3) Comparing Anderson to Cowdrey really is apples versus oranges – the game, batsmen and bowlers are hard to comapre http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/sport/cricket/article4176773.ece

    • telescoper Says:

      Interesting comments. It’s worth mentioning that Trueman could operate in two different modes, and used different run-ups for each. As an out-and-out fast bowler he used a long run up comparable to that used by most authentic quickies. However, when the ball was swinging – which seems to have been the case in some of the clips shown in the post – he used a shorter run and bowled at a fast-medium pace. His action allowed him to bowl swinging deliveries – the classical outswinger became his stock ball in this mode and the occasional inswinger or even straight delivery was used as a surprise weapon to great effect too. He wasn’t a particularly tall man (5′ 10″) but his action was classic for an outswing bowler: side on, high arm and strong follow-through.

      ps. Michael Holding also operated off a short run from time to time; it didn’t seem to make him any less fearsome. Indeed, he’d often surprise batsmen with a bouncer as his first ball after switching to his short run.

      pps. His action reminds me a lot of another great bowler, Richard Hadlee of New Zealand.

      • Brian Schmidt Says:

        I have to admit that I became hooked on cricket when we had 6 days of rain in 1995 at Siding Spring Observatory – and I watched Australia win back the Frank Worrell trophy in 1995 while staying up all night instead of observing while it rained. Hadlee is before my time – and I feel a bit purile in the purists view of cricket who have decades more experience than I.

      • telescoper Says:

        Here’s Hadlee in action versus England in 1986. I think his action is quite similar to Trueman’s:

    • Anton Garrett Says:

      Yes, I’m old enough to remember Fred off his long run-up in Roses matches at Old Trafford in the later 1960s.

  3. telescoper Says:

    Jimmy Anderson’s bowling average is a shade over 30, which is rather high. I think that’s because he’s predominantly a swing bowler rather than an out-and-out pace bowler; if the ball doesn’t swing he isn’t anything like the same threat. However, that average is just an average, and one talent Jimmy definitely has is to get the best batsmen out.

  4. Anton Garrett Says:

    “Fred Trueman was born in Yorkshire which, as you all know, is part of the Midlands.”

    Too bad you couldn’t give Fiery Fred the benefit of that opinion in person…

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