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October 30, 2015 / subramanyam

The Greatest Spell ever and man behind it


Growing up in the 90’s is a boon in its own sense.  If you are a cricket fan, you would have watched some of the greatest players of the game in action. This post here is to speak about one such great cricketer who ruled the world with his bowling.

As a kid I always cheered for West Indies (except when they played against India).  My love for West Indies was due to the legends that the team had.  They had Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, Ian Bishop, Carl Hooper and Brian Lara in the same team.  Wasn’t this a good enough reason to support them.  In the late nineties the team was in a decline phase and I used to watch them just because I loved the game of these players.  Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose used to bowl with little support from rest of the team and the fight that they used to put up was always heartening to watch.

Of the two, I always felt that Ambrose was more ferocious and tough to play.  For all reasons it was this man who gave the world the famous 7-1 spell.  There was this test match in Perth where Australians were 85-2, it was then Ambrose comes back for the second spell.  He gives only 1 run in the entire spell and picks 7 wickets, that one spell ensured that the Australians are bundled out for 113.  To me this is the greatest bowling spell of all the times.

Imagine bowling to people like Allan Border, David Boon, Steve Waugh, Mark Waugh  in Australia, in their own backyard  and getting such numbers. That’s next to impossible isn’t it ?  That is the sole reason  why I feel that this has been the best spell ever.

Ambrose and Walsh /  Ambrose and Ian Bishop were bowling pairs that made batting look the toughest job on the earth.  See this spell of Ambrose and Ian Bishop and the way the Pakistanis are rattled by both of them.

They wrap up the Pakistani innings in less than 50 overs. Ambrose gets 4, Bishop gets 5 and Walsh gets one.  The likes of Aamir Sohail, Ramiz Raza, Injamam, Miandad and Wasim Akram surrender for a score of 140.  That’s the beauty of the Windies attack and to me Ambrose was the best bowler of them all.

Ambrose seemed to enjoy bowling against Australians, just have a look at this ball.   I am sure most of the players today  would be happy that they need not play a bowler of that sort.

Simply unplayable isn’t it.  As ever, Ambrose had some great contests with the batsmen and many a times he prevailed over them.  Cricket fans would recall that Mike Atherton was one of the  best batsmen in his era.  He captained England for good amount of time and had 7500+ test runs  to his credit.  He and Ambrose shared a great rivalry on the ground and Ambrose got Atherton’s wicket 17 times.  Yes, Ambrose got him in test matches for a whopping 17 times. Watch this video that has all these dismissals.

When you look at it, you would realize that Atherton was not throwing away his wicket or something.  It was the sheer skill and genius of the bowler that gave him the marching orders.  That’s the greatness of Ambrose.  We live in an era where 5-6 dismissals would make it a big news. Ambrose got one the highly respected batsmen of his era 17 times in test cricket, isn’t that amazing ?

Ambrose was handy with the bat too.  While he did not score too many runs, he was good at supporting the batsman on the other end.  Here is a video where he punishes the Australians again.  This time with the batting skills.

Curtly Ambrose is of the greatest fast bowlers the world has ever seen.  I was lucky to watch some of his best bowling performances live.

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One Comment

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  1. bsaikrishna / Oct 31 2015 12:44 am

    A nostalgic post in memoir of the great times in cricket.

    Like

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