RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
Lillee & Thommo
Lillee & Thommo - Ian Brayshaw

Published by:
Hardie Grant Books

An imprint of Hardie Grant Publishing

First published in 2017 by Carlton Books

ISBN: 9781743792599
Pages: 272

Price: Australian dollars 29.99

Website: www.hardiegrantbooks.com

Right-arm medium pacer, Ian Brayshaw had once taken all ten wickets conceding 44 runs for Western Australia vs Victoria at Perth in October 1967 - only the third ten-for in the history of the Sheffield Shield history.

A contemporary of both the players, Brayshaw had played alongside Dennis Lillee for Western Australia and faced Jeff Thomson at his quickest when Western Australia contested Queensland. They were arguably the most feared and successful bowling combination the cricketing world has ever witnessed.

Besides his own knowledge while playing with these great fast bowlers, Brayshaw has interviewed many players, an umpire, a longstanding cricket correspondent and the son of a legendary cricketer and of course Lillee and Thomson.

Brayshaw commented: "In making a journey such as this, through a maze of events across the cricketing world, I have been extremely fortunate to have been able to add my own close observations of this magical period in Australia's rich cricket tapestry, as a player, broadcaster, journalist and writer of cricket books. To have played with Dennis Lillee (for Western Australia) and against Jeff Thomson (for Queensland) and have sat in a commentary box and tried to find the words to describe the way they worked so successfully together. These experiences offered me a rare insight into the crippling effect that not one, but two, great fast bowlers can impose on batsmen. Even the best in the business were compromised. Unashamedly so."

Mike Denness, who had faced Thomson in the 1974-75 series had remarked: "In those days, I used to wear a gold St.Christopher pendant, and it was only when I got back to the dressing room that I found the ball had literally embedded the pendant in my chest. For any bouncers aimed at your head, you had to rely on your reflexes, or, for those brave enough to take on the hook shot, you had to be prepared to lose your front teeth."

According to Ian Brayshaw, Test teams that boast a battering ram of quality fast bowlers are the teams most likely to dominate just about anywhere in the world. Since the curtain came down on the 'Lillian Thomson Show' - as it was inevitably known - there has been no better example of this than the way the West Indies established and maintained dominance through the 80s and 90s. Inspired by the Lillee-Thomson combination, Clive Lloyd led the charge with the team whose creation he had masterminded, with four quicks pawing the ground at the top of their marks. Viv Richards inherited the team, and continued the dominance.

The book has been divided mainly in three sections - the first and the longest covering the 1974-75 Ashes series, the second being the West Indies 1975-76 tour of Australia and the third being breaking the partnership.

While bowling in tandem in 26 Tests, Lillee took 119 wickets at 26.26 runs apiece, including five five-wicket hauls and Thomson 98 wickets at 28.34, including four five-wicket instances.

However, Thomson turned out to be a mediocre bowler when they bowled in tandem in 31 ODIs. As against his tally of 27 wickets at 43.11, without a three-wicket instance, Lillee bagged 52 wickets at 22.32 with four instance of four wickets or more in an innings.

Statistical Analysis pertaining to both these great bowlers have been meticulously compiled by Lawrie Colliver.

Hardie Grant Books and Ian Brayshaw have brought out an outstanding publication. Apart from most entertaining book, the same is handsomely produced and economically priced and I would wholeheartedly encourage everyone to go through the same. There is so much of interest within this book.