RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
Supreme Bowling
Supreme Bowling - 100 Great Test Performances
Compiled and Edited by Patrick Ferriday & Dave Wilson

Published by Von Krumm Publishing
31 Highcroft Villas, Brighton BN1 5PS

Web: www.vonkrummpublishing.co.uk

Pages 322

Price Sterling Pounds Fifteen only

How to assess a great bowling performance? How to measure it in relation to others? How to find, or attempt to find, the 100 greatest Test 'five-fers'?

The authors say that great bowling across the ages and continents is recognised here, from Melbourne in 1893 to Lord's in 1934, then Kingston 1954 to Delhi 1979 and finally across the continents in the modern age from Abu Dhabi to Centurion and from Christchurch to Colombo. Great players too: Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne, of course: Curtly Ambrose, Fred Trueman, Sydney Barnes, Imran Khan, Richard Hadlee, Anil Kumble and Allan Donald. But not only the accepted greats, some of the lesser names had stellar days too; Jerome Taylor, Sikander Bakht and Bill Whitty amongst them.

The performances have been assessed on a number of major categories, including strength of batting attack and quality of victims, the wickets taken and the runs conceded, quantitative, qualitative and impact, conditions, match and series impact and a new measure, performance value (or worth).

Kapil Dev's splendid all-round performance of 84 off 98 balls and 4 for 90 & 7 for 56 in Pakistan's second innings of 233 in the 1979-80 Chennai Test has been described as "this was not only the first time both facets of his game worked at the same time, but remains one of the finest all-round performances in the history of cricket."

Mitchell Johnson has been paid a rich tribute: "Mitchell Johnson's Test career had oscillaed between the laudable and laughable, but his 37 wickets across that wondrous Ashes summer will stand as his master work and one of the most compelling individual displays by an Australian fast man. For his part, Lillee was proven right - no Australian bowler of the post-McGrath generation conjured spells so devastating to batsmen and viscerally thrilling to spectators as Johnson. So he, like that barn-burning 2013-14 Australian summer - Mitchell Johnson's summer - will outlive all of us who bore witness.

Richard Hadlee's performance of 23.4-4-52-9 vs Australia in Brisbane in November 1985 has also been included as one of the 100 greatest bowling performances by the compilers.

Curtly Ambrose's outstanding figures of 18-9-25-7 in Australia's first innings of 119 at Perth in 1993 also find a place in the book. "His figures are spectacular enough, yet within those came one of the most famous spells in Test history; seven for one in 32 balls. Those numbers are a decent summary of everything that was great about Ambrose: his ability to sense and seize the moment, his constant wicket-taking menace, and - crucial, this - his suffocating economy." remarked Rob Smyth.

The book deserves to be bought, read and pondered. Beautifully produced, this superb publication is a must for collectors of cricket literature.