The latest ‘Legend vs Legend’ video from Lord’s has been released.
Their first one was ‘Waugh vs Ponting‘.
Before you go any further, watch this latest fast bowler showdown by scrolling up and clicking the big play button above the title of this piece.
Should that be too hard, here is the YouTube Link.
Let’s start with some stats:
Based on these numbers, I think the objective mind suggests that McGrath would be the pick if we were using ‘Moneyball‘ rules.
Luckily enough for me, I grew up watching both of these guys.
Akram had the ability to move a ball around like no one else I’ve seen. His short run up and explosive arm action added flavour to the story.
McGrath on the other hand was the metronome. He just kept on putting the ball in the same place, over and over again.
This isn’t to say he was a dumb cricketer. Far from it.
In fact, McGrath is the bloke who made bowling right arm around the wicket to left handed batsmen a thing.
He displayed this the most against Brian Lara, whom he got out an amazing 18 times in Test cricket.
Being part of a McGrath hat trick is probably not what The Prince wants to be remembered for.
Speaking of hat tricks, Akram was the first person in history to take 4 of them at International level. FOUR OF THEM!
And that’s the thing. I just found Akram to be more exciting. He got me to watch.
McGrath just made Australia win.
No fast bowler has taken more Test wickets that McGrath, and that’s probably a key reason why Australia won a lot.
That, and the fact that an amazing 104 of his victims fell for a duck.
McGrath also has taken more World Cup wickets than any other bowler in history.
But McGrath didn’t do this consistently:
Makes you smile, doesn’t it!
The other missing piece here is the batting.
Akram was a legitimate bowling all rounder. McGrath was a legitimate bunny, who morphed into a legitimate number 11 by the end of his career.
We could discount Akram’s highest Test score of 247*, based on the fact it was against Zimbabwe and Jason Gillespie also has a double hundred. However, you still need to make them.
In fact, Akram made 3 Test hundreds and 7 fifties.
So in a one on one battle, I have to choose Akram.
For me, he was just more fun to watch.
What do you think?
Make sure you record your vote. I expect this count to be tight.
If you are more passionate than that (and let’s face it, we all are), leave a comment making a case for either Akram or McGrath below.